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Replacing British-Era Laws

Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, and Bharatiya Sakshya Bills Introduced in Lok Sabha
Source: AIR

The Indian government has taken a significant step towards modernizing its legal framework by introducing three crucial bills in the Lok Sabha – the lower house of the Indian Parliament. These bills, namely the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, and the Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, were unveiled to replace archaic British-era laws. Home Minister Amit Shah presented these bills, emphasizing their transformative potential for the country’s criminal justice system.

Replacing British-Era Laws
The Union Home Minister introducing the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, and Bharatiya Sakshya Bills in the LS. | Photo Credit : SansadTv

Aiming for Transformation

In a historic move, the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023, has been proposed to supplant the Indian Penal Code of 1860, while the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023, aims to replace the Criminal Procedure Act of 1898. Simultaneously, the Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, 2023, seeks to replace the Indian Evidence Act of 1872. These bills hold the promise of a modern and relevant legal framework that aligns with the contemporary needs of India.

Justice Over Penalization

Minister Amit Shah emphasized that the primary focus of these bills is to ensure justice for individuals rather than simply penalizing them. The government’s intention is to establish a criminal justice system that prioritizes fairness and equity. These bills have been meticulously crafted after in-depth discussions and careful consideration.

Key Provisions and Reforms

The proposed legislations herald a new era of legal reforms. Notably, provisions related to sedition are set to be entirely repealed. The bills encompass a remarkable 313 amendments, all directed towards fortifying the criminal justice system. This comprehensive approach aims to address shortcomings in the current legal framework while fostering a more just and balanced society.

Empowering Vulnerable Sections

Women and children’s access to justice has been particularly prioritized in these bills. Special provisions have been integrated to expedite the delivery of justice to these vulnerable sections of society. Furthermore, an ambitious digitalization effort has been undertaken to modernize and streamline the entire criminal justice process.

Deliberative Process

After their introduction, the bills have been forwarded to the Parliamentary Standing Committee for further scrutiny and discussion. This marks a commitment to a democratic and deliberative approach in shaping the legal landscape of the nation.

Opposition Voices

However, the introduction of these bills was met with some resistance. Opposition members raised concerns, notably regarding the suspension of Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. This discord led to a walkout by these members during the bill’s presentation in the house.

In essence, the introduction of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, and Bharatiya Sakshya Bill in the Lok Sabha marks a pivotal moment in India’s legal evolution. With a strong emphasis on justice, equity, and modernization, these bills pave the way for a more progressive and inclusive legal framework that befits the needs of the 21st century.

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