Udaipur,21.12.23- The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed three amended Bills that seek to repeal and replace criminal laws which date back to colonial times. This criminal law reform brings terrorism offences into a general crime law for the first time, drops the crime of sedition, and makes mob lynching punishable by death. Expanded detention in police custody from the current 15-day limit to up to 90 days, bringing terror, corruption l and organised crime under ordinary legislation for the first time to decriminalizing homosexuality and adultery, the Lok Sabha Wednesday passed three key Bills - Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita, 2023; the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita, 2023; and the Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill, 2023 - to completely overhaul the country's criminal laws.
As per reports by piloting the Bills, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said these are aimed at indigenising laws originally enacted by the British.
Shah strongly defended provisions of the Bills including change in sedition provisions and defining terrorism, and asserted that any act against the nation will be punishable.
The three Bills were first introduced in August on the last day of the monsoon session of Parliament and were referred to a Parliamentary standing committee. The standing committee, headed by BJP MP Brij Lal, met stakeholders in nine meetings over six days between September and October.
While the report largely "welcomed” the laws, it suggested some changes.
The CrPC had 484 sections, now the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita, 2023 will have 531 sections; 177 sections have been changed; 9 new sections and 39 sub-sections have been included; 44 new explanations have been added; timelines have been added in 35 sections; and 14 sections have been repealed.
The Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill, 2023 has 170 sections as compared to 167 sections in the Indian Evidence Act; 24 sections have been changed; two new sections have been added; and six sections have been repealed.
BNS, 2023, the Bill to replace the IPC makes mob lynching and hate crime a separate offence for the first time and prescribes a punishment that extends from life imprisonment to death.
However, the new version creates an exception for registered medical practitioners. Under this provision, the punishment prescribed is a jail term which may extend up to 2 years.