New Criminal Justice Laws to Be Rolled Out Across India from July 1

New Delhi: The government on Saturday notified the new criminal laws — the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita and Bharatiya Sakshya Act — to completely overhaul the criminal justice system. They will come into effect from July 1.

The government, however, put on hold the penal provision in hit-and-run cases under the BNS, which prescribe a punishment of 10 years in jail and Rs 7 lakh fine, following protests by transporters’ associations.
The three laws will be replacing the British-era Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Indian Evidence Act of 1872 respectively.
The new laws got Parliament's approval on December 21 last year and President Droupadi Murmu gave her assent on December 25.
For the first time, the word terrorism has been defined in the BNS; it was absent in the IPC which it replaces. The laws give a clear definition of terrorism, abolished sedition as a crime and introduced a new section titled "offences against the state".
The BNS lists offences such as acts of secession, armed rebellion, subversive activities, separatist activities or endangering the sovereignty or unity in the new avatar of the sedition law.
According to the laws, anyone purposely or knowingly, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or by electronic communication or by use of financial means, or otherwise, excites or attempts to excite secession or armed rebellion or subversive activities, or encourages feelings of separatist activities or endangers sovereignty or unity and integrity of India or indulges in or commits any such act shall be punished with imprisonment for life or with imprisonment which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.
Previously the IPC Section 124A, which deals with sedition, anyone involved in the crime may be punished with life imprisonment or with a three-year jail term.
Sources said the Union home ministry had already formed a team of 3,500 officers who will train police officers, investigators, and forensic experts to implement the new laws across the country in a zone-wise manner.
( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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