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HomeNews ReportsHM Amit Shah likely to re-introduce amended three criminal law bills in Lok Sabha

HM Amit Shah likely to re-introduce amended three criminal law bills in Lok Sabha

The three criminal law bills seek to replace colonial-era criminal laws named the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973, and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

On 12th December, Union Home Minister Amit Shah will likely introduce three criminal law bills in Lok Sabha after amending them based on the standing committee’s recommendations. The three bills previously introduced in Lok Sabha on 11th August were withdrawn by the Home Minister on 11th December, subjected to the amendments. The three bills that will replace the colonial-era criminal laws are the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill, 2023, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita Bill, 2023, and the Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, 2023.

Source: yuvnique/X

Hindustan Times quoted an unnamed source familiar with the matter saying, “Based on the committee’s recommendations, amendments have been proposed in the three criminal law bills, which the home minister will introduce along with two other bills around 5 pm on Tuesday.”

Reportedly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his office disagreed with two of the proposed amendments as they were seen as against the Supreme Court and its judgments. The two suggestions aimed to criminalise adultery and homosexual sex. Notably, the Supreme Court had struck down the law that made adultery an offence, saying it was discriminating against women, perpetuating gender stereotypes and diminishing the dignity of women. Though the apex court had struck down the criminalisation of homosexual sex between consensual adults, the committee suggested retaining it in the new bill.

Notably, after introducing the bills in August this year, they were sent to the standing committee on home affairs for review. The committee submitted a report on 6th November and proposed 50 amendments to the bills. Reportedly, HM Shah said in the Parliament, “Based on the committee’s recommendations, amendments are proposed in the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill, 2023. It is proposed to introduce a new bill in place of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill, 2023.” Similar statements were made to withdraw the other two bills as well.

The three criminal law bills seek to replace colonial-era criminal laws named the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973, and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

HM Shah introduced bills to replace colonial-era criminal laws

In August 2023, the Home Minister introduced three bills to replace the British-era criminal code in the country—the move aimed at removing colonial legacies, with 475 referencing the British Raj being eliminated.

The notable changes in the law included a shift in the focus to crime against women and children with penalties for offences like gang rape and rape of minors, including the death penalty. Furthermore, measures against love jihad, organised crime, terrorism and mob lynching were introduced in the bills. Time-bound investigations, trials and judgments were part of the new bills to replace British-era criminal laws. The digitisation of the entire legal process, mandatory community service, and increased use of forensic science are also emphasised.

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