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New Criminal Laws to replace IPC, CrPC, and Evidence Act on July 1st

New Criminal Laws to replace IPC, CrPC, and Evidence Act on July 1st

In a monumental move poised to reshape India's legal landscape, the Union Home Ministry has announced the imminent implementation of three new criminal laws, marking a significant departure from the existing framework. 

Set to come into effect from July 1 of this year, these laws—Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam—will replace the longstanding pillars of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), and the Indian Evidence Act, respectively.

The issuance of a gazette notification by the Union Home Ministry, signaling the impending enforcement of these laws, underscores the culmination of a process initiated to modernize and streamline India's criminal justice system. 

However, amidst this groundbreaking transition, a significant provision under Section 106(2) of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita—pertaining to the 'causing death of a person by rash and negligent driving of a vehicle'—has been temporarily suspended.

The decision to defer the implementation of this provision stems from widespread protests that erupted across the nation, primarily due to its imposition of a maximum prison sentence of ten years for individuals involved in such offenses who flee the scene, rather than reporting to the authorities. This proviso, while aimed at enhancing accountability, has sparked debates regarding its potential ramifications and implications for justice administration.

The genesis of these transformative legislations can be traced back to December 2023 when they received the assent of the President of India, marking a significant milestone in their journey towards enactment. This development was duly acknowledged and documented on the official website of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, symbolizing the formal endorsement of the proposed legal reforms.

The legislative process commenced with the introduction of the three bills—Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, and Bharatiya Sakshya Bill—in the Lok Sabha on August 11, 2023. Subsequently, they were referred to a parliamentary committee chaired by Brij Lal for meticulous examination and scrutiny. Following a thorough evaluation, the bills garnered approval from the Lok Sabha on December 20 before securing passage in the Rajya Sabha on December 21, thus culminating in their eventual adoption.

As the nation braces itself for this transformative transition, the forthcoming implementation of Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam signals a paradigm shift in India's criminal justice paradigm—a testament to the relentless pursuit of a more equitable and just society.

The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023

The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023.

The Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023

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