Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Centre to revamp criminal laws by replacing IPC, CrPC, Indian Evidence Act

The Central government has decided to revamp the criminal laws in the country by replacing the Indian Penal Code (IPC) of 1860, Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) of 1973 and the Indian Evidence Act of 1872.

It was in the year 1860 that the IPC, was framed by the British.Since then it has proved as the working model and the core of the criminal justice system of the country.

These bills have been framed after due consultations with stakeholders including judges from Supreme Court and High Court Judges of India, Chief Ministers, , Law institutes and Governors.

The recommendation from various committes were taken into account while the bills were framed.

The new law Bhartiya Nyaya Sanhita proposes changes to 175 existing provisions and introduces 9 new Sections. It contains total 356 provisions.

The Home Minister during his speech, said that the Bill completely repeals the offence of Sedition.

Shah also added that the Bill has provisions for offences against the State.

He further added that section 150 of the Bill deals with Acts endangering sovereignty unity and integrity of India.

The Bill also has provision to penalize the offence of ‘Mob Lynching’ and the same is punishable with 7 years or life imprisonment or death penalty.

Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita repeals 9 provisions of the CrPC, proposes changes to 107 provisions thereof and introduces 9 new provisions. The Bill contains total 533 Sections.

Bharatiya Sakshya Bill repeals 5 existing provisions of the Evidence Act and asks for changes in 23 provisions along with introducing one new provision. It contains 170 Sections in total.

Few new provisions include

Section 109: Organised crime

Section 110: Petty organised crime or organised in general

Section 111: Offence of terrorist actSection 150: Acts endangering sovereignty unity and integrity of India

Section 302: Snatching

The special add-on is the separate provision for Mob Lynching, which would be punishable with 7 years or life imprisonment or death penalty.

With the new law, there shall be Zero FIR- which will enable citizens to lodge a FIR with any police station, no matter their jurisdiction and would be sent over to the concerned Police Station having jurisdiction in the alleged crime within 15 days after registration.

There shall be digitization of complete process starting from registration of FIR to maintenance of Case Diary to filing of Charge sheet and delivery of Judgment.

The added factor would be that there shall be complete trial, including Cross-examination, appeal, to be facilitated via Video conferencing.

As an important feature the punishment for all types of Gang Rape would be 20 yrs or life imprisonment;

Punishment for Rape of minor includes imposition of death penalty;-Charge sheet to be mandatorily filed within 90 days of FIR.

Court may extend such time by further 90 days, taking the total maximum period for winding up investigation to 180 days;

It adds that courts will have to finish framing of charges within 60 days of receiving charge sheet-and the judgment to be mandatorily delivered within 30 days after conclusion of hearing.

Judgment has to be mandatorily made available online within 7 days of pronouncement.

With the new law, the Videography shall be mandatory during Search & Seizure;-Forensic Teams to mandatorily visit crime scenes for offences involving punishment more than 7 years.

There shall be deployment of Mobile FSLs at district level. Also,no case punishable with 7 years or more shall be withdrawn without providing opportunity of hearing to the victim.

The Scope of Summary Ttrials will be expanded to offences punishable upto 3 years (will reduce 40% cases in Sessions courts).

There is provision for separate, harsh punishment for organized crimes along with separate provisions penalizing rape of woman under false pretext of marriage, job, etc.

there shalll be separate provision for chain/mobile ‘Snatching’ and similar miscreant activities;-Punishment for offences against children enhanced from 7 yrs imprisonment to 10 yrs jail term.

To prevent misuse in favour of politically affluent accused, the punishment of death penalty can at max be commuted to life term, punishment of life term may at max be commuted to 7 years imprisonment and punishment of 7 years may be commuted to 3 years imprisonment and no less.

Videography of vehicles seized for involvement in any offence mandatory, whereafter a certified copy will be submitted to the Court to enable disposal of seized vehicle during pendency of trial.

The Criminal laws will be replaced by the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023.

The CrPC of 1973 will be replaced by the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023.

The Indian Evidence Act of 1872 will be replaced by the Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, 2023.


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