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India Adopts New Criminal Laws: What You Need to Know

Author : Shashwat Srivastava

Updated On : July 3, 2024

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New Delhi, July 1, 2024 - India has introduced three significant new criminal laws that mark a major overhaul of the country's criminal justice system.

These laws, which came into effect on July 1, 2024, replace the colonial-era Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), and the Indian Evidence Act.

The new laws are the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS), and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA).

Rajasthan Judiciary

Key Changes in the New Laws

1. Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) The BNS replaces the 163-year-old IPC with several notable updates:

  • Section Renumbering: Many sections from the IPC have been renumbered. For example, the punishment for murder, previously under Section 302, is now Section 101. Similarly, Section 376, which dealt with rape, is now under Section 63.
  • Community Service: Introduces community service as a form of punishment for certain offenses.
  • Stringent Measures for Sexual Offences: Up to ten years of imprisonment and fines for deceitful sexual intercourse under the pretense of marriage.
  • Organized Crime: Comprehensive scrutiny covering various illegal activities such as kidnapping, extortion, and trafficking.
  • Mob Lynching: Severe penalties for mob lynching, with provisions for life imprisonment or the death penalty for murders committed by a group based on discriminatory grounds.

2. Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) The BNSS replaces the CrPC with several procedural improvements:

  • Bail Provisions: First-time offenders can get bail after serving one-third of their sentence, except for life imprisonment or multiple charges.
  • Forensic Investigations: Mandatory for offenses punishable by at least seven years of imprisonment.
  • Timelines for Procedures: Specific timelines for legal procedures, including the submission of medical reports for rape victims within seven days and delivering judgments within 30 to 60 days after arguments.

3. Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA) Replacing the Indian Evidence Act, the BSA modernizes rules on evidence:

  • Electronic Evidence: Detailed disclosure formats for electronic records and expanded scope of secondary evidence.
  • Victim-Centric Approach: Enhances the focus on victim protection and rights throughout the judicial process.

New Terrorism Law Implementation

As part of the overhaul, the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita introduces stringent measures to combat terrorism.

The new law defines a terrorist act as any activity that threatens India's unity, integrity, sovereignty, or economic security with the intent to create fear among the population.

It includes severe penalties for those involved in terrorism, including life imprisonment and, in certain cases, the death penalty.

This aims to provide a stronger legal framework to combat terrorism and enhance national security.

Implementation and Impact

The new laws were passed by the Parliament in December 2023 and received presidential assent shortly thereafter.

They aim to modernize the legal framework, ensuring it is more attuned to contemporary societal needs and technological advancements.

This overhaul is expected to enhance the efficiency of the judicial process and provide more robust mechanisms to handle modern crimes such as cybercrime and organized crime.

These reforms represent a significant shift from the colonial-era laws, reflecting India's evolving legal landscape and the need for a justice system that is both fair and efficient.​

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India Adopts New Criminal Laws: What You Need to Know

Author : Shashwat Srivastava

July 3, 2024

SHARE

New Delhi, July 1, 2024 - India has introduced three significant new criminal laws that mark a major overhaul of the country's criminal justice system.

These laws, which came into effect on July 1, 2024, replace the colonial-era Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), and the Indian Evidence Act.

The new laws are the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS), and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA).

Rajasthan Judiciary

Key Changes in the New Laws

1. Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) The BNS replaces the 163-year-old IPC with several notable updates:

  • Section Renumbering: Many sections from the IPC have been renumbered. For example, the punishment for murder, previously under Section 302, is now Section 101. Similarly, Section 376, which dealt with rape, is now under Section 63.
  • Community Service: Introduces community service as a form of punishment for certain offenses.
  • Stringent Measures for Sexual Offences: Up to ten years of imprisonment and fines for deceitful sexual intercourse under the pretense of marriage.
  • Organized Crime: Comprehensive scrutiny covering various illegal activities such as kidnapping, extortion, and trafficking.
  • Mob Lynching: Severe penalties for mob lynching, with provisions for life imprisonment or the death penalty for murders committed by a group based on discriminatory grounds.

2. Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) The BNSS replaces the CrPC with several procedural improvements:

  • Bail Provisions: First-time offenders can get bail after serving one-third of their sentence, except for life imprisonment or multiple charges.
  • Forensic Investigations: Mandatory for offenses punishable by at least seven years of imprisonment.
  • Timelines for Procedures: Specific timelines for legal procedures, including the submission of medical reports for rape victims within seven days and delivering judgments within 30 to 60 days after arguments.

3. Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA) Replacing the Indian Evidence Act, the BSA modernizes rules on evidence:

  • Electronic Evidence: Detailed disclosure formats for electronic records and expanded scope of secondary evidence.
  • Victim-Centric Approach: Enhances the focus on victim protection and rights throughout the judicial process.

New Terrorism Law Implementation

As part of the overhaul, the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita introduces stringent measures to combat terrorism.

The new law defines a terrorist act as any activity that threatens India's unity, integrity, sovereignty, or economic security with the intent to create fear among the population.

It includes severe penalties for those involved in terrorism, including life imprisonment and, in certain cases, the death penalty.

This aims to provide a stronger legal framework to combat terrorism and enhance national security.

Implementation and Impact

The new laws were passed by the Parliament in December 2023 and received presidential assent shortly thereafter.

They aim to modernize the legal framework, ensuring it is more attuned to contemporary societal needs and technological advancements.

This overhaul is expected to enhance the efficiency of the judicial process and provide more robust mechanisms to handle modern crimes such as cybercrime and organized crime.

These reforms represent a significant shift from the colonial-era laws, reflecting India's evolving legal landscape and the need for a justice system that is both fair and efficient.​

Download Free CLAT Study Material

Fill your details

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