The draft report on three proposals to replace the current criminal laws was not presented at the meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs on Friday. This came about in response to demands by the opposition leaders, including P Chidambaram of the Congress, Derek O Brien of the TMC, and NR Elango of the DMK, for more time to review the drafts, according to sources. The LoP of the Lok Sabha and Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary also made this demand. The bill names were another concern brought up by these MPs.
The next meeting of the committee will be held on November 6, 2023. Earlier, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs headed by Bharatiya Janata Party MP Brij Lal began got underway today. The meeting of the Parliamentary Committee was held in the committee room of the Parliament House Annexe.
The panel reviewed the draft reports on the three bills- The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita 2023′, ‘The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita 2023’ and ‘The Bharatiya Sakshya 2023’- that seek to replace the existing criminal laws. The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita 2023, the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita 2023, and the Bharatiya Sakshya Bill 2023 were introduced in the Lower House of Parliament on August 11.
These bills seek to replace the Indian Penal Code (IPC) 1860, Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973, and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 respectively. While introducing the bills, Home Minister Amit Shah said the soul of these three new laws will be to protect all the rights given by the Constitution to the citizens. “British-era laws were made to strengthen and protect their rule and their purpose was to punish, not to give justice,” he said.
“We (government) are going to bring changes in both these fundamental aspects. The soul of these three new laws will be to protect all the rights given by the Constitution to Indian citizens. The objective will not be to punish anyone but to give justice and in this process, punishment will be given where it is required to create a sense of prevention of crime,” Shah stressed.
The Home Minister said that the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita Bill, which will replace CrPC, will now have 533 sections. “A total of 160 sections have been changed, nine new sections have been added and nine sections have been repealed,” he said.
The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill, which will replace the IPC, will have 356 sections instead of the earlier 511 sections, the minister said, adding that 175 sections have been amended, 8 new sections have been added and 22 sections have been repealed. Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, which will replace the Evidence Act, will now have 170 sections instead of the earlier 167. Shah said 23 sections have been changed, one new section has been added and five repealed.