Are the New Criminal Laws the Solution?

New Criminal Laws


Author: Hriday Verma

Published: July 2, 2024

India’s legal landscape has recently witnessed a monumental transformation with the enactment of three pivotal new criminal laws. These reforms aim to modernize outdated legislation, enhance justice delivery, and empower citizens across the country.

New Criminal Laws Key Features

Impact and implications for the Indian judicial system –

1. Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS)

The BNS replaces the 163-year-old Indian Penal Code (IPC) and introduces significant changes to the criminal justice system. Here are some key points:

  • Reduced Sections: The BNS has 358 sections, compared to the IPC’s 511 sections.
  • New Offenses: It includes 21 new offenses, such as penalizing sexual intercourse through deceitful means.
  • Dealing with Deceit: These new criminal laws address deceit, covering false promises related to employment, promotion, or marriage.

2. Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS)

The BNSS replaces the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and focuses on maintaining a balance between police powers and individual rights:

  • Check and Balance on Police Powers: The BNSS obliges state governments to designate a police officer responsible for maintaining information on all arrests. This information must be prominently displayed in police stations and district headquarters.
  • Fighting Crime Against Women: The BNSS introduces electronic First Information Reports (e-FIRs) for swift reporting of offenses against women. It aims to overcome traditional barriers and empower survivors to navigate the legal process without fear of stigma.

3. Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA)

The BSA replaces the Indian Evidence Act and focuses on reducing overcrowding in prisons:

  • Reduced Detention Period: Undertrials (first-time offenders) now face reduced detention periods under certain circumstances.
  • Empowering Jail Superintendents: Jail superintendents can assist accused or undertrials in applying for bail.

These new criminal laws in India prioritize justice over punishment, aiming to strengthen the judicial system and provide speedy justice for all. These reforms mark a significant shift away from colonial-era laws and emphasize the spirit of Indian justice

Leave a comment