May 20, 2024

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Three criminal laws to be effective from July 1

2 min read
Three criminal laws to be effective from July 1
Three criminal laws to be effective from July 1

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The three new criminal laws that were passed by Parliament in 2023 will come into effect from July 1, 2024, according to a notification by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Section 106(2) of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), which provides for punishment of “0-10 years” in “hit and run” cases, has been put on hold. Earlier this year, transporters and drivers across the country struck work to protest the particular provision.

The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagrik Suraksha Sanhita and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam that will replace the Indian Penal Code, 1860; Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898; and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, respectively, received President Droupadi Murmu’s assent on December 25, 2023.

Though the legislations were passed in 2023, the date of implementation was not notified.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (3) of section 1 of the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023 (46 of 2023), the Central Government hereby appoints the 1st day of July, 2024 as the date on which the provisions of the said Sanhita, except the provisions of the entry relating to section 106(2) of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023, in the First Schedule, shall come into force,” the MHA’s notification said.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on December 12, 2023 introduced three revised Bills in the Lok Sabha to replace the existing British-era criminal laws, after withdrawing the previous versions, introduced in August 2023.

Since the new laws will overhaul the criminal justice system, government has sought time to train police officials and the judiciary. While the Union Territories under the Central government have trained police officials on priority, such enthusiasm was seen lacking in States.

Also Read | Revised criminal law bills: Key changes explained

“Not many States have shown the urgency to train the police officials in the new laws. Now that the date to implement the laws have been notified, they do not have an option but to set things in action,” a government official said.

Section 106(2) of the BNS has kept in abeyance, honouring the assurance given by the Union government to the transporters’ associations on January 2. Currently, under Section 304A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which will be replaced by the Sanhita, the punishment for causing death by negligence is two years imprisonment and fine, or both.

Section 106(2) of the Sanhita says: “Whoever causes death of any person by rash and negligent driving of vehicle not amounting to culpable homicide, and escapes without reporting it to a police officer or a Magistrate soon after the incident, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description of a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.”

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