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Sunday, July 21, 2024

India Embraces Three New Criminal Laws

Starting July 1, 2024, three new criminal laws have been implemented nationwide. These laws will replace certain outdated colonial era laws under Indian Penal Code. These laws include replacement of Indian Penal Code or IPC section of 1860.

Criminal Procedure Code or CRPC of 1973 and Indian Evidence Act of 1872. Baharatiye Nayay Sahita and BNS, Baharatiye Nagriksh Surakshath Sanhita, BNSS, Baharatiye Sakshi Adhniam and BNS have been implemented in the place of former.

Here are some important things you should know.

  • Firstly, these laws allowed a zero FIR. Zero FIR refers to filing of a first information report or FIR at any police station regardless of jurisdiction.
  • Secondly, in the FIR both the accused and victims are entitled to receive copies of FIR or police report. This makes the procedure more transparent.
  • Thirdly, the online registration of police complaints in electronic summons will be included to reduce paperwork and ensure efficient communication.
  • Fourthly, there would be a mandatory videography of crime scenes for all heinous crimes. This would strengthen the investigations.

Another important aspect of the law is that the law says that the judgement must be delivered within 45 days of trial completion and charges must be filed within 60 days of the first hearing. Crimes against women and children will be handled with increased sensitivity including the recording of victim statements by female officers.
These new laws include new offenses under its embatt which includes false promises of marriage, gang rape of minors and mob lynching.

The law says that stringent punishments will be given for organized crimes and activities such as kidnapping, robbery, extortion, contract killing, cyber crimes, trafficking of person, drugs or weapons and economic offenses. The most important aspect of the new laws include a new definition of terrorism. Any activity that threatens the unity, integrity, sovereignty or economic security of India with the intent to strike terror among people is considered terrorism.

Another important and eye catching aspects of these criminal laws is that a new definition of gender now includes transgender people.

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