The new criminal laws will come into force from today.


India's legal system is enthusiastically welcoming the new criminal laws that came into effect today (July 1), replacing the decades-old Indian Penal Code, the Indian Evidence Act and the Criminal Code. The IPC (1860) and the Evidence Act (1872), which were enacted during the British rule, have been replaced by Bharatiya Naya Sanhita and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhanim. The Indian Penal Code, 1973 has been replaced by the Indian Civil Protection Act.

These laws were approved by Parliament in December last year. Although they received presidential assent the same month, the central government delayed their implementation. On February 24, the government notified that these rules will come into effect from July 1.

There is widespread concern in the legal community about the impact of the new laws, as several prominent legal experts, state bar councils and bar associations have expressed protest. The Bar Council of India had last week assured the legal community that it would convey the bar's concerns about the new rules to the central government. Recommending the formation of an expert committee to study the new laws, the Bar Council appealed to lawyers to refrain from protests and demonstrations against their implementation.

Although the government said the new laws would overhaul and modernize the Indian legal system, many critics argued that the legislation contained nothing particularly new, as most of the provisions of the old laws were retained. is, but with different numbers. and labeling. Thus, although these laws offer nothing new in the way of reform, they are likely to cause a lot of trouble for the police, lawyers and judges who will have to learn a new set of the same old provisions. Critics say. It has also been pointed out that the old laws regarding pending cases and offenses till July 1, 2024 will continue to apply for at least two or three decades. Together, the rules lead to potential confusion and mistakes.

Concerns are also being expressed about the new provisions widening the scope of police custody.

The Supreme Court has refused to entertain two PILs challenging the new laws. While one application was rejected on the grounds that it was filed before the new rules came into force, the other was rejected on the grounds that it was poorly drafted.

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud recently commented that the new laws will have a positive impact only if necessary investments are made early in infrastructure development and capacity building of forensic experts and investigating officers. .

Here is a compilation of articles published in LiveLaw explaining, analyzing and criticizing these laws.

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