Crime India law

House panel adopts reports on new criminal law Bills

By  Our  Legal  Correspondent

New  Delhi, Nov 8 (IVC)   The Parliamentary Committee on Home  Affairs on Nov  06 adopted three reports on  the  Bills that  seek  to  replace  the existing  criminal  laws .  All ten opposition members  would be submitting  dissent  notes.

                DMK M P  N R  Elango has  taken exception  to  provisions in Bharatiya Nagarik  Suraksha Sanhita. The  committee could  not  adopt the  report in its  last meeting on October 27, after several opposition leaders  sought  more  time  to  read  the  three  reports  on  the  Bharatiya Nyaya  Sanhita (BNS) the Bharatiya  Nagarik  Suraksha  Sanhita (BNSS)  and the  Bharatiya  Sakhya  Adhiniyam (BSA)   that will  replace  the Indian Penal  Code (IPC), the Code  of Criminal  Procedure (Cr.PC) 1973, and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872  respectively.

                Congress  MPs, Adhir  Ranjan Chowdhary and Digvijaya  Sing, along  with   MP  N R Elango have  filed dissent notes ;  the others  are to follow soon.

                Mr  Elango, who was  one of  the first  to submit his dissent note,  has  taken strong  exception  to  the  provision  in the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha  Sanhita  which  has  increased  the police  remand tenure from  the  present 15  days  to  60  days  for  offences  punishable by  10  years  or above  and 40 days  for offences  punishable with less punishment.  He said that these  provisions  should be invoked  in exceptional cases, otherwise, the magistrates  would be discouraged  giving bail.

                He  also  objected to the provision on organized crime    in  the  BNS   which he argued would  clash with the existing laws  in several States  such  as Maharashtra,  Uttar  Pradesh  and Karnataka .  The BNS also  has a provision  to deal  with  terrorism , which Mr Elango  according to  sources,  in his dissent note, argued  would add  unnecessary  confusion  with the existing  Unlawful  Activities  (Prevention)Act.

                The  draft  report  also recommended  that there should  be  parity  in punishment  for  murder  and mob lynching.  The  BNS lays down a minimum of seven years of  punishment  for cases  of mob lynching,  while the  cases  of  murders are punishable by  life  imprisonment or  death. To  remove  this  disparity ,  the committee has  suggested that  the  minimum punishment  clause should  be  removed   for  mob lynching.

                 The  report  on BNS, while  taking  note of  the  Supreme  Court  judgment  on  Section 377 of  IPC that decriminalized  homosexuality , has  suggested  that the  section should   should  be retained for  the  cases of “non-consensual carnal intercourse with  adults, all  acts  of  carnal  intercourse  with  minors  acts of bestiality ,  for  which  there  is  no  provision  in  the  BNS”.

                The  committee, while acknowledging  the Supreme Court  judgement  striking  down section 497 of  IPC  on adultery , said  that  the “institution  of marriage  is considered  sacred  in Indian society  and there is a need  to safeguard  its sanctity.  For  the  sake  of  protecting the  institution of  marriage ,  this  section should  be  retained  by  making  it a gender neutral”.

                The report on BNSS  recommends  that  hand-cuffs  should not  be  on economic offenders.

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