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Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita 2023:Legal Transformation



  Dec 22, 2023

Code of Criminal Procedure Replaced by the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023



Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC)

Nature: A procedural law for administering the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Functions: Governs investigation, arrest, prosecution, and bail for offenses.

History: Originated in 1861, revised multiple times. The current version enacted in 1973 introduced changes.

2005 Amendment: Added provisions for plea bargaining and rights of arrested persons.

Supreme Court Interpretations: Key rulings include mandatory FIR registration for cognizable offenses, making arrests an exception for less severe crimes, and ensuring absolute bail rights for bailable offenses. The Court also set guidelines for custodial interrogations and emphasized speedy trials.

Challenges: Continues to grapple with issues like case backlogs, trial delays, and treatment of underprivileged groups.

Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023 (BNSS)

Purpose: Aims to replace the CrPC.

Changes from CrPC: The BNSS introduces new provisions and modifications to existing procedures in line with contemporary legal requirements and societal changes. The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023

Highlights of the Bill

Purpose: Aims to replace the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC), covering arrest, prosecution, and bail procedures.

Mandatory Forensic Investigation: For crimes with 7+ years imprisonment. Forensic experts will collect and record evidence at crime scenes.

Electronic Mode Trials: Allows trials, inquiries, and proceedings to be conducted electronically, including the use of electronic communication devices for evidence.

Absentee Trial of Proclaimed Offenders: Permits trials and judgment pronouncements in the absence of offenders who evade arrest.

Collection of Samples: Permits collection of finger impressions, voice samples, and handwriting/signature specimens, even from non-arrested individuals.

Key Issues and Analysis

Police Custody Extension: Allows up to 15 days of police custody, potentially denying bail if police haven't used all 15 days during the 60 or 90 days of judicial custody.

Property Attachment: Lacks safeguards present in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act for attaching property from crime proceeds.

Bail Denial in Multiple Charges: Denies bail for those with multiple charges, potentially impacting many cases with charges under multiple sections.

Handcuff Use: Permits handcuffing in various cases, including organized crime, which may contradict Supreme Court guidelines.

Lack of High-Level Committee Recommendations: Does not include proposed reforms in sentencing guidelines or codified rights of the accused.It doesn't have the recommended changes in how punishments are decided or specific rights for people accused of crimes.


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