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NEW CRIMINAL LAWS EFFECTIVE JULY 1



  Jun 20, 2024

NEW CRIMINAL LAWS EFFECTIVE JULY 1



In a landmark move to reform the criminal justice system, three newly enacted laws—the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS), and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA)—will come into effect from July 1, 2024. These laws will replace the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), and the Indian Evidence Act of 1872, respectively.

Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS)

Key Changes:

• Community Service: Introduction of community service as a form of punishment.
• Stringent Measures for Sexual Offences: Up to ten years of imprisonment and fines for deceitful sexual intercourse.
• Organised Crime: Comprehensive legal scrutiny for a wide range of illegal activities including kidnapping, robbery, and human trafficking.
• National Security: Definition and stringent penalties for terrorist acts.
• Mob Lynching: Severe penalties, including death or life imprisonment, for mob lynching.

Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS)

Key Changes:

• Bail for Under-trial Prisoners: First-time offenders can get bail after serving one-third of their maximum sentence.
• Mandatory Forensic Investigation: Required for offences punishable by at least seven years of imprisonment.
• Timelines for Procedures: Specific timelines for various legal procedures to expedite the criminal justice process.



Hierarchy of Courts:


• Magistrate’s Courts
• Sessions Courts
• High Courts
• Supreme Court

Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA)

Key Changes:

• Electronic Evidence: Streamlined rules and expanded scope of secondary evidence.
• Detailed Disclosure Formats: New schedule prescribing detailed disclosure format for electronic records.

FAQs

1. What is the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS)?
The BNS replaces the IPC and introduces significant changes in penal law, including community service as punishment, stringent measures for sexual offences, and comprehensive legal scrutiny for organised crime.

2. How does the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) change criminal procedures?
The BNSS replaces the CrPC and introduces key procedural changes, such as bail for under-trial prisoners, mandatory forensic investigations for serious crimes, and specific timelines for legal procedures to expedite the criminal justice process.

3. What are the key features of the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA)?
The BSA replaces the Evidence Act, updating rules on electronic evidence and expanding the scope of secondary evidence with detailed disclosure formats for electronic records.

4. How will mob lynching be addressed under the new laws?
Mob lynching involving five or more individuals will be punishable by death or life imprisonment, with additional fines imposed on each member of the group.

5. What procedural timelines are introduced in the BNSS?
Medical reports must be submitted within seven days, judgments delivered within 30-60 days, victims notified of investigation progress within 90 days, and Sessions courts must frame charges within 60 days from the first hearing.

6. What changes are made regarding electronic evidence under the BSA?
The BSA streamlines rules on electronic evidence, expands the definition of secondary evidence, and introduces detailed disclosure formats for electronic records, moving beyond mere affidavits.

These new laws represent a significant overhaul of India’s criminal justice system, aiming to modernize and expedite legal processes while addressing contemporary issues.


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