Govt withdraws 3 new criminal law bills, to be introduced afresh as per recommend of panel

The Center has decided to withdraw three new criminal law bills from the Lok Sabha to bring in new draft laws that reflect some of the changes suggested by a parliamentary panel, including the provision of protection for accused with “unsound mind” and “mental illness”. Including replacing “. Indian Judicial Code (BNS) in 2023.

The BNS 2023 is meant to replace the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which provides protection from prosecution to a person of unsound mind. BNS turns it into a person with mental illness. The parliamentary panel headed by BJP MP Brij Lal was of the opinion that the government should bring back the term “of unsound mind” as the meaning of “mental illness” is “too broad” and can also include mood swings and voluntary intoxication.

“The Committee has accordingly recommended that the word ‘mental illness’ wherever it occurs in this Code, be changed to ‘of unsound mind’ as the present person may create problems during the trial stage, as an accused The person can only show that he was unsound. The report of the panel states that he was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of committing the offense and he cannot be prosecuted even if he has committed the offense without intoxication. .

According to sources, the government has accepted the suggestion. Sources said the government has rejected the proposal to retain the crime of adultery in BNS 2023 and criminalize non-consensual sex between men, women and/or transgender persons by once again reintroducing Section 377 of the IPC. Is done.

BNS has removed section 497 of the IPC as the Supreme Court had decriminalized adultery in a judgment in 2018.

However, the Committee has expressed concern that the provision needs to be retained to protect the sanctity of the institution of marriage, while changes may be made to address the gender discrimination aspect.

Sources said that the government does not agree with this. The redrafted bills may face opposition from the Indian faction in Parliament. The opposition parties have already decided to coordinate their floor strategy in Parliament on the three bills as well as the Chief Election Commissioner and other EC (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Tenure of Office) Bills.

They have decided to demand that all three bills be referred to a joint select committee. The bills have already been examined by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, and the government is unlikely to accede to the opposition’s demand.

On August 11, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had introduced three bills in the Lok Sabha which were sent to the Standing Committee on the same day.

A new provision on mob lynching, providing for seven years’ imprisonment or life imprisonment or death penalty; Enabling speedy justice through video trials, e-filing of FIRs; expanding the definition of treason; bringing corruption, terrorism and organized crime under penal laws; introducing community service and solitary confinement as new forms of punishment; to conduct a hearing in the absence of an accused; The new bills provide for significant changes in criminal jurisprudence – among others.