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New criminal laws: Jharkhand HC issues notice to publication house for printing error in new law book

In the Bare Acts published by Universal LexisNexis, the word 'similar' is missing, leading to a significant error in the interpretation of the law, the judges observed.
Last Updated : 01 July 2024, 19:34 IST

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Ranchi: The Jharkhand High Court on Monday issued a notice to a publishing company for a printing error in the Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita, thereby altering the nature and meaning of the law.

A division bench comprising Justices Ananda Sen and Subhash Chand took suo motu cognisance of the issue, noting a printing mistake in Section 103 (2) of the Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita (BNS) published by M/s Universal LexisNexis.

The court pointed out that Section 103 (2) of the BNS pertains to punishment for murder. According to the Gazette Notification: "When a group of five or more persons acting in concert commits murder on the ground of race, caste or community, sex, place of birth, language, personal belief, or any other similar ground each member of such group shall be published with death or with imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine." However, in the Bare Acts published by Universal LexisNexis, the word "similar" is missing, leading to a significant error in the interpretation of the law, the judges observed.

The court directed the publication house to immediately take corrective steps for the copies it has published and refrain from selling them to customers. The matter has been scheduled for hearing by the Acting Chief Justice, the bench announced.

The court emphasised the critical importance of accuracy in legal publications, stating, "Today marks a significant day for the Indian Legal System with the introduction of the Bharatiya Nagrik Suraksha Sanhita, Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita, and Bharatiya Saksha Sanhita. These laws have seen numerous publications in the form of bare acts, books, and manuals, all of which are in high demand."

"These publications are acquired by lawyers, courts, libraries, enforcement agencies, and various institutions. Hence, any publication of these laws must be free from errors. Even a minor typographical error or omission can lead to significant misinterpretations and implications. Such errors could result in injustice and embarrassment to all parties involved, including lawyers and the courts," the judges added.

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Published 01 July 2024, 19:34 IST

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