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Experts feel new laws won’t affect public immediately

While some advocates think that dealing with both old and new laws will be a long-drawn-out process, others are confident they have the experience of facing an entirely new statute or overall amended statute.
Last Updated : 01 July 2024, 03:14 IST

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With three new criminal laws coming into force from Monday, the legal fraternity has a mixed opinion about the time it might take them to adopt the new statutes. They feel they will continue to deal with old laws for at least the next 20 years. 

While some advocates think that dealing with both old and new laws will be a long-drawn-out process, others are confident they have the experience of facing an entirely new statute or overall amended statute.  Legal experts say the new laws will not have any immediate impact on the general public. 

“According to me, they (new laws) will not impact the general public. The accused who faces the investigation/trial will only be worried about what is the offence and punishment. The procedural aspect of it is all insignificant either to the victim or the accused for the time being. It will be a greater challenge for advocates, who play the role of prosecutor or the defence lawyer, and for courts in dealing with the complexities,” said S S Srinivas Rao, an advocate in the High Court of Karnataka. 

The Advocates Association Bangalore (AAB) has organised a month-long workshop for its members on the new central laws. 

Similar training sessions/lectures have been organised for magistrates and sessions court judges. Such training sessions too are not sufficient to fully understand the new laws, said Rao, who recently addressed such workshops for IPS officers and judicial officers in Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. The option to conduct the trial via video conference is one thing that never existed in criminal procedure, he said. 

“We have seen how classes were conducted during the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on students. If students cannot be taught effectively via video conference, can you expect the courts to decide the fate of the accused online,” Rao said, adding that there were several such provisions in the new laws pertaining to bail, custody and panchanama. 

More than advocates, police personnel will face greater challenges, says senior advocate Uday Holla.

“Advocates and judges have had the experience of dealing with entirely new sets of statues. Take for example the Companies Act 1956. In 2013, altogether a new Act was introduced. As the time passed, the higher courts interpreted the provisions of the new Companies Act and lawyers got used to it. Moreover, judges will have the benefit of the two sides of the case to understand better, with prosecution on one side and the defence on the other. In my opinion, policemen will take more time and require more training,” he explained.

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Published 01 July 2024, 03:14 IST

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