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New criminal laws focus on justice than mere punishment: Law Minister Meghwal

Meghwal emphasized that the formulation of these laws involved extensive consultations with stakeholders, including MPs, and MLAs across party lines, including common citizens, and incorporated recommendations from the Law Commission of India.
Last Updated : 01 July 2024, 15:19 IST

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Mumbai: The new criminal laws are for providing 'justice' in contrast to colonial legislations where the focus was on ‘punishment', Law & Justice Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said.

The three new laws - Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), Bharatiya Nagrik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA) replaced the Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, the Indian Evidence Act and came into force from Monday.

“The new criminal laws are for providing 'justice' in contrast to colonial legislations where the focus was on ‘punishment’…these laws aim to prioritize 'justice' over mere 'punishment', marking a departure from the Colonial-era legislations,” Meghwal said in Mumbai on Sunday evening while addressing a one-day conference titled 'India's Progressive Path in the Administration of Criminal Justice System' at the NSCI Auditorium at Worli.

Meghwal emphasized that the formulation of these laws involved extensive consultations with stakeholders, including MPs, and MLAs across party lines, including common citizens, and incorporated recommendations from the Law Commission of India. “This inclusive approach ensures that the legislation reflects diverse perspectives and addresses contemporary challenges in administering criminal justice,” he said.

Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya, the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court, emphasized the critical role of implementation, urging responsibility among those tasked with delivering justice under the new legal framework.

Justice Manindra Mohan Shrivastava, the Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court, highlighted the progressive elements embedded within the new laws to redefine India's legal landscape.

Justice Gurmeet Singh Sandhawalia, the Acting Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, underscored that criminal laws form the backbone of the legal system.

The objective of the Conference was to familiarize the participants with the provisions of the new legislation. These laws replace the archaic colonial-era statutes - the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860), Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), and Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (1 of 1872).

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Published 01 July 2024, 15:19 IST

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