Parliament panel to discuss new law Bills amid objections from Opposition

Amit Shah had said that these Bills will transform India's criminal justice system and the aim will not be to punish but to provide justice.
Last Updated : 20 August 2023, 10:43 IST

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Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs will have its first meeting on the three Bills to replace Indian Penal Code (IPC), Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and Indian Evidence Act for three days from August 24, whose scheduling has invited objections from the Opposition I.N.D.I.A MPs.

Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla will give presentations on The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023, The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023 and the Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, 2023 from Thursday afternoon and will end on Saturday afternoon.

The MPs were intimated about the schedule of the presentations on August 18 after Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar referred the Bills, which was introduced in Lok Sabha on August 11, to the committee for scrutiny, sources said.

Earlier on August 16, sources said, the MPs had received a letter intimating about a meeting on August 24 morning to "consider and adopt" the draft 245th report of the Committee on 'Prison: Conditions, Infrastructure and Reforms'. Sources said I.N.D.I.A MPs have raised objections on the new schedule.

Seeking rescheduling of the meetings on the Bills to September, Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha floor leader and Committee member Derek O'Brien has written to panel chairman Brijlal, saying that the (first) notice given to them on August 16 stated that a meeting will be held at 11 AM on August 24 to adopt the draft report.

"In accordance with that and the fact that the monsoon session recently ended, the Members have made multiple commitments in their constituency and other parts of their State including programs and meetings. Sir, this is too short a notice (a few days only) for discussion of a Bill with implications of this magnitude," he said.

Opposition sources said they had earlier approached the panel for a discussion on Manipur but the panel head had rejected it saying the agenda had been circulated. Now, they said, the government wants to bulldoze it and wants a three-day discussion in a hurry.

Sources said more Opposition MPs are in the process of submitting letters to seek rescheduling of the event. Recently, reports suggested that Home Minister Amit Shah had met BJP MPs who are part of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs.

Death for mob lynching, community service as punishment for petty offences, using electronic and digital record as evidence and summons through electronic mode form part of three new Bills introduced in Lok Sabha, as the Narendra Modi government intends to replace colonial era codes.

Introducing the Bills, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said that these Bills will transform India's criminal justice system and the aim will not be to punish but to provide justice.

Congress has accused the Home Minister of “lying” and misleading” the Parliament by claiming that some sections like punishment for mob lynching, hate speech, zero-FIR and e-FIR are newly added to a Bill that proposes to repeal colonial era codes when it is already in operation.

Published 20 August 2023, 10:43 IST

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