PIL filed in Supreme Court for stay of new criminal laws

The petitioners also claimed the title of the laws are not accurate and do not speak about the statute and its motive.
Last Updated : 27 June 2024, 14:10 IST

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New Delhi: A PIL has been filed before the Supreme Court of India seeking directions to stay the new criminal laws set to come into operation since July 1, 2924 and set up an expert committee to assess their viability as they suffered from various defects and discrepancies.

The plea claimed the new criminal laws do not bring any new substantial changes from the previous ones. Instead, it created confusion among citizens and provided more power to police and suppress the fundamental rights of people. 

"The main motive of the bills were to decolonise the Indian laws, but in contrary the same laws are being repeated with no new explanations with additional powers granted to the police to rule people out of fear and depriving the fundamental rights," the plea claimed.

The three new amended criminal laws, named as the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023, the Bharatiya Nagrik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023 and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023 have been passed by Parliament in December, 2023.

The petitioners also claimed the title of the laws are not accurate and do not speak about the statute and its motive. The plea also cited irregularity in the passage of bills in Parliament as several members were suspended which resulted into no debate on their elements.

Among other grounds, the PIL claimed the introduction of new criminal laws can potentially impact lawyers in various ways, posing a range of challenges.

The PIL filed by Anjali Patel and Chhaya through advocates Sanjeev Malhotra and Kunwar Siddhartha, highlighted major issues with BNSS 2023 that it allowed up to 15 days of police custody, which can be authorised in parts during the initial 40 or 60 days of the 60 or 90 days period of judicial custody. This may lead to denial of bail for the entire period if the police have not exhausted the 15 days custody, the plea said.

"The BNSS 2023, provides for the use of handcuffs during arrest. The power to use handcuffs may infringe on the accused’s personal liberty. Handcuffs may only be used to arrest a habitual or repeat offender who has escaped custody, or a person accused of offences such as rape, acid attack, organised crime, economic offences, acts endangering sovereignty, unity and integrity of India. The provision contravenes judgments of the Supreme Court and guidelines of the National Human Rights Commission," the plea said. 

Published 27 June 2024, 14:10 IST

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