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Explained | Three new criminal laws come into force on July 1: What it means, what remains, what was removed

The shift to the new criminal code regime comes even as the Opposition demanded a postponement in its implementation citing that it was discussed in their absence in Parliament during the previous Lok Sabha.
Last Updated : 30 June 2024, 19:30 IST

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Colonial era criminal codes will make way for the newly enacted Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam from Monday with the government promising that it will completely overhaul the criminal justice system in the country. The shift to the new criminal code regime comes even as the Opposition demanded a postponement in its implementation citing that it was discussed in their absence in Parliament during the previous Lok Sabha.

While states, police forces and judicial agencies have conducted training sessions, there are apprehensions about a smooth rollout of the new codes, which were passed in Parliament on December 21 last year and got President's assent four days later. Here's a lowdown on the same:

What replaces what?

The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita will replace the 163-year-old Indian Penal Code while Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita  will make way for the 126-year-old Criminal Procedure Code and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam replaces the 151-year-old Indian Evidence Act. A large part of the existing codes were retained.

What are the sections?

Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita: 358 IPC: 511

Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita: 531 CrPC: 478

Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam: 170 IEA: 167

New Criminal Codes: What stays, what goes

Provides for trial and judgement of those who are absconding

Allows of technology and forensic sciences in investigation of crime

Allows issuing summons through electronic communication

Summary trial made mandatory for petty and less serious cases  

Victim will have the opportunity to be heard before the withdrawal of a case in which the punishment is above seven years.

Accused could be examined through electronic means like video conferencing during court hearings

Statement of rape victims to be recorded by woman police personnel in presence of her guardian or relative

Medical reports to come within seven days

Arrested person has right to inform a person of his choice about her arrest

Provisions for Zero FIR, e-FIR 

Forensic examination mandatory for offences punishable with seven years or more. Forensic experts to visit crime scenes and collect evidence

Maximum of two adjournments to avoid unnecessary delays in case hearings

Women, persons below 15 years and above 60 years, and those with disabilities or acute illnesses exempted from going to police stations

Mandatory videography of crime scenes

Omits criminalisation of non-consensual homosexual activities

Organised crimes and organised petty crimes defined

Marital rape not included in code

Minimum 20 year prison term and penalty is a girl below 12 years raped

Community service introduced for petty offences like causing annoyance by a drunkard

Attempting suicide remains offence, community service along with jail term

Terrorism defined

All trials, inquiries, and proceedings may be held in electronic mode

Electronic or digital record admissible as evidence

Allows 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. 

Colonial' words in IPC, CrPC, Evidence Act removed

Parliament of the United Kingdom

 Provincial Act

London Gazette

Jury, Barrister, Lahore, Commonwealth

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Her Majesty's Government

Possession of the British Crown

Her Majesty's Dominions

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Published 30 June 2024, 19:30 IST

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