Government Introduces Bills To Replace British-Era Laws On IPC, CrPC, Indian Evidence Act

Amit Shah unveils plans to modernise the legal system in India.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>File image of the Parliament building in Delhi.&nbsp;(Source: Reuters)</p></div>
File image of the Parliament building in Delhi. (Source: Reuters)

In a significant move, the central government presented a trio of bills in the Lok Sabha today, signaling an intent to replace the Indian Penal Code, the Criminal Procedure Code and the Indian Evidence Act.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah introduced three crucial bills namely The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023; The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023; and The Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, 2023. Shah also assured that the bills will go through a thorough examination by a Parliamentary panel.

Shah said in the Lok Sabha that the laws being replaced are British laws that were aimed at strengthening the British power by punishing people rather than giving them justice. However, the aim of the new law will not be to punish people but to provide them justice, he said.

In his address, Shah highlighted that the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita abolishes the offense of sedition, includes clauses pertaining to "offences against the State”, and addresses "acts endangering the sovereignty, unity, and integrity of India". 

The Bill further has measures to penalise the act of "mob lynching", with potential sentences of seven years, life imprisonment, or even the death penalty, he said.

Shah also mentioned several other reforms that would be brought through these bills, including the empowerment of the zero FIR system, digitisation of the legal process from filing an FIR to delivery of judgments, and introducing provisions to take swift actions against civil servants accused of criminal offenses, among others.