Pocket book in hand, Delhi cops slog to memorise new laws

In the last 15 days, Delhi Police personnel have initiated a trial process where they registered dummy FIRs.
As per the new law, the evidence collection process at the crime scene will be mandatorily videographed to prevent evidence tampering.
As per the new law, the evidence collection process at the crime scene will be mandatorily videographed to prevent evidence tampering.

NEW DELHI: Delhi Police personnel carrying a small 5”X3” pocket-friendly book in their hands, be it while policing or having their meals, has become a common sight these days.

As Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), 2023, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS), 2023, and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA), 2023, to replace the Indian Penal Code, 1860, the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, are set to be rolled out from July 1. That small book is the training module, where sections of BNS sections are listed on the right side, and their corresponding IPC sections are on the left.

The police personnel could be seen memorising them.

In January this year, a 14-member committee was constituted to study the laws and prepare the study material for its personnel. The committee was led by Special Commissioner of Police Chhaya Sharma and comprised DCP Joy Tirkey, Additional DCP Uma Shankar and other officers.

In the last 15 days, Delhi Police personnel have initiated a trial process where they registered dummy FIRs. The Investigative Officers (IOs) captured pictures and recorded the crime scene with their mobile phone cameras and subsequently uploaded them on the e-Praman Application.

As per the new law, the evidence collection process at the crime scene will be mandatorily videographed to prevent evidence tampering.

“At times, there were some glitches while uploading the pictures and videos, but all things were sorted during the trial period,” a senior police officer told this newspaper. He said that the training of the police personnel is complete, but understanding the new laws will be a continuous process.

Another officer said that the police are planning to launch a helpline number for the IOs to help them in understanding any element of the law which they might face during investigation.

“Any person from July 1 onward can report incidents by electronic communication without the need to physically visit a police station. This allows for easier and quicker reporting, facilitating prompt action by the police,” the officer said.

An interesting addition to the law is that in the event of an arrest, the individual has the right to inform a person of his choice about their situation. This will ensure immediate support and assistance to the arrested individual.

Besides, arrest details will now be prominently displayed within police stations and district headquarters, allowing families and friends of the arrested person easy access to important information.

To strengthen the case and investigations, it has become mandatory for forensic experts to visit crime scenes for serious offences and collect evidence.

A senior FSL official, speaking to this newspaper, said that they are all prepared for July 1. Multiple forensic teams have been set up and will remain ready round the clock to assist the police and examine the crime scene.

In the new law, sections for offences against women & children and offences affecting the human body (murder) have been given precedence. Further, the offences against women and children which were scattered throughout in the erstwhile IPC have been brought together and have been consolidated under one chapter.

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