Amit Shah defends new criminal laws amid opposition criticism

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that with the implementation of the new laws, India would have the most modern criminal justice system in the world.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah addresses a press conference regarding the new criminal laws, in New Delhi, Monday.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah addresses a press conference regarding the new criminal laws, in New Delhi, Monday.Photo | PTI

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who spearheaded the three new criminal laws, which came into effect on Monday said that it has an emphasis on justice rather than punishment. Shah appealed to the Opposition not to indulge in politics over them, claiming that the laws were brought after wide consultation.

The Home Minister, however, maintained that he and the government are open to any constructive suggestions and if required, changes in the laws could be incorporated.

“I am ready to meet anyone who wants. We will meet and also review. But please do not do politics,” he said at a press conference, replying to questions about protests from opposition leaders.

Rejecting the criticism that the three new criminal laws – Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA) - were draconian and repressive, the Home Minister said, they were modern, designed to protect the rights of the victims and fix accountability on police forces to improve criminal justice system in India.

Shah went on to add that the criticisms are parochial and jaded arguments, which are aimed at misleading the people.

“These laws were passed after debates in both the Houses and was scrutinised by a parliamentary standing committee," he said, adding that most of the suggestions given by the opposition members in the panel were accepted “except those with political colour”.

To a question about the protest by Tamil Nadu MPs against the Hindi names of the new laws, he said these statutes are available in Tamil language and also all the languages listed in the Constitution’s eighth schedule.

The BNS, the BNSS and the BSA have now replaced the British-era Indian Penal Code (IPC), Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Indian Evidence Act, respectively.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge in one of his ‘X’ posts said, “After the political and moral shock in the elections, Modi ji and the BJP are pretending to respect the Constitution, but the truth is that the three laws of the criminal justice system which are being implemented from today, were passed forcibly after suspension of 146 MPs.”

He went on to assert: “INDIA will no longer allow this ‘bulldozer justice’ to prevail in the parliamentary system.”

Meanwhile, highlighting the merit of the three laws, Shah said now justice would be delivered up to the level of the Supreme Court in all cases within three years of the registration of an FIR under the new criminal laws. He also said that with a quick and high conviction rate (90 percent), there is a possibility of reduction of crime.

Shah said that with the implementation of the new laws, India would have the most modern criminal justice system in the world.

“The new laws brought in a modern justice system, incorporating provisions such as Zero FIR, online registration of police complaints, summons through electronic modes such as SMS and mandatory videography of crime scenes for all heinous crimes,” he noted.

Shah said the first case registered under the new laws was about a motorcycle theft in Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior at 10 minutes past midnight. He also said the police dismissed the case filed against a street vendor for selling water and tobacco products from a cart that allegedly obstructed people’s movement in central Delhi’s Kamla Market area.

Noting that the judicial process would now be time bound and the new laws set time limits for the judicial system, Shah said, the new statutes were made more sensitive by adding a chapter on crimes against children and women and the inquiry report in such cases were to be filed within seven days. He said now judgment in criminal cases had to come within 45 days of completion of trial and charges must be framed within 60 days of first hearing.

Claiming the new laws as justice-centric, he said provisions have been made for community service for minor crimes. He said, organised crime, acts of terrorism and mob lynching had been defined, sedition was replaced with treason and video recording of all search and seizures made mandatory.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah addresses a press conference regarding the new criminal laws, in New Delhi, Monday.
As new criminal law comes into force, Delhi cops lodge FIR

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com