Bengal CM Mamata writes to PM Modi, seeks deferment of three criminal laws

Mamata Banerjee noted that the three bills were passed in Lok Sabha at a time when 146 MPs had been suspended.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal CM Mamata BanerjeeFile photo

NEW DELHI: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to defer the implementation of the three "hurriedly passed" criminal laws that are set to be rolled out on July 1, saying it would enable Parliament to review them afresh.

In a letter to PM Modi, the Trinamool Congress chief expressed grave concern over the impending implementation of the three laws - The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNA) 2023, The Bharatiya Sakhsya Act (BSA) 2023, and The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) 2023.

She noted that the three bills were passed in Lok Sabha at a time when 146 MPs had been suspended.

"The outgoing government of yours had passed these three critical bills unilaterally, and with absolutely no debate. That day, almost 100 members of the Lok Sabha had been suspended and a total 146 MPs of the both Houses were thrown out of Parliament," Banerjee said.

"The Bills were passed in an authoritarian manner in that dark hour of democracy. Matter deserves review now," she said.

"I urge your esteemed office now to consider at least a deferment of the implementation date. Reasons are two-fold: ethical, and practical," she said.

She said significant legislative changes should be placed before the newly elected Parliament for fresh deliberation and scrutiny.

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"Given the wide-ranging reservations expressed in the public domain regarding the hurriedly passed new laws, fresh Parliamentary review of these attempts would demonstrate a commitment to democratic principles. This approach would afford the newly elected people's representatives an opportunity to thoroughly examine the proposed," she said.

Banerjee said the request for postponement also stems from a pragmatic assessment of the challenges and preparatory work required for a smooth transition, particularly concerning the training of law enforcement personnel and judicial officers.

"Any far-reaching legal change requires meticulous groundwork beforehand to ensure effective enforcement and administration and we do not have any reason to avert such homework," she said.

"I humbly request you to consider our appeal for a deferment of the implementation of The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNA) 2023, The Bharatiya Sakhsya Adhiniyam (BSA) 2023, and The Bhartiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) 2023," she said.

"We believe this postponement will enable a renewed Parliamentary review/mandate, reinforce public trust in the legal system, and uphold the rule of law in our beloved country," Banerjee added.

The three new criminal laws will come into force from July 1, Union Law and Justice minister Arjun Ram Meghwal has said.

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