The Supreme Court of Indian premises in New Delhi.
The Supreme Court of Indian premises in New Delhi.File Photo| Shekhar Yadav, EPS

SC to hear PIL challenging three new criminal laws on May 20

The plea contends that the new criminal laws suffer from “many defects and discrepancies” and that they "were enacted without any parliamentary debate."

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court is slated to hear on Monday a public interest litigation (PIL) against the three criminal laws replacing the IPC, CrPC and Evidence Act.

As per the cause list published on the apex court's website, a vacation bench of Justices Bela M Trivedi and Pankaj Mithal will hear the matter on May 20.

The Lok Sabha, on December 21 2023, passed three key legislations -- the Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita (BNS), the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita (BNSS) and the Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Act (BSA). President Droupadi Murmu had already gave her assent to the bills on December 25 2023.

Vishal Tiwari, a lawyer, filed before the apex court, claimed that the three new criminal laws suffer from many "defects and discrepancies".

Tiwari, in his plea filed before the Supreme Court challenged the three new laws -- BNS, BNSS, and BSA -- passed by the Parliament that replaced the old British colonial era Indian Penal Code (IPC), Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Indian Evidence Act (IEA) of 1872.

Tiwari, in his PIL (Public Interest Litigation) a copy accessed by TNIE, sought directions from the SC to the govt of India to immediately constitute an expert committee under the chairmanship of a former judge of the Supreme Court and its members comprising of judges, senior advocates to examine the three new criminal laws.

Tiwari also sought a direction from the SC that the expert committee should be directed to examine, assess, identify the viability of the three new criminal laws being BNS 2023, BNSS and BSA 2023.

The three new laws -- BNS, BNSS and BSA -- replaced the old British colonial era -- the IPC, CrPC and IEA of 1872.

It it to be noted that the Union govt claimed that these three new criminal laws aim to provide better and clear definitions of the offences and punishments related to crimes and also better dispensation of justice to litigants.

However, the petitioner opposed it and said that the three new criminal laws were passed and enacted without any parliamentary debate as unfortunately most of the members were under suspension during the period.

"The Bharatiya Nagrik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita Bill, 2023 has not adequately shed the colonial vestiges. There is no substantial attempt to regulate and curtail police authority or to mitigate the overarching control the State exercises over its citizens. All things considered, the Bharatiya Nagrik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita Bill, 2023 falls far short of the proclaimed decolonisation, as it continues to give power to police and suppress the rights of the Citizens and make a Police State just like the Colonial Period," Tiwari said in his petition.

(With inputs from PTI)

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