Proposed criminal laws have people centric nature, says Amit Shahtext_fields
New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah addressed the International Lawyers' Conference organised by the Bar Council of India, highlighting the people-centric nature of the three proposed criminal laws and their alignment with the Indian context.
He emphasised that the primary objective of these bills is to safeguard the constitutional, human, and personal rights of citizens.
The three bills in question - Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS-2023), Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS-2023), and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA-2023) - were introduced in the Lok Sabha on August 11 and are set to replace the Indian Penal Code, 1860, Criminal Procedure Act, 1898, and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, respectively.
Shah conveyed that these new laws deviate from the colonial imprint of the old criminal justice system and embody the essence of Indian values. He emphasised that their core purpose is to protect the rights of citizens, both constitutional and human, as well as their personal rights.
The Home Minister called upon lawyers across the country to contribute their suggestions to these bills, with the aim of creating laws that benefit all segments of society.
Shah outlined that these new laws represent a comprehensive transformation of criminal legislation to meet the contemporary demands of society. He highlighted three key initiatives by the government to establish a law-friendly ecosystem: e-courts, the Inter-operable Criminal Justice System (ICJS), and the integration of new technology into the proposed laws.
The introduction of these initiatives is expected to significantly reduce delays in the criminal justice system within a decade, according to Shah.
He contrasted the old laws, which aimed to strengthen British rule and focused on punishment, with the new legislation's commitment to delivering justice rather than punishment. The revised laws promote the use of technology, expand the definition of documents to include electronic and digital records, and validate summons through various electronic modes, from SMS to email.
Shah mentioned that the new laws also address mob lynching, abolish sections related to sedition, and legalise community service.
The minister urged lawyers nationwide to scrutinise the bills in detail and provide their valuable suggestions for consideration before finalising the laws. He underscored Prime Minister Narendra Modi's belief in stakeholder consultation to enhance the effectiveness of laws, emphasising that complete justice can be comprehended by studying the laws that impact all facets of society.