Stringent Measures: Death Penalty for Mob Lynching and Minor Gang Rape with 3 New Laws Effective July 1, 2024


GG News Bureau
New Delhi, 27th Feb.
The three new criminal laws will go into effect on July 1, 2024, throughout the country, according to a notification released by the Central Government on February 24. The Evidence Act, the Criminal Procedure Code, and the Indian Penal Code will be superseded by the three new criminal laws. President Draupadi Murmu gave her approval to all three of the new criminal justice bills in December. These three new bills were thus signed into law. The Indian Evidence Act, the Indian Civil Code, and the Indian Judicial Code are all included. Following the notification, the previous three criminal laws will be replaced by these three new ones.

Central government issued notification

In this matter, the Home Ministry of the Central Government has issued a notification on Saturday saying that all three criminal laws will come into effect from July 1, 2024. Only Section 106 (2) will come into force now. All three laws were passed by the Parliament on 21 December 2023, after which the President approved them on 25 December 2023. Many terms from the previous colonial era have been eliminated. 475 of these terms, including Jury, Har Hanis, and London Gazette, have been eliminated. The legal sections for crimes such as fraud (420), murder (302), and rape (376), which are listed in the law book, were previously taboo topics. However, this has all changed.

20 new crimes and 358 sections in total

The Indian Judicial Code has 358 sections in total, and it has defined 20 new crimes. Snatching and mob lynching is a couple of these. Also, 33 crimes now carry heavier penalties. Furthermore, the amount of the fine has been raised for 83 such sections or crimes. There are 23 offenses for which a minimum sentence has been established but where it was not mentioned at all. Nineteen sections have been eliminated. In addition, community and social service has been maintained as a form of discipline. Earlier, it wasn’t present. The new law eliminated certain crimes, including treason. The BN 2 Code defines terrorism and lays out the associated penalties in Section 113.

What has changed?

IPC: What constitutes a crime and what is the penalty for committing it? The IPC makes this decision. It will now be referred to as the Indian Judicial Code. BNS will contain 358 sections, compared to 511 sections in the IPC. The list of crimes has grown by 21. For 41 crimes, the length of incarceration has been increased. The penalty for 82 crimes has gone up. For 25 crimes, a mandatory minimum sentence has been imposed. Six crimes will carry a community service punishment, and 19 sections have been removed.

CrPC: The procedure for arrest, investigation and prosecution is written in CrPC. There were 484 sections in CrPC. Now there will be 531 sections in the Indian Civil Defense Code. 177 sections have been changed. 9 new sections have been added and 14 have been eliminated.

Indian Evidence Act: How the facts of the case will be proved, how statements will be recorded, all this is in the Indian Evidence Act. Earlier it had 167 sections. There will be 170 sections in the Indian Evidence Code. Changes have been made in 24 gharas. Two new sections have been added. 6 streams have ended.

Will this get relief from the laws of the British era?

The main objective of these three laws is to change the criminal justice system in the country which was running on the laws dating back to the British era. The crime of treason has also been abolished in these laws. The government has completely abolished section 124 (A) of treason in the new law and converted it into treason. A new section of committing crimes against the state has been included in it. In this new law, crimes like armed rebellion, subversive activities, and crimes endangering sovereignty or unity, separatist activities have been included in treason.

Provision of life imprisonment for harming unity and integrity

Under this new law, if anyone verbally or in writing or symbolically promotes such activities or even attempts to harm unity and integrity, then there is a provision for life imprisonment. . Apart from this, the provision of penalty has also been included in the new law.

Provision for strict punishment on mob lynching

Apart from this, in these new laws, mob lynching, i.e. when a group of 5 or more people together kills on the basis of caste or community etc., then every member of the group will be given life imprisonment. Under the new laws, those guilty of raping a minor can now be given death sentence. Home Minister Amit Shah had also called mob lynching a heinous crime and had talked about the provision of death penalty in the new laws for this crime in the Parliament.

Law to deal strictly with terrorist activities

Apart from this, the new law includes terrorist acts, which were earlier part of special laws like Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, now it has been included in the Indian Judicial Code. At the same time, provisions have been made in the new laws to crack down on small organized crimes like pickpocketing. Along with such crimes, provisions have also been made in the new law to deal with organized crime. Earlier states had their own laws to deal with such organized crimes.

The Indian Civil Defense (Second) Code 2023 will replace the Criminal Procedure Code 1973 (CrPC). CrPC is for arrest, prosecution and bail. The Indian Evidence (Second) Bill 2023 (BSB2) will replace the Indian Evidence Act 1872.

What will be the effect on old cases?

Supreme Court Advocate Virag Gupta says that from the date of implementation of the new criminal law, whenever a crime is committed, it will be recorded in the new law. According to the Constitution, when a crime is committed, the case is prosecuted and punishment is given according to the law in force at that time. In such a situation, when the new law comes into effect, new cases will be registered under the new legal sections and whatever legal process will be decided will be decided under the new law.

After the notification related to the new law is issued, it will come into force in the cases of crimes committed from that date and the already on-going cases will continue in the courts as per the earlier law. That is, in the cases already registered, the charge sheet will be filed under the earlier law and the trial will be conducted under the earlier law only. The hearing of the cases which are pending in the courts will continue as before and will not be affected.

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