Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

New Criminal Laws Which Kick in July 1 Will Create Legal, Judicial Mess, Endanger Life & Liberty

New Criminal Laws Which Kick in July 1 Will  Create Legal, Judicial Mess, Endanger Life & Liberty

If the new criminal laws come into force on the 1st of July we'll have "a legal and judicial mess, life and liberty could be in danger": former Additional Solicitor General, Indira Jaising, to Karan Thapar for The Wire.

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One of India’s most highly regarded senior advocates and a former Additional Solicitor General has said that if the three new criminal laws come into force on the 1st of July, which is what the government intends, we will have “a legal and judicial mess” adding specifically that “life and liberty could be in danger”. This is why Indira Jaising has loudly and publicly appealed to the Law Minister as well as to all the leading Opposition politicians in the country to hold the three criminal laws in abeyance until they are further discussed and looked at closely once again.

I do not want to give away the critical details Ms. Jaising has discussed because I think you should hear them for yourself. However, let me tell you she makes three general points followed by three specific points about new offences under the new criminal laws. The three general points are that you could have two different justice systems running concurrently and in parallel, you could have endless disputes over which procedural law applies (old or new) and the pendency of cases could increase by 30% or even 40%.

The offences she discusses are Section 152 of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, which she says is even more draconian than Section 124A of the IPC which defines sedition, second, the fact that many UAPA offences are repeated as offences under the new criminal law and, therefore, the “process” will be additionally “punishing” and, third, that the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita mandates a preliminary inquiry in every cognizable offence which is punishable for three years or more but less than seven and, therefore, FIRs won’t be automatically lodged.

Ms. Jaising says there will be multiple petitions challenging the new criminal laws in the Supreme Court as well as the major High Courts in the country.

For all the above reasons she believes that if the laws come into force (on the 1st) before these issues are resolved and the challenges heard and adjudicated we will have a legal and judicial mess placing life and liberty at risk.

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