Need to examine the bills: Congress on 3 criminal law bills
Congress leader Manish Tewari suggested the formation of a Joint Parliamentary Committee to examine the constitutionality of the bills
A day after the government introduced three bills which completely overhaul the British-era Indian criminal laws, the Indian Penal Code (1860), Code of Criminal Procedure (1898), and the Indian Evidence Act (1872), Congress leader Manish Tewari on Saturday said that these need to be examined critically and provision by provision in the light of judicial pronouncements interpreting them.
Tewari, who is a Lok Sabha MP and party's national spokesperson in a tweet said, "The Indian Penal Code was notified in 1860, Indian Evidence Act in 1872 Criminal Procedure Code (CRPC) in 1898. The CRPC was amended in 1908 and 1973. Some of these acts, especially CrPC has state Amendments given that law and order is a state subject."
The Congress leader, who is also a former union minister said: "Each provision in each of these enactments has been extensively litigated over the past 150-100 years and the interpretation of each provision has been settled by judicial pronouncements by the Privy Council , Federal Court, Supreme Court , various High Courts and in some cases even by subordinate courts."
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"The three new bills introduced by Amit Shah and referred to the Standing Committee of Home Affairs need to be examined critically provision by provision in the light of judicial pronouncements interpreting them," Tewari said.
He said: “It therefore is imperative that a Joint Committee of Parliament consisting of lawyers, retired judges, former police officials or civil servants, jurists, members active in human, women and civil rights movements should be constituted by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar to examine all these three bills very very critically. These bills have serious implications on the Fundamental rights enshrined in Part -III of the Constitution of India especially the Golden Triangle of rights Article -14, 19 and 21.”
His remarks came a day after Shah introduced the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill, 2023 which seeks to replace the IPC, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita Bill which seeks to replace the CrPC and the Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, 2023 which seeks to replace the Indian Evidence Act, in Lok Sabha on the last day of the monsoon session.
Referring the three bills for consideration of the Parliamentary standing committee on home affairs, Shah said that the earlier laws strengthened the British rule, while the proposed laws will protect the right of the citizens and give speedy justice to the people.
A new offence on acts of secession, armed rebellion, subversive activities, separatist activities or endangering sovereignty or unity and integrity of India has been added in the revised laws.
The sedition law ‘has been repealed’, the Home Minister said.
The word ‘sedition’ is not in the proposed law. It is replaced by Section 150 for acts endangering sovereignty, unity and integrity of India.