On August 11, Home Minister Amit Shah introduced the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill, 2023 which seeks to replace the Indian Penal Code ( IPC), 1860, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita Bill which seeks to replace the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), 1973 and and the Bharatiya Sakshya Bill , 2023 which seeks to replace the Indian Evidence Act, 182, in the Lower House on the last day of the Monsoon session of Parliament.
“On August 11, without any prior intimation or public consultation or inviting suggestions from legal experts, jurists, criminologists, other stakeholders, the (Narendra) Modi government took out three Bills from its ‘black magic hat’ thereby restructuring the nation’s entire criminal law apparatus in a clandestine, hidden and opaque manner,” Surjewala said attacking the BJP government.
The Congress MP said: “The introductory remarks of Amit Shah (in LS) himself gave away the fact that he is himself ‘out of depth’, ignorant and oblivious to the entire exercise. Other than some credit seeking and point scoring in desperation, a hidden exercise, away from the public glare or stakeholders’ suggestions and wisdom, cannot serve the public purpose of reforming the criminal law structure of the country.”
“While the Bills have been referred to the Select Committee of Parliament, the Bills and its provisions must be thrown open for a larger public debate by judges, lawyers, jurists, criminologists, reformers, stakeholders and the general public in order to stay away from the trap of bulldozing the entire criminal law structure without discussion that is so ingrained in the DNA of the BJP government. We hope that better sense will prevail.”
Referring to the three Bills, the Home Minister had 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.