The report on three bills to replace the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Evidence Act has been accepted in the Parliamentary Committee of the Home Ministry.
Along with this, opposition members have also submitted their notes of disagreement.
The committee did not accept the draft report in the meeting held on October 27. Some opposition members had asked for more time to read the draft.
The committee had accepted their his demand. According to news agency PTI, these bills are approved in the meeting on Monday (November 6).
The opposition had asked for time to read the bill.
Earlier, opposition members including Congress leader P. Chidambaram had requested committee chairman Brij Lal to extend the time given for taking a decision on the draft by three months. The members had said that it is not right to push these bills for electoral gains.
These bills were introduced in Parliament on 11 August. In August itself, the draft related to this was sent to the Standing Committee on Home Affairs. The committee has been given three months time to accept the draft.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had introduced bills to amend three 163-year-old fundamental laws in the Lok Sabha.
The biggest change is regarding the treason law, which will be brought in a new form. These bills are Indian Penal Code (IPC), Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and Evidence Act.
Many sections and provisions will now change. There are 511 sections in IPC, now 356 will be left. 175 sections will change. 8 new sections will be added, 22 sections will be eliminated.
Similarly, 533 sections will be left in CrPC. 160 sections will change, 9 new ones will be added, 9 will end. There will be a provision to conduct interrogation till trial through video conference, which was not there earlier.
The biggest change is that now the trial court will have to give every decision within a maximum of 3 years.
There are 5 crore cases pending in the country. Of these, 4.44 crore cases are in the trial court. Similarly, out of 25,042 posts of judges in district courts, 5,850 posts are vacant.
All three bills have been sent to the parliamentary committee for scrutiny. After this they will be passed in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
Understand 3 big changes…
- Not treason, now treason: The word treason of the British era will be replaced by the word treason. Made the provisions more stringent. Now, under Section 150, any act against the nation, whether spoken or written, or done through sign or picture or electronic means, will be punishable with imprisonment from 7 years to life. Threatening the unity and sovereignty of the country would be a crime. The word terrorism also defined. Currently, under Section 124A of the IPC, the punishment for treason ranges from 3 years to life imprisonment.
- Community Punishment: 24 hours imprisonment or fine of Rs 1,000 for first time minor offenses (drunken riot, theft less than Rs 5,000). The punishment may be a fine or community service. Currently, people are sent to jail for such crimes. There is such a law in America and UK.
- Mob lynching: provision of death penalty. If 5 or more people commit murder on the basis of caste, race or language, then the minimum punishment will be 7 years or death sentence. There is no clear law yet. Action is taken under sections 302, 147-148.
According to the government claims, extensive opinion polling has been done before introducing the bill. According to the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, law and order and police are state subjects.
There is a national debate on the Uniform Civil Code through the Law Commission, hence a meaningful debate in the country with consultation with the states is necessary before making changes in criminal laws.
The government said that apart from 18 states, 6 union territories, Supreme Court, 22 High Courts, judicial institutions, 142 MPs and 270 MLAs, the public also made these changes. Suggestions have been given regarding the bills.
After four years of discussion and 158 meetings during this period, the government has introduced the bill.
The first meeting for these changes was held in September 2019 in room number G-74 of the Parliament Library. There was no progress in this for a year during Corona.