What’s New In Latest Criminal Laws

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Death For Lynching And Rape Of Minor: What's New In Latest Criminal Laws

The new bills prioritise laws that protect women and children, and deter those who would harm the state.

New Delhi:

The Indian Penal Code will be replaced by the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita as the government seeks to do away with the colonial-era criminal laws. Home Minister Amit Shah, presenting the bill in Lok Sabha, said the new laws would include the death penalty for crimes like mob lynching and rape of minors. The new law would also replace sedition with a new offence ‘endangering unity’.

Here are the top points of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita:

  • Twenty new offences have been included in the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita. These include organised crime, terrorist acts, hit-and-run, mob lynching, sexual exploitation of a woman by deceitful means, snatching, abetment outside India, acts endangering the sovereignty, integrity, and unity of India, and publication of false or fake news.
  • The new bills prioritise laws that protect women and children, punish murderers, and deter those who would harm the state.
  • Widening the ambit of what constitutes a terror activity, the new bill now includes causing damage or destruction in a foreign country, intended for the defence of India. Earlier, this was limited to damage to government, public, or private facilities within India.
  • The terror provision will now also include the detention, kidnapping, or abduction of a person to compel the government to do or abstain from doing any activity.
  • Mob lynching could attract the death penalty, depending on the severity of the crime. Death Penalty has also been listed as the maximum punishment for rape of a minor.
  • In a first, the government has included ‘community service’ as a punishment for theft of less than Rs 5,000 and five other petty offences.
  • Transgender has been included in the ‘definition of gender’.  
  • Adultery and homosexual sex are not listed as crimes in the new bill.
  • Attempting to commit suicide will no longer be considered a criminal offence.
  • Amit Shah announced that the sedition law has been repealed. The word “sedition” has been removed from the proposed law and replaced with a section that criminalises acts that endanger the sovereignty, unity, and integrity of India.
  • The current law on sedition carries a penalty of up to three years in prison or life imprisonment. The new provision increases the maximum penalty to seven years.

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