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Updated December 20th, 2023 at 23:19 IST

What is Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita bill that Amit Shah placed before Lok Sabha?

The revised Bill does not address recommendations related to gender-neutral adultery laws and the criminalization of non-consensual acts.

Reported by: Isha Bhandari
What is Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita bill that Amit Shah placed before the house today?
What is Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita bill that Amit Shah placed before the house today? | Image:PTI
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New Delhi: The Lok Sabha has reconvened to deliberate on three pivotal criminal law bills, namely the Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita, and Bharatiya Sakshya Bill. These bills aim to replace and repeal the Indian Penal Code 1860, Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, and the Indian Evidence Act 1872.

Union Home Minister, while describing New Criminal Bills in the House, on Wednesday emphasized the transformative nature of the Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita, 2023. 

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He highlighted its departure from the punitive approach of the Indian Penal Code, stating that the new legislation's focus is on “justice rather than mere punishment.” He also placed importance on removing the existing laws on sedition, saying that “anyone can criticize the government now but not India.”

What is the Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita Bill? 

1. Redefined Terrorism: Section 113 of the revised Bill adopts the definition of terrorism from the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. The new definition narrows down vague acts and introduces clarity, ensuring that non-violent expressions are not unjustly categorized as terrorist acts.

2. Expanded Scope of Terrorism: The revised Bill broadens the definition of a terrorist act to cover activities related to counterfeit currency, aligning with the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

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3. Punishments: Offenses related to terrorism carry severe penalties, including death or life imprisonment. The Bill also addresses the recruitment and training of individuals for terrorist acts.

4. Cruelty Against Women: The Bill introduces a section defining "cruelty" against women by their husbands and relatives, punishable with up to three years of imprisonment.

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5. Unauthorised Publication of Court Proceedings: Section 73 imposes penalties for printing or publishing court proceedings in rape or sexual assault cases without permission, aiming to safeguard privacy.

6. Mental Health Terminology: The term 'mental illness' is replaced with 'unsoundness of mind' in an effort to use more inclusive language.

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7. Mob Lynching: The Bill aligns the punishment for mob lynching with that of murder, removing the minimum seven-year sentence criticized by the panel.

However, the revised Bill does not address recommendations related to gender-neutral adultery laws and the criminalization of non-consensual acts, as recommended by the panel.

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Published December 20th, 2023 at 16:16 IST

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