Criminal Law Reform Bills Withdrawn: A Step Towards Modernizing India's Legal System
Mr. Sanjeev Ghanghash

Criminal Law Reform Bills Withdrawn: A Step Towards Modernizing India's Legal System

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The Indian government has taken a significant step towards modernizing the country's legal system by withdrawing three criminal law reform bills. These bills, namely Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, and Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, were introduced in the Lok Sabha to replace the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Indian Evidence Act, and the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) respectively. However, after careful consideration, the government has decided to withdraw them and introduce new bills that incorporate the recommendations made by a parliamentary committee.

The Need for Criminal Law Reform

The existing criminal laws in India were primarily designed to protect and strengthen the British administration during the colonial era. The focus was more on punishment rather than justice. Recognizing the need to bring about a change, Union Home Minister Amit Shah introduced the three criminal law reform bills in the Lok Sabha on August 11. The objective was to replace the outdated laws and establish a legal framework that protects the rights of Indian citizens.

Parliamentary Committee Recommendations

After their introduction, the three bills were referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs for further scrutiny. This committee held several rounds of discussions with officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Law and Justice, domain experts, and various stakeholders. On November 10, the committee submitted its reports along with recommendations for amendments to the bills.

The recommendations made by the committee were diverse and aimed at addressing the shortcomings of the existing laws. Some of the key recommendations include:

  1. Criminalizing non-consensual homosexual intimacy: The committee proposed the inclusion of a provision to criminalize non-consensual homosexual acts, similar to the previous Section 377 of the IPC, which was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2018.
  2. Gender-neutral adultery: The committee suggested making adultery a gender-neutral crime, thereby ensuring equal treatment under the law.
  3. Digital evidence: Recognizing the importance of digital evidence in modern criminal investigations, the committee recommended provisions in the new CrPC bill to secure digital evidence effectively.
  4. Limitations on police custody: Concerns were raised regarding the provision allowing police custody beyond 15 days of arrest. The committee recommended a reevaluation of this provision to protect the rights of the accused.
  5. Online FIR: The committee recommended leaving the modalities of online First Information Reports (FIRs) to the states, allowing for flexibility in implementing this digital initiative.

Withdrawal of the Bills

Taking into account the recommendations made by the parliamentary committee, Union Home Minister Amit Shah informed the Lok Sabha on December 11 that the three criminal law reform bills would be withdrawn. The government is committed to incorporating the proposed changes and introducing new bills that reflect the evolving needs of society.

It is important to note that the withdrawal of these bills does not indicate a setback in the path of criminal law reform. On the contrary, it showcases the government's responsiveness to feedback and its commitment to creating a robust legal framework that aligns with the aspirations of the Indian citizens.

The Way Forward

The withdrawal of the criminal law reform bills marks a significant milestone in the journey towards modernizing India's legal system. The government's decision to incorporate the recommendations of the parliamentary committee reflects its commitment to ensuring that the new bills address the concerns and needs of all stakeholders.

Once the new bills are introduced, they will be subjected to further scrutiny and debate in the Lok Sabha. It is crucial for policymakers, legal experts, and citizens to actively engage in the process and provide valuable inputs to shape the future of India's criminal justice system.

The withdrawal of the criminal law reform bills is a positive step towards bringing about much-needed changes in India's legal system. The new bills, once introduced, have the potential to create a more just, inclusive, and modern framework that protects the rights of all citizens. As the government progresses with its reform agenda, it is crucial for all stakeholders to actively participate and contribute to the development of a legal system that truly serves the needs of the Indian society.

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Here is a list of subjects included in the study material:

S No.

Notes Name



Law Of Evidence Notes By Dr. Shipra Gupta

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Mergers And Aquisitions Notes

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MP Accomodation Control Act 1961

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MP Land revenue Code 1959

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Legal Drafts (2500 + Drafts )

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Income Tax And GST Drafts

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Computer Science For MP Judiciary

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Lucent Computer Book

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Polity and History Notes

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Negotiable Instrument Act

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Indian Penal Codes Notes

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Code of Civil Procedure 1908

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Indian Contract Act 1872

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Indian Evidence Act 1872

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Muslim Law (Notes) Beneficial of Judicial Exam

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Indian Limitation Act ( Short Notes)

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Law Of Torts

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General Science For Judiciary

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Economic and Geography For Judiciary

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International Law ( Concise Handwritten  Notes )

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