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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 24 July 2024

PM must defer new criminal laws: Mamata, Congress turn up Opposition chorus volume

After Tamil Nadu CM Stalin, Bengal CM writes to Modi; Manish Tewari demands new laws must go through Parliament again

Our Web Desk Published 21.06.24, 12:19 PM
Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi File

Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday joined the ranks of Opposition leaders who have opposed the three new criminal laws that are to come into effect on July 1.

The new laws, the Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, are to replace the colonial-era Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Indian Evidence Act of 1872, respectively.

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Parliament passed the three new laws – one of the big projects of the new government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi – during the monsoon session in August last year.

“Any far-reaching legal, change requires meticulous groundwork beforehand to ensure effective enforcement and administration and we do not have any reason to avert such homework,” Mamata wrote in her letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday.

Earlier, civil liberty activists such as senior Supreme Court lawyer Indira Jaising have raised concerns over the new laws.

Critics of the government and legal activists say that only 20 to 25 per cent of the provisions are new and that they give too much power to the police. The new laws have provisions that could criminalise dissent, the critics of the government say.

“The new criminal Laws that come into effect from July 1st 2024 lay the foundations of turning India into a Police State. Their implementation must be stopped forthwith and Parliament must re-examine them,” Congress leader Manish Tewari posted on X on Friday, with a link to his article in the New Indian Express headlined ‘New criminal laws must go through Parliament again’.

A few days earlier, Tewari had posted: “The three new Criminal Laws were arbitrarily passed in Parliament after suspending a record 146 MP’s belonging to the opposition. These three Laws therefore reflect the will of only a section of Parliament those who then sat on the Treasury benches. They do not reflect the collective wisdom of Parliament. Even the dissenting views expressed by learned members of the Standing Parliamentary Committee of Home Affairs were not taken on board. The implementation of these Laws from July 1st 2024 will tantamount to throwing a spanner into India’s legal system. The operationalisation of these Laws must be put on hold till the time Parliament does not “ collectively reapply” itself to these three legislation’s

“Certain provisions in these laws represent the broadest assault on Civil liberties since the foundation of the Indian Republic,” he had posted. .

Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin has also earlier this week reportedly written to the Centre on the new criminal laws, urging Prime Minister Modi take the states’ views into consideration.

He had reportedly said that the new laws had been pushed through “without adequate deliberations and consultations”.

He had also pointed to the Constitution.

“These enactments are falling within List III – concurrent list of the Constitution of India and hence extensive consultation ought to have been done with the State Government,” he reportedly wrote. “The States were not given adequate time to express their views and the new laws were passed by the Parliament without the participation of the opposition parties.”

He had pointed to things like Section 103 of Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) allegedly having two subsections for two distinct classes of murder with the same punishment.

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