‘Watershed moment in Indian history’: PM Modi after Parliament passes Bills to replace British era criminal laws

Times of India, December 21, 2023

Calling the passage of three new criminal Bills in Parliament a ‘watershed moment’ in Indian history, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that these Bills mark the end of colonial-era laws.
The Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed the three criminal bills — the Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita Bill, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita Bill, and the Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill — replacing the colonial laws namely the IPC, the CrPC and the Evidence Act.

Lok Sabha had earlier passed these Bills.

Prime Minister Modi said these transformative Bills are a testament to India’s commitment to reform.

“The passage of Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023, Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023 and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023 is a watershed moment in our history. These Bills mark the end of colonial-era laws. A new era begins with laws centered on public service and welfare,” PM Modi posted on X.

PM Modi added, “These transformative Bills are a testament to India’s commitment to reform. They bring our legal, policing, and investigative systems into the modern era with a focus on technology and forensic science. These Bills ensure enhanced protection for the poor, marginalised and vulnerable sections of our society.”

Stating that the government has bid goodbye to the outdated sections on sedition, PM Modi said, “At the same time, these Bills come down heavily on organized crime, terrorism and such offense which strike at the root of our peaceful journey to progress.”

The Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been replaced with the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, the CrPC with Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita and the Indian Evidence Act has been replaced with the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam.

Piloting the three bills, Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha said its the “beginning of a new era” as “the purpose of these bills is to give justice not the punishment.”

“For the first time in history”, Shah said these bills are made by India and approved by the Indian Parliament for Indians”.

The Bill will free people from a colonial mindset, as the British government considered protections against treason and treasury more important than murder or atrocities against women, said the Minister.

Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned sine die on Thursday.

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