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Thursday, July 25, 2024

New laws set to modernize Indian Criminal Justice System from July 1: PK Chakraborty


By TC News Desk

Agartala, 29th June 2024 :  In a landmark move, the Indian government is set to introduce three pivotal laws aimed at overhauling the country’s criminal justice framework. The Indian Justice Act-2023, the Indian Civil Protection Act-2023, and the Indian Evidence Act-2023 will come into effect nationwide from July 1, replacing archaic laws that have governed the justice system for over a century.

The State Home Secretary, P.K. Chakraborty, highlighted the significance of these reforms during a press conference at the Secretariat on Saturday. “The new laws aim to modernize our criminal justice system, expedite trial processes, and ensure robust protection for victims,” Chakraborty stated. He further explained that the Indian Penal Code-2023 will replace the Indian Penal Code-1860, while the Indian Civil Protection Code-2023 will supersede the Code of Criminal Procedure-1973. Additionally, the Indian Evidence Act-2023 will take over from the Indian Evidence Act-1872.

One of the key features of the new laws is the introduction of the Zero FIR under Section 173. This provision allows citizens to file a First Information Report (FIR) from any location, irrespective of the jurisdiction of the police station. “This is a crucial step towards making the filing of complaints more accessible and streamlined,” Chakraborty noted. The law also facilitates the filing of e-FIRs, enhancing the convenience for citizens.

In a bid to reduce unnecessary arrests, the new laws include provisions to avoid detaining individuals for minor offenses, particularly those who are physically challenged or senior citizens. Moreover, it mandates that the aggrieved party must be informed about the progress of the investigation within 90 days of registering the case.

Addressing heinous crimes, the new legislation introduces stringent punishments. “According to Section 65(2) of the BNS, the death penalty is now prescribed for the rape of girls under the age of 12,” said Chakraborty. Furthermore, the new laws place a strong emphasis on witness protection, ensuring the safety and security of individuals who come forward to testify.

To facilitate the implementation of these laws, extensive training has been conducted. A total of 3,100 personnel from various departments, including Police, Jail Police, Law, Health and Family Welfare, Prosecution Department, and the State Forensic Science Laboratory, have undergone skill development training. Additionally, 282 police personnel have been trained to operate the newly revised Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) application.

The government is also focusing on infrastructure development, new recruitments, and the formulation and revision of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to support the new legal framework. “Superintendents of Police across all districts are actively conducting awareness campaigns to educate citizens about the new laws,” Chakraborty added.

To assist the public in understanding these changes, the Sanklan mobile app is available for download from the Google Play Store, providing detailed information about the new laws. Law Secretary Sanjay Bhattacharya and IGL Darlong were also present at the press conference, reinforcing the collaborative effort behind this significant reform.

These sweeping changes mark a significant step forward in India’s quest for a more efficient, just, and modern legal system, aligning with global standards and addressing contemporary challenges.

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