Three New Criminal Laws challenged in SC by lawyer

New Delhi, Jan 2 (UNI) The newly passed three criminal laws passed by the parliament recently have been challenged by a lawyer in the Supreme Court on Tuesday stating that these are more Draconian than the British Laws.

A Public Interest Petition(PIL) has been filed before the Apex Court, challenging the three new criminal laws that received President Droupadi Murmu’s assent on December 25. The Three laws, Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, are set to replace the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Indian Evidence Act respectively.

However, the date from which the provisions of the new laws shall take effect is yet to be notified.

The PIL filed by Advocate Vishal Tiwari seeks a stay on the implementation of the three new criminal laws saying that the Lawyers may face challenges in interpreting and navigating these complexities, potentially leading to delays and legal uncertainties.

The PIL also sought to constitute an expert committee immediately, under the chairmanship of a former judge of the Supreme Court, to examine the validity of the laws.

The petitioner states that there are irregularities and discrepancies in the enactment of the three laws as the relevant Bills were passed without any proper parliamentary debate when most MPs were under suspension.

When the relevant Bills were passed in Lok Sabha on December 20, 2023, 141 opposition MPs (from both houses) stood suspended that day.

The petitioner quoted the former Chief Justice of India NV Ramana who had raised a concern in 2021 on the way the enactment of laws without proper Parliamentary debates was happening.

“Parliamentary debate is a fundamental part of democratic lawmaking, the petitioner pleaded.

The petitioner claimed that the changes brought about through the new criminal laws are draconian and seek to establish a police state in reality, besides asserting that they violate fundamental rights.

“If the British laws were considered colonial and draconian, then the Indian laws stand now far more draconian as in the British period you could keep a person in police custody for a maximum of 15 days. Extending 15 days to 90 days and more, is a shocking provision enabling police torture, the petitioner said.

The PIL is likely to come up for hearing on Wednesday.

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