Overhaul Of Colonial-Era Laws In India: Maximum Penalties For Serious Crimes Introduced
New Delhi, August 11 (TNA) The Indian government has unveiled a comprehensive reform of colonial-era criminal laws, aiming to address heinous crimes and modernize legal frameworks. Union Home Minister Amit Shah introduced three bills, signifying a shift from the 1860 Indian Penal Code to the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita.
The proposed changes include imposing severe punishments for offenses such as mob lynching and the rape of minors. The controversial sedition law has been replaced by a new offense termed "endangering unity," covering acts like secession, armed rebellion, and activities that threaten India's sovereignty. Under the revised laws, individuals inciting these actions through various means, including communication, could face imprisonment for life or up to seven years.
The bills prioritize crimes against women, children, and the state, introducing community service as a penalty for minor offenses. It also introduces the possibility of trying evaders in absentia and mandates updates on First Information Reports (FIRs) within 90 days. The process of search and prosecution is required to be videographed to ensure transparency.
The proposed laws strive for gender neutrality in offenses and seek to combat organized crimes and terrorism with enhanced punishments. Notably, the death penalty has been retained, while fines and penalties across various offenses have been raised. The Home Minister emphasized that the aim of the reforms is to provide justice and deter crime rather than merely punishing offenders, heralding a significant step toward safeguarding Indian citizens' rights.