India’s 3 new criminal laws to come into force from July 1, 2024

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
3 Min Read

India is set to implement three new criminal laws, namely the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, starting July 1. These laws aim to comprehensively revamp the country’s criminal justice system. However, the government has decided to postpone the introduction of a new penal provision related to hit-and-run cases under the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita.

The legislation was approved by Parliament during the Winter Session, and President Droupadi Murmu granted her assent to the three laws on December 25. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the previous month, directed the phased implementation of the new criminal laws in all Union Territories (UTs).

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As per a gazette notification released on Friday, the Central Government has officially designated July 1, 2024, as the effective date for the enforcement of the provisions of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, excluding the provision of sub-section (2) of section 106.

Earlier in January, transporter associations protested against certain provisions in the new code, specifically those related to drivers causing fatalities through rash and negligent driving, and subsequently fleeing the scene. The government assured transporters that a decision on enforcing stringent provisions would only be made after consulting with the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC).

To facilitate the implementation of the new laws, the government plans to assemble a team of 3,000 officers who will provide training to police officers, investigators, and forensic experts in a “zone-wise” manner. The emphasis of the training will be on forensic evidence, with a model set-up in Chandigarh to ensure a robust online mechanism given the digital nature of most records.

In another notification issued on the same day, the Central Government confirmed that the provisions of the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam would also come into force on July 1, 2024. Similarly, the provisions of the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, except those related to the entry concerning section 106(2) of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023, in the First Schedule, will also be effective from the same date.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla conducted a meeting last month with chief secretaries, advisors to Administrators, and police chiefs of UTs to assess their preparedness for the implementation of the new laws. The UTs were urged to conduct a comprehensive review of their infrastructure and consult with stakeholders, including relevant high courts, to address any challenges in the implementation process. PM Modi emphasized the immediate implementation of the laws in UTs from the date of notification.

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