PC slams govt over new criminal laws

New Delhi: With the three new criminal laws coming into effect, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Monday slammed the government and said it was another case of “bulldozing” existing laws and replacing them with three new bills without adequate discussion and debate.

The former home minister said that in the long term, further changes must be made to the three laws to bring them in conformity with the Constitution and the modern principles of criminal jurisprudence.

The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam replaced the British-era Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure and the Indian Evidence Act, respectively.

In a post on X, Chidambaram said, “90-99 per cent of the so-called new laws are a cut, copy and paste job. A task that could have been completed with a few amendments to the existing three laws has been turned into a wasteful exercise.

“Yes, there are a few improvements in the new laws and we have welcomed them. They could have been introduced as amendments. On the other hand, there are several retrograde provisions. Some changes are prima facie unconstitutional,” he said.

MPs who were members of the standing committee pored over the provisions and wrote detailed dissent notes to the three bills, the senior leader said.

Chidambaram added the government did not rebut or answer any of the criticisms in the dissent notes and there was no worthwhile debate in Parliament.

“Law scholars, bar associations, judges and lawyers have in numerous articles and seminars pointed out the grave deficiencies in the three new laws. No one in government has cared to answer the questions,” he said.