‘New Criminal Laws Prioritize Justice over Punishment’: President Droupadi Murmu

President Droupadi Murmu

The President of India, Droupadi Murmu on Thursday, emphasized that the three new criminal laws scheduled to take effect from July 1 will prioritize justice over punishment, contrasting with the punitive mindset of the British era.

Speaking at the first joint sitting of Parliament since the formation of the 18th Lok Sabha, she highlighted the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita 2023, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita 2023, and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam 2023 as reforms aimed at expediting the judicial process.

These laws, enacted last year, are set to replace the Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, and the Indian Evidence Act inherited from the colonial period.

“The Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita will be implemented nationwide from July 1. During British rule, the emphasis was on punishing subjects. Unfortunately, this penal system persisted for decades post-Independence,” the President stated.

She praised the current government for taking the initiative to reform criminal laws, emphasizing that the new laws align with the constitutional spirit by prioritizing justice.

“As the country sheds its colonial mindset across various domains, this marks a significant step in that direction and pays homage to our freedom fighters,” she added.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah had previously underscored in Parliament that these laws aim to replace British-era punitive measures with a justice-oriented framework. He emphasized that the new legislation, which includes provisions for zero FIR, online police complaint registration, electronic summons, and mandatory videography of crime scenes, represents a comprehensive overhaul rooted in Indian values.

Official sources from the Union home ministry indicated that extensive training has been provided to grassroots functionaries and law enforcement officials to ensure awareness and effective implementation of these laws, particularly concerning their impact on women and children.

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