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Government Proposes Reforms to Colonial-Era Criminal Laws

Home Minister Amit Shah proposed replacing British-implemented codes in the monsoon session's final day. Critics fear complexity, but supporters highlight transparency and law reform discussions.

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New Delhi, Aug 11 (The Street Press) – On Friday, the Indian government introduced three bills in the lower house of parliament, with the purpose of revamping certain colonial-era criminal laws. The bills encompass a wide spectrum, including the contentious sedition law as well as the reinforcement of legislation safeguarding women and minors.

During the final day of the monsoon session of parliament, Union Home Minister Amit Shah introduced bills aimed at abolishing and substituting the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, and the Indian Evidence Act. These laws, which were largely established by the British prior to India’s independence in 1947, were the focus of the proposed changes.

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According to Shah, the new legislation’s objective is to provide justice rather than mere punishment. He emphasized that the reform is essential due to the enduring presence of colonial laws at the core of the criminal justice system for more than a century.

Before being enacted, the bills will be referred to a parliamentary standing committee for thorough discussions.

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Certain legal professionals have expressed concern that if these bills receive parliamentary approval, they could potentially introduce disruptions and intricacies into the legal proceedings. This is because courts would need to navigate the procedural consequences and stances related to the numerous ongoing trials.

Supporters of these changes argue that they facilitate new dialogues concerning the necessity to revamp various laws safeguarding women and minors. Additionally, they believe the changes introduce an additional level of transparency to criminal codes.

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The proposed bill aims to substitute the colonial-era sedition law, historically used against Indian political leaders seeking independence from British rule. But in present-day India, since 1947, this law has often been used by different democratically elected governments to silence those who protest against those in power.

The new bill aims to replace this law with a section that deals with actions considered as threatening India’s sovereignty, unity, and integrity.

In recent years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration has eliminated numerous outdated laws as part of an effort to modernize India’s legal system and distance the country from its colonial history.

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Sk Sahiluddin
Sk Sahiluddin
Sk Sahiluddin is a seasoned journalist and media professional with a passion for delivering accurate and impactful news coverage to a global audience. As the Editor of The Street Press India, he plays a pivotal role in shaping the editorial direction and ensuring the highest journalistic standards are upheld.
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