Supreme Court rejects PIL against three new criminal laws; says they have not even come into force

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The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) petition challenging the introduction of three new criminal laws to replace the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Indian Evidence Act.

A bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justice JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra questioned the petitioner’s locus and pointed out that the laws were not yet in force, before dismissing the plea.

“What is your locus to challenge the three new criminal laws? They are not even in force. Dismissed,” the Court said.

CJI DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala, Justice Manoj Misra
The three laws were first introduced in Lok Sabha on August 11, 2023, as Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, (to replace IPC) the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (to replace CrPC) and the Bharatiya Sakshya Bill (to replace the Indian Evidence Act) before being referred to a parliamentary committee headed by Brij Lal for further examination.

They were passed by the Lok Sabha on December 20, 2023, before being passed by the Rajya Sabha the next day.

Subsequently, on February 24, the Union Home Ministry issued a gazette notification announcing that the new laws will come into force from July 1 this year.

Notably, sub-section (2) of Section 106 of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, which concerns ‘causing death of a person by rash and negligent driving of a vehicle’, has been put on hold for now.

The said provision had invited protests in many parts of the country. It had increased the maximum prison sentence to ten years for those involved in such offences, who end up fleeing the scene of the crime, instead of reporting to the police or Magistrate

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