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Current social realities, challenges addressed in proposed new criminal laws: Officials

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NEW DELHI, Aug 12 (PTI): The current social realities and challenges have been addressed in the new
Bhartiya Nyaya Sanhita 2023 that will provide a mechanism for effectively dealing with such crimes and
criminals and also having a deterrent effect, officials said on Saturday.
Union home minister Amit Shah introduced the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) Bill, Bharatiya Nagarik
Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) Bill and Bharatiya Sakshya (BS) Bill in Lok Sabha on Friday and these will replace
the Indian Penal Code, 1860, Criminal Procedure Act, 1898, and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872,
respectively.
The proposed laws have tried to define some of the current social realities and crimes and provide a
mechanism to effectively deal with criminals, the official said.
The new bill (BNS) has been rearranged keeping in view the ideals enshrined in the Constitution. The
offences against women and children, murder and offences against the State have been given
precedence in the proposed law.
Overlapping sections have been merged and simplified and will consist of only 358 sections as against
511 sections in the existing IPC.
For example, definitions scattered from sections 6 to 52 have been brought under one section now.
Eighteen sections already stand repealed and four sections relating to weights and measures are
covered under the Legal Metrology Act, 2009.
Instances of false promise of marriage, gang-rape of minors, mob lynching, chain snatching, etc are
reported but the current IPC did not have specific provisions for dealing with such incidents. These have
been addressed in the BNS bill, officials said.
Women are abandoned by men after making sexual relations on a false promise of marriage. A provision
has been made in the new bill to deal with such offenders, they said.
Whoever, by deceitful means, makes a false promise to marry a woman without any intention of
fulfilling the same, and has sexual intercourse with her, such sexual intercourse shall be punished with
imprisonment extendable to ten years.
This provision will be a deterrent for the people and provide protection to women, the officials said.
On the offence of gang rape of a minor female, presently, the punishment if the victim is below 16 years
of age is life imprisonment (till the remainder of that person’s natural life).
The punishment for gang rape on a female below 12 years is life imprisonment (till the remainder of that
person’s natural life) or death.
It has been proposed that punishment for these two categories of gang rape may be combined and
punishment for gang rape on a female under the age of 18 years shall be life imprisonment (till
remainder of that person’s natural life) or death.
A new provision has been inserted in the bill for crimes like mob lynching.
“When a group of five or more persons conjointly murder on the ground of religion, race, caste or
community, sex, place of birth, language or any other ground, each member of such group shall be
punished with death or with imprisonment for life or imprisonment which shall not be less than seven
years and with fine,” it says.
Currently, there is no provision presently to deal with the offence of snatching which has become
rampant these days particularly chain and mobile snatchings.
A new section has been inserted providing for imprisonment extendable to three years. The section
relating to theft which was limited to theft in dwelling house has been expanded to cover theft of idols,
government property, theft of vehicles and theft of any article/goods from the vehicle.
It is proposed that trafficking into India from any country outside India any girl under the age of 21 years
or any boy under the age of eighteen years with the intent that such person will be forced or seduced to
illicit sexual acts with another person has been made punishable with imprisonment which may extend
to ten years.

Currently, there is no provision to prosecute a person who employs or engages a child for the purpose of
committing offences. A new section has been added in the bill to make hiring, employing or engaging a
child to commit an offence as a punishable crime, and the punishment will be imprisonment of a
minimum of seven years extendable to ten years.
Both boys and girls are trafficked for sexual exploitation. The word “minor girl” has been replaced with
the word “child” to cover both male and female children below the age of 18 years and the offence of
procurement has been made punishable.
With instances of hit-and-run cases on the rise, a strict provision has been introduced in the bill.
“Whoever causes the death of any person by doing any rash or negligent act and escapes from the scene
of the incident and fails to present himself and disclose the incident to a police officer or Magistrate
soon after the incident, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description of a term which may
extend to ten years and with fine.

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