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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightP Chidambaram claims...

P Chidambaram claims new Indian Penal Code is more draconian

P Chidambaram claims new Indian Penal Code is more draconian

New Delhi: Congress leader P Chidambaram said on Monday that the new Indian Penal Code has become "more draconian" and that the government that succeeds it in 2024 must examine these laws and eliminate the "draconian" elements. This comes after President Droupadi Murmu gave his assent to the three new criminal justice measures.

The three new laws -- the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita and the Bharatiya Sakshya Act -- replace the colonial-era Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

In a post on X, former Union home minister Chidambaram said, "Just as the Christmas Day celebrations are coming to an end, we hear the news that the President has given her assent to the three criminal law Bills."

" The new Indian Penal Code has become 'more draconian'", he alleged, PTI reported.

"If you realize that the Code is more often than not used against the poor, working class and the weaker sections of the people, the law will become an instrument of oppression against these sections of the people," Chidambaram said.

"Be it noted that the vast majority of prisoners (including under-trials) are poor and belong to the working class and the oppressed sections," he said.

The new Criminal Procedure Code contains many provisions that are unconstitutional and violate Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution, he alleged.

"It is the poor and oppressed sections of the people who will bear the brunt of the new Penal Code and the new Criminal Procedure Code," he said.

Chidambaram contended that instead of strengthening "due process of law", the new Criminal Procedure Code contains many provisions that severely restrict "freedom" and "personal liberty".

"The new provisions for arrest and police custody (that can extend custody up to 60 days or 90 days) will only lead to police excesses and custodial persecution," he said.

"One of the first tasks of the successor government in 2024 must be to review these laws and remove the draconian provisions," Chidambaram said.

Murmu on Monday gave assent to the three new criminal justice bills which were cleared by Parliament last week.

While replying to a debate on the three bills in Parliament, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the focus was on delivering justice rather than handing down punishment.

The three legislations aim at completely overhauling the criminal justice system in the country by giving definitions of various offences and their punishments.

These have given a clear definition of terrorism, abolished sedition as a crime and introduced a new section titled "offences against the state".

The bills were first introduced during the Monsoon session of Parliament in August.

After the Standing Committee on Home Affairs made several recommendations, the government decided to withdraw the bills and introduced their redrafted versions last week.

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TAGS:P ChidambaramIndian Penal Code
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