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SC to hear plea against new criminal laws today

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STATE TIMES NEWS

New Delhi: The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Monday a petition challenging the enactment of three new laws that seek to overhaul India’s penal codes claiming that they suffer from many “defects and discrepancies”.
A vacation bench of Justices Bela M Trivedi and Pankaj Mithal is likely to hear the matter. The Lok Sabha, on December 21 last year, passed three key legislations — the Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita and the Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill. President Droupadi Murmu gave her assent to the bills on December 25.
These new laws — the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita and the Bharatiya Sakshya Act — will replace the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Indian Evidence Act respectively.
Seeking a stay on the operation of the three new laws, the PIL filed by advocate Vishal Tiwari has said they were enacted without any parliamentary debate as most of the opposition members were under suspension.
The plea has sought directions from the court for the immediately constitution of an expert committee that will assess the viability of the three new criminal laws.
“The new criminal laws are far more draconian and establish a police state in reality and violate every provision of fundamental rights of the people of India. If the British laws were considered colonial and draconian, then the Indian laws stand now far more draconian as, in the British period, you could keep a person in police custody for a maximum of 15 days. Extending 15 days to 90 days and more is a shocking provision enabling police torture,” the plea has said.
The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita encompasses offences, such as acts of secession, armed rebellion, subversive activities, separatist activities or endangering the sovereignty or unity of the country, in a new avatar of the sedition law.

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