Congress leader P Chidambaram on Thursday criticised the three bills brought by the government that seek to overhaul the criminal justice system, saying the opportunity to replace and redraft the colonial laws has been “wasted.” The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed three key bills — the Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita, and the Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill.
In a post on X, former home minister Mr Chidambaram said, “Has the government really dumped the British ‘colonial’ criminal laws? Consider the fact that 90-95% of IPC, 95% of CrPC and 99% of Evidence Act have been cut, copied and pasted in the three Bills: can any one deny or debate that fact?” “In fact, the government has immortalised Macaulay and Fitz Stephen who drafted the original IPC and Evidence Act,” he claimed.
The opportunity to replace and redraft the laws has been wasted, Mr Chidambaram said.
In another post, he said the Union Home Minister stated that three instances of the colonist imprint have been repealed but the facts say otherwise.
“Sedition was read down severely and registration of FIRs for sedition was prohibited by the Supreme Court. Sec 377 of the IPC relating to homosexuality was decriminalised by the Supreme Court. The section on Adultery was struck down by the Supreme Court,” he said.
“We can thank the Hon’ble Home Minister for rejecting the recommendations of the Standing Committee (dominated by BJP MPs) for including these ‘offences’ in the new Bill,” Mr Chidambaram said.
The passing of the three Bills with the Opposition benches practically empty (thanks to the 143 suspensions) is like winning a cricket match where the opposite team is not allowed to bat, he said.
The three bills will replace the colonial-era Indian Penal Code, 1860, the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, 1898, and the Indian Evidence Act of 1872, respectively.
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