In a significant move that has sparked debates within the legal community, the Madras Bar Association (MBA) passed a resolution on Friday opposing the proposed renaming of key criminal laws through three Bills introduced in the Indian Parliament. The proposed Bills are the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita 2023, the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita 2023, and the Bharatiya Sakshya Bill 2023. These Bills seek to replace the existing Indian Penal Code (IPC) 1860, Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) 1973, and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, respectively.
The three Bills were introduced in the Lower House of Parliament on August 11, and they have ignited discussions within the legal fraternity about the implications of renaming these fundamental legal frameworks. The Madras Bar Association’s resolution highlights concerns regarding the potential effects on the legal system, jurisprudence, and the understanding of established legal principles.
During the introduction of the Bills, Home Minister Amit Shah emphasized that the new laws’ essence would be to safeguard the rights granted to citizens by the Indian Constitution. He noted that the British-era laws were originally designed to uphold colonial rule and focused on punishment rather than justice. The intention behind the proposed changes, according to Shah, is to shift the emphasis from punishment to justice and ensure that the rights of Indian citizens are protected under these new frameworks.
“We (the government) are going to bring changes in both these fundamental aspects. The soul of these three new laws will be to protect all the rights given by the Constitution to Indian citizens. The objective will not be to punish anyone but to give justice, and in this process, punishment will be given where it is required to create a sense of prevention of crime,” emphasized Mr. Shah during the introduction of the Bills.
The Madras Bar Association’s resolution underlines the legal community’s concerns about the proposed changes, particularly regarding the potential repercussions on established legal practices and understanding. The renaming of these laws raises questions about the continuity of legal precedents, the potential need for reinterpretation, and its impact on legal education and practice.
The debate surrounding the proposed renaming of criminal laws showcases the complexities of balancing legal tradition and evolution. As discussions continue within the legal community and beyond, it remains to be seen how these concerns will be addressed and whether any modifications will be made to the proposed Bills in response to the voiced reservations.
Sources By Agencies