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New criminal laws transitioned legal framework into new age, indicator of changing India: CJI Chandrachud

The new criminal laws that will replace the existing ones will come into effect from July 1 this year. CJI said that the enactment of these laws is an indicator that "India is changing".

Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 New Delhi Published on: April 20, 2024 16:44 IST
CJI Chandrachud, India new criminal laws, India criminal justice system, Supreme Court
Image Source : PTI CJI Justice DY Chandrachud

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud on Saturday (April 20) highlighted that the enactment of the new criminal laws is an indicator that “India is changing” and is “on the move”. He stressed that their enactment have “transitioned India's legal framework on criminal justice into the new age”. The CJI was referring to Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023; the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023; and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023, which will replace the earlier criminal laws, namely, the Indian Penal Code 1860, the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. The new ones will come into effect from July 1 this year.

India set for overhaul of criminal justice system: CJI

Addressing a conference on India's Criminal Justice System organised by the Ministry of Law and Justice, Justice Chandrachud said that there has been an introduction of much needed improvements to protect the interests of the victim and conduct investigation and prosecution of offences efficiently.

"India is set for a significant overhaul of its criminal justice system with the upcoming implementation of three new criminal laws. The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam will replace the Indian Penal Code 1860, the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 and the Indian Evidence Act 1872, respectively. These laws signify a watershed moment for our society because no law affects the day-to-day conduct of our society like the criminal law," he said.

Must be willing to embrace positive changes: CJI

The CJI said that the country must be willing to embrace positive changes aiming to meet the needs of the times.

"Our laws and their implementation are an ever-evolving area. There is no finality to any law or the manner of its implementation. However, we must be willing to embrace positive changes to meet the needs of our times. I expect that with the implementation of the new criminal laws, we will discover loopholes and areas that need to be addressed. Such debates would be helpful in enhancing the efficiency of our criminal justice systems. However, the ideological framework at the heart of our analysis must be justice-oriented with a civil liberty-centric approach that balances the interests of the victim and the accused,” he said.

Justice Chandrachud emphasised that India’s laws need to “address these concerns and obviate age-old issues” including delays in examination of witnesses, conclusion of trials, overcrowding of prisons and the issue of undertrial prisoners.

(With ANI inputs)

ALSO READ | Retired judges pen letter to CJI Chandrachud, raise concerns over attempts to 'undermine judiciary'

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