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New criminal laws, replacing British-era IPC, come into effect from today; Check details

Three new criminal laws came into effect from Monday (July 1) across the country, bringing significant reforms to the country's criminal justice system and replacing colonial-era legislation. These changes are said to mark a move towards a more modern and efficient justice system in India.

New criminal laws, replacing British-era IPC, come into effect from today; Check details gcw
First Published Jul 1, 2024, 8:28 AM IST

India's criminal justice system will undergo a complete overhaul today with three fresh criminal codes replacing the full set of British-era laws, including the Indian Penal Code. The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita 2023, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita 2023, and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam 2023 will comprehensively replace the outdated Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, and Indian Evidence Act, ushering in a new era of legal clarity and efficiency starting July 1.

According to the administration, the rules were modified to guarantee quicker justice and to reflect the modern world and the different types of crimes that emerge. Charges must now be formed within 60 days of the first hearing, and judgements must be rendered within 45 days of the trial's conclusion.

The new legislation would allow anybody, regardless of jurisdiction, to register a police complaint online and serve summonses electronically. They will allow anyone to submit a Zero FIR at any police station. They make videography of crime scenes mandatory for all heinous crimes. Summonses can be served electronically, expediting the legal processes.

Prioritisation shall be given to crimes against women and children, and inquiries must be finished within two months of the information being recorded. Within 90 days, victims will also receive frequent information on the status of their cases, guaranteeing accountability and transparency.

In addition, the new laws facilitate the online registration of police complaints, making it easier for citizens to report crimes without the need to visit a police station physically. This digital approach extends to the issuance of summonses, which can now be sent through electronic modes such as SMS, ensuring faster and more reliable communication.

Ahead of the laws coming into force, posters educating people about the new laws were put up at various places, particularly police stations, across the national capital.  Some of the posters, giving out information about the new laws, were seen at the police stations of Connaught Place, Tughlak Road, Tughlaqabad, and many more.

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