From Terrorism To Treason: New Criminal Laws Decoded

The government has officially declared that the revamped legal framework will be implemented from July 1

From Terrorism To Treason: New Criminal Laws Decoded

Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita has received President Droupadi Murmu's assent, replacing the 163-year-old Indian Penal Code. Set to be enforced from July 1, the new law trims the IPC from 511 to 358 sections and adds 20 crimes, bringing significant changes to criminal laws in India.

Here's a preview of the five major laws that will undergo transformation under this legislation.

1. Crimes against Women and Children

Amendments in provisions related to rape of women below 18 years.

Consistent provisions with POCSO for gang rape of a minor.

Life imprisonment or death penalty for rape of girls below 18.

Introduction of a new crime category: gang rape of a woman under 18.

Targeted penalties for fraudulent sexual activities or false promises of marriage.

2. Terrorism

Terrorism becomes a punishable offence under Section 113(1).

Death penalty or life imprisonment without parole for terrorist acts.

New offences include the destruction of public facilities or private property.

Coverage of acts causing 'widespread loss by reason of damage or destruction of critical infrastructure.'

3. Treason

Sedition is completely removed and replaced with a new section that criminalises acts that endanger the sovereignty, unity, and integrity of India.

Section 152 of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita replaces IPC Section 124A, emphasising acts threatening sovereignty or unity and integrity.

Introduction of 'intent' in the definition of treason, safeguarding freedom of expression

Removal of words like hatred and contempt, the inclusion of 'armed rebellion,' 'destructive activities,' and 'separatist activities.'

4. Organised Crime

Introduction of a new section on organised crime in Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita.

Definition of organised crime in Section 111(1).

Syndicate-related illegal activities are now punishable.

Inclusion of armed rebellion, subversive activities, and acts threatening sovereignty under organised crime.

Punishment, including the death penalty, imprisonment, and fines for various offences.

5. Other Important Provisions

New provision on mob lynching with life imprisonment or death penalty.

Enhanced penalties for serious injuries leading to near-disability or permanent disability.

Victim-centric reforms ensuring the right to participation, information, and compensation.

Institutionalisation of filing zero FIR, allowing FIR lodging anywhere.

Removal of sedition with a focus on acts threatening sovereignty or unity and integrity.

This departure from colonial-era laws reflects a commitment to addressing the needs of ordinary citizens, marking a new era in the Indian legal landscape.