New criminal laws not just to punish, but to ensure fair play: Justice Kumar : The Tribune India

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New criminal laws not just to punish, but to ensure fair play: Justice Kumar

New criminal laws not just to punish, but to ensure fair play: Justice Kumar

Photo for representation. File photo

Our Correspondent

Srinagar, March 30

A two-day training programme was organised on new criminal laws at J&K Judicial Academy, Mominabad, here today for judicial officers of J&K.

The programme was inaugurated by Justice Sanjeev Kumar of the High Court of J&K and Ladakh in presence of Sakal Bhushan, an eminent lawyer from Jammu who is now practising in the Supreme Court of India. Bhushan was the resource person in the training programme.

In his inaugural address, Justice Sanjeev Kumar pointed out that earlier the Indian Penal Code, as the name suggested, was to penalise Indians. He said as overhaul of the laws was a long-pending demand of society, the government observed that this was the right time to revoke these laws. The government entrusted the job to reform criminal laws to Professor Ranbir Singh, founder Vice Chancellor of National Law University, Delhi, who is the chairperson of the Committee for Reforms in Criminal Laws.

The committee was made to focus on safety, security and welfare of Indians and integrity of the nation. He also gave an overview of the three new laws: Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS)-2023, Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA)- 2023 and Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS)-2023. He highlighted that these new laws were in tune with the spirit of the Constitution and had been introduced in keeping with the aspirations of the people.

Elaborating further, Justice Kumar said, “Laws of the British-era were aimed at punishing and also enforcing allegiance to foreign rule whereas, the soul of the new laws is Indianess. For the first time, our criminal justice system will be governed by the laws of India, made by the Indians and for the India.”

He further highlighted that these new laws were not just to punish, but to impart justice with equal consideration to the rehabilitation of the victim and provide justice to all, particularly the weak and marginalised.

Director, J&K Judicial Academy, YP Bourney, presented the welcome address and highlighted the core of the programme. He said the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Act was presented in the Lok Sabha on August 11, 2023, with the primary goal of overhauling the existing Indian Penal Code, 1860, as well as two other Bills aimed at replacing the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

He emphasised that the Act proposes significant changes, including streamlining certain IPC provisions to reduce its length. It also introduces new offences such as hate speech and terrorism.

Additionally, the Act replaces the sedition with a more stringent offence of treason. He said the BNS not only replaced the old penal code, but also consolidated legal provisions making the crimes against women and children more stringent for better administration of justice.

The working sessions on the first day were chaired by advocate Sakal Bhushan. He gave a detailed overview of the additions, deletions, modifications and reorganisation of chapters and sections under the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita. The learned resource person discussed various newly added provisions and those amended provisions for the benefit of the participants.

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