Mamata Banerjee Urges PM Modi to Defer Implementation of New Criminal Laws


West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing her “grave concern” over the implementation of three new criminal laws: the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023; the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023; and the Bharatiya Sakshaya Adhiniyam, 2023. Banerjee has urged the PM to consider deferring the implementation date.

These three new laws, set to replace the Indian Penal Code, 1860; the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, were notified on December 25, 2023, and are scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2024.

In her letter to PM Modi on Thursday, Banerjee expressed her concern about the impending implementation of these laws, noting that they were passed without any debate. She wrote, “On December 20 last year, your outgoing government passed these three critical Bills unilaterally, with no debate. That day, almost one hundred Lok Sabha members were suspended, and a total of 146 MPs from both Houses were expelled from Parliament. The Bills were passed in an authoritarian manner in that dark hour of democracy. This matter deserves review now.”

Banerjee urged the PM to defer the implementation date for ethical and practical reasons. The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita will replace 511 sections of the IPC with 358 sections, adding 20 new crimes and increasing penalties for 33 existing crimes. The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita will replace 484 sections of the CrPC with 531 sections, introducing significant changes and new provisions. The Bharatiya Sakshaya Adhiniyam will update the Indian Evidence Act with new provisions and deletions.

Banerjee highlighted that the recent criminal justice reforms prioritize crimes against women, children, and the nation, marking a shift from colonial-era laws focused on treason and treasury offences.

Related articles

Recent articles