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Revised Criminal Bills Are Set To Transform the Criminal System In India

Utkarsh Classes Last Updated 22-12-2023
Revised Criminal Bills Are Set To Transform the Criminal System In India Government Scheme 5 min read

On August 11, 2023, the Central Government introduced three new Bills in Parliament to reform the country's criminal justice system. The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam legislation were just passed by Parliament. The Indian Penal Code of 1860, the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1898 and the Indian Evidence Act of 1872 would be repealed by these measures. The three Bills were subsequently forwarded to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs for assessment and recommendations. 

Key Highlights of Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita Bill, 2023

  • It preserves the majority of IPC crimes and adds community service as a form of punishment.                                 
  • Terrorism is now an offence. It is described as an act intended to endanger the country's unity, integrity, security, or economic security or to instil fear among the population.            
  • Murder by a mob of five or more individuals for a certain identifiable identity, such as caste, language, or personal belief, is punishable by life in jail or death, as well as a fine. 
  • The victim of a sexual assault must now have their statement documented on audio and video. 
  • For various minor offences, 'community service' has been added as an alternative to incarceration. 
  • Provisions for Zero FIR registration have been created.  Within 24 hours, the FIR will be transmitted to the jurisdictional police station.
  • The maximum prison penalty for “Hit and Run” is ten years. 
  • Kidnapping, extortion, and cybercrime undertaken on behalf of a crime syndicate have been included as offences. 
  • Sedition is no longer an offence under the law. 

Key highlights of Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita, 2023

  • The bill proposes to repeal the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) of 1973. 
  • Forensic examination is now required for offenses with a minimum penalty of seven years in jail. 
  • The inquiry must be completed within 90 days after the filing of the charge sheet. The reserved judgements must be rendered within 30 days.
  • The Medical Examiner will send the victim of sexual harassment's medical examination report to the investigating officer within 7 days. 
  • Fingerprints, voice samples, and specimen signatures or handwriting may be acquired for an investigation or legal proceeding. 

Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill, 2023

  • It is intended to replace the Indian Evidence Act of 1872 (IEA). 
  • It keeps most of the IEA's provisions, including those on confessions, relevance of facts, and burden of proof. 
  • The IEA recognises two types of evidence: documentary and oral. The distinction is preserved in the measure. 
  • It considers electronic records as documents. Electronic hearings, investigations and trials are possible.
  • Production of electronic communication devices for a trial, investigation, or inquiry will be authorized since they are likely to include digital evidence. 
  • Confessions made in police custody are similarly inadmissible unless validated by a magistrate. 
  • In cases where an accused has absconded or has failed to answer to an arrest order, the law provides for joint trials for many people.


Answer. Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita aims to replace the Indian Penal Code of 1860.

Answer. The bill has raised the threshold for a person to be classified as an adult in case of gang rape from 16 to 18 years.

Answer. Confessions made in police custody are validated by a magistrate.

Answer. Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill, 2023 intended to replace the Indian Evidence Act of 1872 (IEA).
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