BHARATIYA NYAYA SANHITA 2023


Highlights of the bill

  • Indian Judicial (Second) Code also known as (BNS2). Retains most of the crimes of the IPC. In this, community service has been added as punishment.
  • Treason which is no longer a crime. Yet there is a new offense for acts threatening the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India.
  • BNS2 defines terrorism as a crime. It is defined as an act whose purpose is to endanger the unity, integrity, security or economic security of the country or to create terror among the people.

• Organized crime has been added as a crime. This includes crimes like kidnapping, extortion and cyber crimes committed by crime syndicates. Even small organized crimes are now crimes.

• It would make murder by a group of five or more persons on the basis of some identity marker such as caste, language or personal belief an offense punishable with life imprisonment or death and a fine.

Definition of crime

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Major issues and its analysis

  • The age of criminal responsibility is maintained at seven years. This is extended up to 12 years depending on the maturity of the accused. This may be a violation of the recommendations of international conventions.
  • According to BNS2, the definition of child is a person under the age of 18 years. However, for many crimes, the age limit for the victim is not 18 years for crimes against children. The threshold for the victim being a minority is different for rape and gang rape.
  • Many such offenses overlap with special laws. In many cases, both impose different penalties or provide for different procedures. This can lead to multiple regulatory regimes, additional costs of compliance and the possibility of imposition of multiple charges. BHARATIYA NYAYA SANHITA 2023
  • BNS2 decriminalizes treason. The sedition terrorism aspect may be retained in the provision that threatens the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India.
  • BNS2 has retained the IPC provisions on rape and sexual assault as before. It does not consider the recommendations of the Justice Verma Committee (2013) such as making the crime of rape gender neutral and including marital rape as a crime.
  • BNS2 removes Section 377 of the IPC. Due to this, rape and bestiality against men has been removed from the category of crime.
  • Major changes to BNS2 include:
  • Offenses against the body: The IPC criminalizes acts such as murder, abetment of suicide, assault and causing grievous hurt. BNS2 retains these provisions. New crimes like organized crime, terrorism and murder or grievous hurt by a group on certain grounds have been added.
  • Sexual crimes against women: The IPC criminalizes acts such as rape, voyeurism, stalking and insulting the dignity of a woman. BNS2 retains these provisions. Additionally, it increases the threshold for classifying a victim as an adult in a gang rape case from 16 to 18 years. It also criminalizes having sexual relations with a woman by deception or by making false promises.
  • Sedition: BNS2 removes the offense of treason. Instead it punishes the following: (i) inciting or attempting to incite secession, armed rebellion, or subversive activities, (ii) encouraging feelings of separatist activity, or (iii) violating the sovereignty or unity of India. and endangering integrity. These crimes may involve the exchange of words or signals, electronic communications or the use of financial instruments.
  • Terrorism: Terrorism includes any act intended to: (i) threaten the unity, integrity, security or economic security of the country, or (ii) cause terror among the people or any section of the people in India. Punishment for committing or attempting to commit terrorism includes: (i) death or imprisonment for life, and fine, if it results in the death of any person, or (ii) imprisonment from five years to life, and fine.
  • Organized Crime: Organized crime includes crimes like kidnapping, extortion, contract killing, land grabbing, financial scams and cyber crimes committed by crime syndicates. Attempting to commit or committing an organized crime shall be punishable with: (i) if it results in the death of any person, death or imprisonment for life and a fine of Rs 10 lakh, or (ii) imprisonment from five years to life and Rs 10 lakh Fine of Rs lakh. At least five lakh rupees.
  • Mob lynching: BNS2 adds as a crime murder or grievous hurt committed by five or more people on specified grounds. These grounds include race, caste, sex, language or personal belief. The punishment for such murder is life imprisonment or death.
  • Supreme Court Judgments: BNS2 is in line with some Supreme Court judgments. These include removing adultery as a crime and introducing life imprisonment (in addition to the death penalty) as a punishment for murder or attempted murder by a person sentenced to life imprisonment.

BHARATIYA NYAYA SANHITA 2023