India Replaces Multiple British-Era Laws Through Criminal Law Bills
The new laws passed in the Lok Sabha are going to bring major changes, especially concerning women’s safety and telecommunications. These bills are set to replace old British-era laws and colonial mindsets. They aim to update our legal system, address long-standing issues, and adapt to modern needs, especially in terms of women’s safety.
The Lok Sabha has passed three crucial criminal law bills. These are the Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita Bill, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita Bill, and the Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill.
What makes these laws stand out is their focus on crimes involving deception in relationships. Now, it’s a criminal offense if someone makes false promises, especially of marriage, or hides their true identity to establish intimate relationships. This move aims to protect women from being exploited under false pretenses like love jihad.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah emphasized that these laws will fill gaps in our current legal system. Before, if a woman was promised marriage and that promise was broken, it was difficult to seek justice under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). These new laws provide specific legal tools for such cases.
Additionally, these laws introduce harsher penalties for severe crimes. For example, gang rape now carries a minimum punishment of 20 years, potentially extending to life imprisonment. And in cases involving girls under 18, the punishment is a life sentence, with the possibility of a death penalty.
The other big news is about the telecommunications sector. Parliament has passed the Telecommunications Bill, 2023. This bill is set to replace old British-era laws and aims to modernize and consolidate rules regarding telecommunication services, networks, and spectrum assignment.
Key features include stricter rules against fraudulent SIM card issuance and “spoofing” (a kind of impersonation), with punishments of up to three years in jail and fines.
Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw highlighted that this bill emphasizes user protection and aims to strengthen the safety and inclusivity of our digital infrastructure.