Bharat Express

INDIA Bloc To Question Three New Crime Code Laws In Supreme Court

A voice vote was used to approve the Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita, and Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita during a period of unprecedented action during the winter session.

Crime Code Laws

Opposition to move to Supreme Court against new Crime Code Laws

New Delhi: The INDIA bloc discussed the possibility of challenging the “loopholes” in the three pieces of legislation in the Supreme Court hours after the Lok Sabha cleared new crime code laws. Members of the Opposition stated that Rajya Sabha member Abhishek Singhvi might be considered to lead the legal charge once the bills were passed by both Houses.

INDIA bloc taking charge

The conversation occurred during a floor leaders’ meeting of the group that was scheduled one day following a Tuesday bigger INDIA bloc meeting. On Tuesday, the leaders had concentrated on a coordinated campaign plan in eight to ten cities and a seat-sharing deal.

The main topics of discussion during the floor leaders’ meeting held at Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge’s home on Wednesday were the potential Supreme Court challenge to the three crime code laws and the planning of a December 22 protest by suspended opposition MPs at Jantar Mantar, according to those with knowledge of the discussions.

“We discussed the bills and it was decided that the loopholes in the proposed laws would be challenged in the Supreme Court,” said Trinamool’s Saugata Ray, who was present in the meeting.

Crime Code Laws presented in parliament

A voice vote was used to approve the Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita, and Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita during a period of unprecedented action during the winter session, which resulted in the suspension of 97 opposition members from the Lok Sabha and 46 from the Rajya Sabha.

The Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, and the Evidence Act are intended to be replaced by the three laws.

“The new code creates two sets of anti-terror laws. The existing UAPA [or Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act] and now the whole set of anti-terror provisions in the new criminal codes. The codes also leave the discretion to deputy SP-level officers to choose which anti-terror laws would be applicable in a case. No guidelines or criteria has been laid on how to pick between the two laws,” said Singhvi.

“They do a similar thing with organised crime legislation. While Maharashtra has MCOCA or Rajasthan has RCOCA, the new bills again create two sets of laws,” Singhvi added.

Also Read: Lok Sabha Passes Criminal Code Bills Amidst Suspension Of Majority Opposition MPs

Former Union Home Minister P Chidambaram discusses criminal bills

Clause 5 of the Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita was cited by former Union Home Minister P Chidambaram in a dissent note to the parliamentary panel on home affairs in November that said, “…retrograde as well as unconstitutional. The absolute power of the executive government to commute a sentence of death or life imprisonment, without recording reasons, is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.”

He also said that Clause 72(3) was unconstitutional. “It violates Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. The Court can restrict the right of the media to report the Court’s proceedings in a particular case, legislation cannot bar the media in all cases,” the note said.

Chidambaram, like Singhvi, was against including anti-terror clauses in the new rules. “Clause 111 refers to the offence of ‘ terrorist act’ and provides for punishment thereof. The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 is a comprehensive law that has stood scrutiny by Courts. It has special provisions on sanction for prosecution, burden of proof, etc. if there is need, the special law, UAPA, can be amended,” he stated.