Mamata Banerjee writes to PM Modi to defer implementation of new criminal laws | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Mamata Banerjee writes to PM Modi to defer implementation of new criminal laws

Jun 21, 2024 08:10 PM IST

On December 25, 2023, the President of India gave assent to the BNS, BSA and BNSS. As notified, these new criminal laws are to take effect from July 1 this year

Kolkata: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to defer the implementation of three criminal laws – Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam and Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita. Banerjee has sought further discussions on these in the Parliament.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee (File Photo)
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee (File Photo)

Expressing grave concerns, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo over the impending implementation of these laws, “I humbly request you to consider our appeal for a deferment of the implementation of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) 2023, the Bharatiya Sakhsya Adhiniyam (BSA) 2023, and the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanita (BNSS) 2023. We believe that this postponement will enable a renewed Parliamentary review/mandate, reinforce public trust in the legal system, and uphold the rule of law in our beloved country,” states the letter dated June 20.

On December 25, 2023, the President of India gave assent to the BNS, BSA and BNSS. As notified, these new criminal laws are to take effect from July 1 this year.

The new laws will replace the colonial-era Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Indian Evidence Act of 1872 respectively.

Banerjee noted that the three bills were passed in Lok Sabha with no debate and at a time when 146 MPs were suspended.

Also Read: Put on hold three criminal laws, consult stakeholders: Stalin in letter to Amit Shah

“If you kindly recall, on the 20th of December last year, the outgoing Government of yours had passed these three critical Bills unilaterally, and with absolutely no debate. That day, almost one hundred members of the Lok Sabha had been suspended and a total of 146 MPs of both Houses were thrown out of the Parliament. The Bills were passed in an authoritarian manner in that dark hour of democracy. The matter deserves review now,” she wrote.

Banerjee further wrote that “it would be in the fitness of things” to place them (BNS, BSA and BNSS) for fresh deliberation and scrutiny in the newly elected Parliament.

“Earlier we had argued that these legislative attempts were retrograde, regressive and reactionary. I had argued that the outgoing Lok Sabha should not pass the new bills with far-reaching significance in an undue hurry,” she wrote, citing that she had earlier written twice to the Union home minister.

“Any far-reaching legal change requires meticulous groundwork beforehand to ensure effective enforcement and administration and we do not have any reason to avert such homework,” the letter reads. 

Speaking to media persons, the state Bharatiya Janata Party leader and spokesperson said that the Bharatiya Janata Party parliamentary committee and the PM would take the final call on this.

“The state BJP has no comments on this. Before the bills were passed, the centre had held discussions with all stakeholders. The opinion of all chief ministers was sought. But the chief minister (Mamata Banerjee) has written in the letter that no discussions were held. We have objections to this”, Bhattacharya told reporters in Kolkata.

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