Opposition MPs seek reason to bring three new bills to replace criminal laws
DMK leader Dayanidhi Maran has shot off a letter to the panel chairman Brij Lal objecting to the “Hindi titles” of the bills
The Union home ministry has received responses of around 3200 people on the three bills to replace the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and the Evidence Act, home secretary Ajay Bhalla informed a House panel on Thursday. Some Opposition MPs, however, questioned Bhalla on why new bills have been brought instead of amending the current bills.
While Bhalla will address the queries of the lawmakers next month, DMK leader Dayanidhi Maran has shot off a letter to the panel chairman Brij Lal objecting to the “Hindi titles” of the bills and said, “ Article 348 mandates the use of English for (names of) all the Bills and Acts. Their Hindi titles violate the unitary nature of our country where the citizens speak a variety of languages other than Hindi.”
Maran also maintained that Hindi shouldn’t be imposed through these bills in non-Hindi speaking states such as Tamil Nadu. He also pointed out some inconsistencies: “Section 43 in The Bhartiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita provides for usage of handcuffs but the provision might not withstand the right to life as guaranteed by Article 21 of Indian Constitution and it also violates the Supreme Court judgement barring handcuffing in Prem Shankar Shukla vs Delhi Administration.”
The DMK MP and former minister added that while Section 473 in the same law provides a mechanism for filing of mercy petitions, it “does not provide for a time limit for the disposal of the mercy petition.”
In his deposition, Bhalla maintained that the bill has dropped the British-era sedition laws. “The home secretary has agreed to reply to the queries of the MPs on September 11 and 12. Some members even pointed out that the current committee’s term will end on September 12 and it’s better to allow the reconstituted panel to review the bill,” said another functionary.
“A number of Opposition MPs questioned the need to bring three new bills. They argued that the current bills—IPC, CrPC and the Evidences Act—could have been suitably amended to make similar changes,” said a lawmaker.
Around six opposition MPs were present in the meeting and demanded that all states, bar associations and MPs must be consulted.
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