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5th April 2024 (10 Topics)

Revisit these sections of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita


The central government has notified the implementation of three recently enacted criminal laws from July 1, 2024. However, Section 106(2) of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), 2023, has been put on hold pending discussions with the All India Motor Transport Congress due to concerns raised by truck drivers regarding its severity.

Concerns Regarding Section 106(2):

  • Disproportionate Sentencing: The provision prescribing a maximum of 10 years imprisonment for failing to report a fatal accident without considering medical assistance seems disproportionate compared to other laws.
  • Conflict with Fundamental Rights: Section 106(2) might infringe upon Article 20(3) of the Indian Constitution, which prohibits self-incrimination, as individuals may report accidents due to fear of enhanced punishment.

Introduction of 'Petty Organised Crime':

  • Definition and Scope: Section 112 of the BNS introduces a new offence termed 'petty organised crime,' encompassing various criminal acts committed by groups or gangs.
  • Lack of Clarity: The inclusion of undefined acts like "unauthorised selling of tickets" and "selling of public examination question papers" raises ambiguity about the scope and severity of the offence.
  • Potential Legal Challenges: Without specific sentencing guidelines, the provision may face scrutiny from the Supreme Court for its vague and open-ended nature.

Revisiting Theft Provisions:

  • Non-Cognisable Offence for Low-Value Theft: The BNS categorizes theft of property worth less than ?5,000 as a non-cognisable offence, potentially impacting access to justice for economically disadvantaged victims.
  • Legal Complications: Failure to return stolen property of low value may lead to imprisonment, raising legal and practical challenges in enforcement and recovery.
  • Judicial Discretion: The absence of judicial discretion in sentencing for certain offences, such as trafficking, raises concerns regarding the fairness and constitutionality of the law.
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