Karnataka government to amend certain sections in new criminal laws

According to Patil, the new penal codes have more disadvantages than advantages along with some confusing amendments.


Published Jul 02, 2024 | 9:58 AM Updated Jul 02, 2024 | 9:58 AM

HK Patil

The Karnataka government on Monday, 1 July, opposed the three new criminal laws, which came into force on 1 July, saying the Centre did not take its suggestions into consideration.

The three laws Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), Bharatiya Nagarika Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA) replacing Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code and Indian Evidence Act should have been implemented by the BJP government during its previous tenure itself and not now, Karnataka Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister HK Patil said in a press conference

The Minister recalled that in 2023, Union Home Minister Amit Shah wrote to CM Siddaramaiah asking him to review and give suggestions on these laws.

Based on the Chief Minister’s direction, an expert committee was formed. The panel submitted a report to Siddaramaiah, which was forwarded to Shah.

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‘No suggestion of ours taken’

“We gave a total of 23 suggestions but the central government did not take any of it seriously. No opinion of ours is included in it. Now, the new codes have been duly implemented,” the Minister said.

“These three laws have been promulgated ignoring public opinion and the suggestion of the legal luminaries. Thus, our government opposes these three laws.”

According to Patil, the new penal codes have more disadvantages than advantages along with some confusing amendments.

He also charged that the Centre has no moral right to implement the three laws now.

“The three laws have been changed and new laws have been implemented. Any government that makes a law has the right to enforce it during its tenure. However, it is an unethical and politically absurd move to implement after the end of the government’s tenure,” Patil said.

“The decision made by the cabinet of the previous government is not right to be implemented now. They had the right to enforce it in their previous term itself.”

Patil noted that the replacement of these laws with the original ones is equivalent to the amendment of the Constitution and hence all precautions should be taken during the enforcement of this law.

To a query, the Minister said the state government is empowered to amend laws. There is an opportunity to make amendments exercising constitutional rights.

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Explaining the scope for amendment, Patil said, “Fasting in protest against the government action is an offense, but suicide is not a crime in this law. This is unfortunate. It is an insult to the freedom struggle. In this regard, we will bring an amendment on fasting.”

The Karnataka government had suggested to the Centre to amend the law to prosecute those who show disrespect to the father of the nation, national emblem and tricolour but it did not agree. In this regard, the state government has contemplated an amendment, the minister noted.

The new law gives investigative agencies unilateral and discretionary powers to prosecute individuals for organised crime.

Further, he pointed to a provision for three years imprisonment and a fine for hurting the national integrity.

The Act will be amended for cybercrime, hacking, financial crime, nuclear weapons secrecy and sabotage through technology, he explained.

The minister pointed out that under the new Act, police custody is allowed for 90 days, which is a long period. Hence, the amendment has to be made to minimise the duration of police custody, he added.

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