Three New Criminal Laws came into force: Lt Governor addresses implementation ceremony at PHQ Srinagar

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SRINAGAR, (CNI): Historic Day in Indian Criminal Justice System as new Criminal Laws came into force today. To mark this momentous occasion, the Lieutenant Governor Shri Manoj Sinha presided over the implementation ceremony of the new Laws in J&K, at Police Headquarters.

Hon’ble Chief Justice, J&K and Ladakh High Court Sh. Justice N. Kotiswar Singh also graced the occasion.

In his address, the Lt Governor expressed gratitude to the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Hon’ble Home Minister Shri Amit Shah for bringing the much-needed reforms in the Criminal Justice System of the country.

He said the commencement of 3 new laws- ‘Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita’, ‘Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita’ and ‘Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam’- breaks the centuries-old shackles of colonial legacy.

“The new laws will ensure justice and equality for all, moving away from the repressive colonial framework. The reforms, rooted in the principles of liberty and fraternity, are a testament to our commitment to protect the vulnerable and ensure justice for all,” the Lt Governor said.

The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita replaces the Indian Penal Code of 1860, focusing on restorative justice and victim rights. This law shifts the focus from mere punishment to rehabilitation and reintegration. It aims to address the root causes of crime and offer offenders a chance to reform and contribute positively to society.

The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita replaces the Criminal Procedure Code of 1973, ensuring swift and fair trials. This law introduces measures to reduce delays in the justice delivery system, ensuring that justice is not only done but seen to be done on time. It also emphasizes the protection of the rights of the accused while ensuring public safety.

The Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam replaces the Indian Evidence Act of 1872, modernizing evidence collection and use. This law uses modern technology to ensure the accuracy and integrity of evidence. It introduces digital documentation and forensic advancements to strengthen the credibility of the judicial process.

Speaking on the overarching objectives of the new criminal laws, the Lt Governor said the new laws, based on individual freedom and human rights, reflect a major shift towards a more humane and just system.

“Designed to protect victim rights and ensure justice with a focus on human dignity, moving away from punitive colonial measures, new criminal laws acknowledge that every individual, regardless of their past, has the potential for change. New laws focus on restorative justice, where the emphasis is on repairing the harm caused by criminal behaviour and reintegrating offenders into society,” the Lt Governor said.

Highlighting the new provisions incorporated to suit contemporary times and technologies, the Lt Governor said, the new Criminal Laws addresses the issues like terrorism, sedition, and mob lynching and ensures our system is just, humane, and future-ready.

By incorporating technological advancements, new laws will enhance the efficiency and transparency of our justice system. This includes the use of digital tools for evidence collection, case management, and communication among the five pillars of criminal justice system, he observed.

The Lt Governor underlined the need to remain vigilant about the potential misuse of technology, which could undermine the very justice we look to uphold. He also spoke on the substantial investment in infrastructure and training required with the integration of forensic technology and digital procedures.

Ensuring data security and protecting the privacy of individuals is paramount. It is imperative to build robust systems that create a firewall against criminals, protect our citizens, and foster peace and development, the Lt Governor said.

On the occasion, the Lt Governor called for collective efforts to realize the full potential of the new reforms and ensure that justice is served efficiently and equitably.

He emphasised that all the stakeholders of the criminal justice system must nurture new laws collaboratively.

“We embark on a journey towards a more just and fair society. These reforms uphold the rule of law, protect human rights, and ensure justice. The major challenge of training our core personnel in all the verticals has been accomplished, including joint trainings. J&K Police has been instrumental in training their core IOs, augmenting the material and human resources, and adapting to the technological challenges and working on legal changes. Let’s work together to implement these changes, ensuring trust in a fair, transparent, and just legal system,” the Lt Governor said.

The Lt Governor further called for generating awareness on the new laws amongst the citizens, law enforcement agencies, stakeholders, legal fraternity, prosecutors, district administration officials, academia and students.

He also congratulated the Jammu Kashmir Police on registering the First F.I.R under the provision of the new Laws.

Hon’ble Chief Justice, J&K and Ladakh High Court Sh. Justice N. Kotiswar Singh, in his address, said the new Criminal Laws is the reflection of the Resurgent India, Confident India building on its own destiny based on its rich heritage.

He advised the Vice Chancellors of various universities present on the occasion to conduct awareness sessions on the new laws in their respective institutions.

Social workers, Legal Practitioners and Police officials from different districts, joined through video conferencing, also shared their views on the impact of new Laws on the criminal justice system.

Sh Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to Lt Governor; Sh Atal Dulloo, Chief Secretary; Sh RR Swain, DGP; members of the Judiciary and legal fraternity; prominent citizens and senior officers of Civil and Police Administration from all districts attended the implementation ceremony, in person and through virtual mode.(CNI)


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