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NEW DELHI: Within days of the passage three criminal laws, a lawyer has approached the Supreme Court, seeking a direction to the Centre to stay the operation and implementation of Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita 2023, Bharatiya Nagrik Suraksha Sanhita 2023 and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam 2023. In a PIL, advocate Vishal Tiwari sought directions to immediately constitute an expert committee under the chairmanship of former judge of Supreme Court to examine, assess, identify the viability of three new criminal laws. The petitioner said new criminal law do not bring any new changes from the previous ones, except a few, but create confusion among citizen and provide more power to police and supress the fundamental rights.

 The petitioner claimed that there were irregularities in passage of the three laws as not much debate and discussion took place due to suspension of several MPs from Parliament. He cited a speech by former Chief Justice of India Justice N V Ramana expressing concern regarding enacting of laws without debate in Parliament.

Besides, questioning validity of the three laws on several grounds, the petitioner said the introduction of new criminal bills may bring about complex legal provisions, ambiguous language, or intricate procedural requirements. “Lawyers may face challenges in interpreting and navigating these complexities, potentially leading to delays and legal uncertainties,” his plea said. It also stated compliance with new criminal bills may lead to increased operational costs for law firms, including investments in legal technology, research tools, and specialised expertise required to effectively handle cases under the revised legal framework. “It is important to note that these problems are potential challenges that lawyers may encounter with the introduction of new criminal bills, and the specific impacts can vary based on the nature and scope of the legislation,” it said.”The main motive of the bills were to decolonise the indian laws, but in contrary the same laws are being repeated with no new explanations with additional powers granted to the police to rule people out of fear and depriving the fundamental rights,” the plea added.

President Droupadi Murmu has last month given assent to the three new criminal laws, which replaced British ear Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code and Indian Evidence Act. The Ministry of Law and Justice on December 25, 2023 notified the three Acts in gazette. The government is yet to notify the date on which these codes will come into effect. The President’s assent was granted after Lok Sabha cleared the three bills on December 20 and Rajya Sabha on December 21, 2023.