New Criminal Laws: Major changes proposed | UPSC

In a landmark move to reform the criminal justice system, three newly enacted laws—the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS), and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA)—will come into effect from July 1.

These laws will replace the colonial-era Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), and the Indian Evidence Act of 1872, respectively.

The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) will replace the 163-year-old IPC, bringing significant changes to penal law. A notable introduction is community service as a form of punishment under Section 4.

The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS), replacing the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) of 1973, introduces key changes like allowing first-time offenders to get bail after serving one-third of their maximum sentence.

The Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA), replacing the Evidence Act, introduces crucial updates, especially regarding electronic evidence.