Udupi: Shantharam Shetty criticizes new criminal law as ‘Nagarik Asurkshitha Sanhita’

Daijiworld Media Network – Udupi (TP)

Udupi, Jun 24: In a discussion on the new criminal laws, Shantharam Shetty, a senior advocate, sharply criticized the recent legislative changes, calling them ‘Nagarik Asurkshitha Sanhita’ instead of ‘Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita’, implying they promote insecurity rather than protection.

Speaking at a program organized by the Udupi District Working Journalists Association in collaboration with the Udupi Bar Association and the Human Rights Protection Foundation, Shetty remarked on the reformation of the three major criminal acts in India. He noted, “The Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, and the Indian Evidence Act have been rebranded as Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, and Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, respectively.”

Shetty criticized the use of Sanskrit in the new bill names, which he argued is not in accordance with Article 348, stipulating that laws should be in English. He explained, “These laws are traditionally English for a reason, given their historical and practical context. The Indian Penal Code specifies crimes and their corresponding punishments, the Code of Criminal Procedure outlines crime investigation processes, and the Indian Evidence Act details what constitutes admissible evidence.”

He further expressed that these acts are foundational, akin to ‘diamonds’ from the British colonial era, and questioned the necessity of the new laws. “New laws should be created based on demand or the obsolescence of existing laws, neither of which justifies these changes. The new laws retain 75 percent of the old framework, with a few unnecessary alterations,” Shetty added.

He raised concerns about the high percentage of parliamentarians with criminal charges and questioned the practicality of a 90 percent conviction rate suggested by the new laws. “If such a conviction rate is achieved, parliament would be emptied, necessitating the construction of jails in every taluk. India predominantly deals with prima facie cases involving punishments of less than seven years,” he stated.

Shetty also addressed the impact of British rule, acknowledging their contribution to India’s legal development, and emphasized that the British did not enact laws that violated human rights.

Criticizing the procedural changes in the new bills, Shetty noted, “The new law allows police to delay registering a complaint for 14 days, potentially denying victims’ justice and leading to a police-dominated society. Additionally, the bill omits provisions for private complaints and redefines penalties for negligence-related crimes, increasing the punishment from two to five years with non-bailable conditions.”

Dr Ravindranath Shanbhag, president of the Human Rights Protection Foundation, remarked that the new law should address the current judicial backlog, improve police infrastructure, and be population-friendly. He criticized the law ministry for inadequate research, though he acknowledged some positive aspects of the bill.

The event, held at the Udupi Press Club, featured introductory remarks by Rajesh Shetty Alevoor, president of the Udupi District Working Journalists Association. Nazir Polya, secretary, welcomed the attendees, and Umesh Marpalli, treasurer, extended the vote of thanks. Other notable attendees included Renold Praveen Kumar, president of the Udupi Bar Association, and Manjunatha from the district information department.





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Title: Udupi: Shantharam Shetty criticizes new criminal law as ‘Nagarik Asurkshitha Sanhita’

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