New criminal laws come into force from today

Three new criminal laws — Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita 2023, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita 2023 and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam 2023 — will come into effect today, July 1. These laws will replace the British-era Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure and the Indian Evidence Act.

Some key highlights of new criminal laws are summons through electronic modes, mandatory videography of crime scenes, registration of police complaints online, and zero FIR.

Under the new legislation, victims will receive a complimentary copy of the FIR, guaranteeing their involvement in the legal proceedings.

An intriguing aspect of the law is that if someone is arrested, they have the right to notify a person of their choosing about their circumstances. This will guarantee prompt support and help for the person who has been arrested.

Additionally, arrest details will be prominently displayed in police stations and district headquarters, making it easier for families and friends of the arrested individual to access crucial information.

To strengthen cases and investigations, forensic experts must now visit crime scenes for serious offences and gather evidence. Furthermore, the evidence collection process at the crime scene must be videographed to prevent tampering.

The new laws prioritize investigations of offences against women and children, mandating completion within two months of the initial report. Additionally, victims are entitled to regular updates on their case’s progress every 90 days.

The new laws ensure that victims of crimes against women and children receive free first-aid or medical treatment at all hospitals. This provision guarantees immediate access to essential medical care, focusing on the well-being and recovery of victims during difficult times.

Summons can now be delivered electronically, speeding up legal procedures, reducing paperwork, and ensuring effective communication among all parties involved.