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Major Changes Under Bhartiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill, 2023

On 25th of December 2023,the Bhartiya Nyaya(second) Sanhita Bill 2023 received the assent of the President of India. Bhartiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill 2023(BNS) is one of three criminal bill (Bhartiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita and Bhartiya Sakshya Act 2023)introduced by the Union Government to replace the era old Indian Penal Code,1860(IPC).

One of the key factors to introduce these three Bills was to add the digitalization factor to the laws which the old laws does not possess. The bills have introduced several amendments, apart from amendments the bill aims to add several offences in the daily course of law which were either part of any statue or was an offspring of precedents declared by the Supreme Court of India.

What are the major changes introduced in the Bhartiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill, 2023

Promise to Marry.
Section 69 of the Bhartiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill 2023 provides punishment for sexual intercourse engaging deceitful means.

Section 69 of the BNS stats that:
"Whoever, by the deceitful means or making by promise to marry a women without any intention of fulfilling the same, and has sexual intercourse with her, such sexual not amounting to the offence of rape, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description of term which may extent to 10 years and shall also be liable for fine."

"Deceitful means" shall include the false promise of employment or promotion, inducement.

Mob lynching.
Section 103(2) of the Bhartiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill 2023 provides punishment for murder under the act of Mob lynching.

Section 103(2) of the Bhartiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill 2023 stats that

"when a group of five or more person acting in concerns commit murder on the ground of race, caste or community, sex, place of birth , language, personal belief or any other ground each member of such group shall be punished with death or with imprisonment for life, shall be liable to fine."

The Act Of Sedition.
Sedition is no longer an offence. Instead, there is now a wider concept for act endangering the sovereignty unity and integrity of India.

Section 152 of the BNS 2023 stats that:
Whoever, purposely or knowingly, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or by electric communication or by use of financial means, or otherwise, excites or attempts to excite, succession or armed rebellion or subversive activates, or encourages feeling of separatist activates or endangers sovereignty or unity and integrity of India, or indulges in or comment any such act shall be punished with imprisonment for life or with imprisonment which may extent to 7 years and shall also be liable to fine .

Comments expressing disapprobation of the measures, or administrative or other action of the Government with a view to obtain their alteration by lawful means without exciting or attempting to excite the activities referred to In this Section.

Organised Crime.
Organised crime includes offences such as Kidnapping, Extortion, Contract Killing, Land Grabbing, Financial Scams and Cybercrime which is carried out by the Criminal Syndicate.

Attempting or committing organised crime will be punishable with:
  1. Death or life Imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10 lakhs, if its result in death of a person, or
  2. Imprisonment for at least 5 years and a fine of at least 5 lakhs rupees.
The use of violence , threat of violence , intimidation, coercion, corruption, or related activates or other unlawful means is must to obtain direct or indirect, material benefit including financial benefits.

As of now these crimes were dealt under various state legislature and act of parliament which are:
  1. Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) and
  2. Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act, 1985( NDPS).
The act of Terrorism.
Section 113 of Bhartiya Nyaya Sanhita punishes and defines terrorism as any act which is done in intent to threaten or likely to threaten the unity, integrity, Sovereignty, Security or Economic Security of India or with the intent to strike terror or likely to strike terror in the people or any Section of the people in India or in any foreign country.

Before the indulgment of definition of terrorism under BNS 2023, Terrorism act is currently dealt under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act,1967(UAPA)

Section 309 of IPC defines punishment of suicide a Imprisonment sentence of up to one year or with fine or both. Now Section 224 of the Bhartiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill covers suicide proposing "Whoever attempts to commit suicide with the intent to compel or restrain any public servant from discharging his official duty shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extent to one year or with fine or with both or with community service."

Another new provision BNS 2023 adds is to define Snatching Section 302 of the Bhartiya Nyaya Sanhita defines Snatching it says "theft is Snatching if, in order to commit theft, the offender suddenly or quickly or forcibly seizes or services or grabs or takes away from any person or from his possession any moveable property any indulges in the above mentioned activity will be liable for Imprisonment of up to 3 years and liability to fine for whoever commits snatching.

The Act of Defamation.
The only change that happened in the Act of defamation is in terms of its punishment, BNS 2023 adds "community service" as a form of punishment in the act of defamation it adds that "whoever liable for the act of defamation will be liable for Simple Imprisonment of up to two years, or with fine, or with both or with Community service.

Way Forward:
The Bhartiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill 2023 is seen as a innovative and reformative step taken by the Government of India as it has deleted several laws such as adultery, natural sexual offences, thugs, gender based provisions etc., which were the part of the old laws i.e.

IPC, these act will have a huge impact and societal reforms in the Indian Society, these acts now have a national based identity, scraping the old British legacy over the nation and these bills have come up with the identity that with the changing times and need of society, laws of the nation changes to provide Safety, security, freedom to the citizen of this country. The new bills have covered up several loopholes which are present in the old laws, facility citizens and implementing the laws effectively.

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