‘With grave concern…’: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee urges PM Modi to defer implementation of three criminal laws

CM Mamata Banerjee writes to PM Modi requesting the deferment of new criminal laws to enable a fresh Parliamentary review.

First Published21 Jun 2024, 11:55 AM IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. (PTI) (File)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. (PTI) (File)(HT_PRINT)

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday, June 21, urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to defer the implementation of the three criminal laws, which are set to be rolled out on July 1.

In a letter to the prime minister, Banerjee said the deferment would enable a renewed Parliamentary review of the criminal laws, newswire PTI reported.

In her letter, Banerjee expressed “grave concern” and urged the PM “to consider at least a deferment of the implementation date.”

The introduction of three new laws—Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, and Bharatiya Sakshya Act—marks a significant shift as they replace the colonial-era Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, and Indian Evidence Act of 1872.

The government claims these reforms are designed to streamline the judicial process, enhance court management, and ensure swift justice delivery to citizens.

The Trinamool Congress noted that the three bills were passed in the Lok Sabha when 146 MPs had been suspended.

"The outgoing government of yours had passed these three critical bills unilaterally, and with absolutely no debate. That day, almost 100 members of the Lok Sabha had been suspended and a total 146 MPs of the both Houses were thrown out of Parliament.

“The Bills were passed in an authoritarian manner in that dark hour of democracy. Matter deserves review now,” Banerjee noted.

"I urge your esteemed office now to consider at least a deferment of the implementation date. Reasons are two-fold: ethical, and practical," she said.

She said significant legislative changes should be placed before the newly elected Parliament for fresh deliberation and scrutiny.

"Given the wide-ranging reservations expressed in the public domain regarding the hurriedly passed new laws, fresh Parliamentary review of these attempts would demonstrate a commitment to democratic principles...This approach would afford the newly elected people's representatives an opportunity to thoroughly examine the proposed," she said.

Banerjee said the request for postponement also stems from a pragmatic assessment of the challenges and preparatory work required for a smooth transition, particularly concerning the training of law enforcement personnel and judicial officers.

"Any far-reaching legal change requires meticulous groundwork beforehand to ensure effective enforcement and administration and we do not have any reason to avert such homework," she said.

"I humbly request you to consider our appeal for a deferment of the implementation of The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNA) 2023, The Bharatiya Sakhsya Adhiniyam (BSA) 2023, and The Bhartiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) 2023," she said.

"We believe this postponement will enable a renewed Parliamentary review/mandate, reinforce public trust in the legal system, and uphold the rule of law in our beloved country," Banerjee added.

Union Law and Justice Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal has said the three new criminal laws will come into force on July 1.

(With inputs from agencies)

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First Published:21 Jun 2024, 11:55 AM IST
HomePoliticsNews‘With grave concern…’: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee urges PM Modi to defer implementation of three criminal laws

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