The Government has introduced three Bills to replace the core laws, i.e., the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973, and the Indian Evidence Act (IEA), 1872, which form the basis of the criminal justice system. These Bills are being examined by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs. (The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill will replace the IPC; the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita Bill will be in place of the CrPC, and the Bharatiya Sakshya Bill will replace the IEA.)
As these Bills replace the entire Acts — and are not merely Amendment Bills to fix some gaps — they provide an opportunity for an overhaul of the laws underlying the criminal justice system. This raises the following questions — Do they update the law to reflect the concepts of modern jurisprudence? How do these Bills relate to various special laws? Do they help unclog the criminal justice system? Are various definitions and provisions drafted well without ambiguity?