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Supreme Court Declines to Consider PIL Against 3 New Criminal Laws

The Supreme Court has refused to entertain a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the constitutionality of 3 newly enacted criminal laws designed to replace the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), and the Indian Evidence Act.

Bench Questions the Timing and Merit of Petition

During the hearing, a Division Bench composed of Justices Bela M. Trivedi and Pankaj Mithal of the Supreme Court highlighted the premature nature of the petition. Justice Mithal questioned petitioner Vishal Tiwari’s rationale for filing the plea, pointing out that the laws in question have not yet been implemented. “Laws are not in force. How can you file such pleas drafted in a casual manner?” Justice Mithal asked Tiwari.

Petitioner Withdraws Case

Faced with the  Supreme Court’s reluctance to proceed with the petition, Tiwari, representing himself, opted to withdraw his petition.

Previous Dismissal of Similar Petition

The decision follows a similar dismissal by another bench, consisting of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala, and Justice Manoj Misra. In that instance, the Supreme Court also noted the petitioner’s lack of standing and reiterated that the laws had not yet taken effect.

Legislative Background of the New Laws

The three new  criminal laws were initially introduced in the Lok Sabha on August 11, 2023, under the titles Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (to replace IPC), Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (to replace CrPC), and Bharatiya Sakshya Bill (to replace the Indian Evidence Act). The Lok Sabha passed these criminal  laws on December 20, 2023, followed by approval from the Rajya Sabha the next day.

Implementation Timeline

The Union Home Ministry subsequently issued a gazette notification on February 24, announcing that these new  criminal laws would come into effect on July 1 of this year.

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