Friday, December 1, 2023

Satya Column: New laws would benefit the common man, women, and children

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The Har Ghar Tiranga website received over six crore posts of selfies taken with the national tricolour on Monday evening as the nation celebrates the 76th anniversary of Independence Day on Tuesday. People responded overwhelmingly to a call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and made over six crore posts. Responding to another call given by the Prime Minister to display the tricolour replacing their old display picture in social media handles, lakhs of people responded.

Artist(e)s, sportspersons, political leaders, and social activists have been making the Har Ghar Tiranga call, given by the PM in connection with Azaadi Ki Amrit Mahotsav, a grand success. The tricolour is fluttering in the streets, a few days prior to the Independence Day, everywhere in the country. Never in the past have people of the country welcomed Independence Day on such a grand scale.

Modi, upon becoming the Prime Minister, took every measure so that every Indian feels proud of his or her nation. He influenced the UNO to observe World Yoga Day, encouraging millions to practice yoga. Under the name Atma Nirbhar, the Centre facilitated MNCs to produce their goods on the soil of India and share their technology with Indian companies. Modi took measures to revive the past glory of religious places like Varanasi, Ayodhya, and Ujjain. He proved that India would not tolerate divisive forces by annulling Article 370 of the Constitution and declared that J and K is an integral part of India.

Several freedom-fighters, including unsung heroes, find their proper place in history. These include Sardar Patel, Ambedkar and Subhash Chandra Bose and their memorials and idols were installed. The Pradhan Mantri Sangrahalaya, a museum on Indian Prime Ministers, was established to make people aware of the decisions taken by successive prime ministers who ruled the country during their regimes. He was instrumental in introducing the New Education Policy that is crucial for the evolving Indian education system. He ensured that Indian culture and great people find suitable place in the annals of history. Modi brought about Bharatiya Nyaya Samhita, Bharatiya Sakshya Samhita and Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Samhita replacing the British time Criminal Procedure Code, Indian Penal Code and Evidence Act to reform criminal law in the country.

During the British period, sedition laws were invoked to punish freedom-fighters like Mahatma Gandhi. The Modi-led BJP government took care to send a strong message across the nation saying that it would not tolerate any act that could affect the unity and integrity of the nation from Indian soil and included Section 150. It included Section 151 to the effect that the country would not tolerate provocation of war against India from a foreign soil. Those who indulge in organised crimes or acts of terrorism or anti-national activities would not be able to evade punishment. The Constitution was amended 75 times, but the judicial system still remained intact. In fact, over 5 crore cases have been pending before Indian courts. While those who indulged in gang-rape, destruction of public property, torturing women and exhibited cruelty towards children were able to escape punishment, innocent people are languishing in jails. The legal system, which is supposed to protect the innocent and punish the criminal, is slow pedalling in the country. Thousands of undertrial detenus are languishing in jails. The legal reforms pave the way to tender evidence electronically, filing zero FIR from any police station, irrespective of the place of occurrence of the crime; and allow people to file e-FIR, among other things.

The police officials are made accountable to effecting arrests so that they would not be able to effect arrests indiscriminately. In case searching the premises is required as part of the case investigation, the searches would be video recorded. Measures like conducting trial in absentia in some cases, against the accused like Dawood Ibrahim, Vijay Malya, and Neerav Modi, disposing of cases in three years and such other rules inject speed in the judicial system.

The new laws introduced by the NDA government would benefit the common man, women, and children. A raped women’s statement can be recorded at her home by a magistrate. Divulging her name has been made punishable. Those who indulge in sexual assaults against minors would be punished sternly.

Without permission of the officer of the rank of DSP, arrests cannot be effected in cases where the punishment would be less than three years. This will check indiscriminate arrests by the police. The information on arrested persons cannot be swept under the carpet. The victim has the right to know the progress of investigation in 90 days and the investigation of a case should be closed in 190 days and the charge-sheet filed in 90 days of completing the investigation. Within 60 days of filing the charge-sheet, the judges should confirm the charges, conduct the trial, and give decision in 30 days. Within seven days, the copy of the judgment should be uploaded onto the website. If any undertrial detainee has spent half of the period of his total punishment period in jail, they are eligible to get bail automatically.

Lawyers cannot seek adjournments as they like. Strict provisions have been made to provide security to the witness. Both the parties to a litigation can get copies of FIRs, charge-sheets, and judgments in digital format.

It is high time the champions of the pseudo human rights, who are out to portray Modi and BJP as ‘anti-people’, opened their eyes.

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