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The Special and Local Laws UPSC NOTE

 Introduction of Criminal Laws

  • On August 11, 2023, the Union Home Minister of India introduced three Bills in the Lok Sabha to replace the existing criminal laws in the country. The Bills are:

  1. Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) Bill, 2023 to replace the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860

  2. Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) Bill, 2023 to replace the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973

  3. Bharatiya Sakshya (BS) Bill, 2023 to replace the Indian Evidence Act (IEA), 1872

Introduction of Criminal Laws

  • The government has stated that the Bills are aimed at modernizing and codifying the criminal laws in India

  • This is to make them more responsive to the needs of the 21st century. 

  • The Bills have been referred to the Standing Committee on Home Affairs for scrutiny and recommendations.

  • Some have welcomed the move to update the criminal laws, 

  • While others have expressed concern about certain provisions in the Bills. 

  • For example, the BNS Bill has been criticized for introducing new offenses that could be used to curb dissent. 

  • The BNSS Bill has been criticized for giving more powers to the police.

  • The Bills are likely to be debated extensively in Parliament before they are passed into law

  • The outcome of the debate will determine the future of criminal law in India.

  • In the meantime, the introduction of the Bills has sparked a renewed debate on the need for criminal law reform in India.

Importance of Special and Local Laws (SLLs)

  • SLLs are enacted by the Parliament or State Legislatures to address specific issues or concerns that are not adequately covered by general laws.

SLLs are important for a number of reasons:

  • They can provide more detailed and nuanced regulation of specific areas of activity. 

  • The Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 is an example for SLL.

  • They can be tailored to the specific needs of particular regions or communities

  • The Panchayats(Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 is a SLL that provides for the extension of the panchayat system to Scheduled Areas. 

Importance of Special and Local Laws (SLLs)

  • The Information Technology Act, 2000 is a SLL that was enacted to address the challenges and opportunities posed by the internet and other information technologies. 

  • This Act would not have been possible if the government had to rely on general laws that were drafted before the advent of these technologies.

  • SLL contribute to the diversity and richness of the Indian legal system. 

  • SLLs can also be misused. they can be used to create discriminatory laws or to restrict fundamental rights

Substantive Issues in SLLs

Some of the key substantive issues in SLLs include:

  • SLLs must be consistent with general laws. However, there may be cases where SLLs conflict with general laws. In such cases, the courts must determine which law should prevail.

  • SLLs must be limited in their scope. They cannot be used to cover all aspects of a particular issue.

  •  SLLs cannot be made retroactive. This means that they cannot be applied to events that occurred before the law was enacted.

  • SLLs must not violate fundamental rights. If a SLL is found to violate fundamental rights, it may be struck down by the courts.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: The Special and Local Laws UPSC NOTE
The Special and Local Laws UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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