Criminal law

The Modi government’s designations for new criminal bills are sparking controversy


New Delhi: The Modi government’s move to replace the existing three criminal law bills with three new bills has faced criticism from opposition parties for being dubbed in Hindi.

On Friday (11 August) Federal Home Minister Amit Shah He introduced the three new bills in the Indian House of Representatives including the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill of 2023 to replace the Indian Penal Code of 1860; The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita Bill, 2023 to replace the Criminal Procedure Act, 1898; and the Bharatiya Sakshya Bill of 2023 to replace the Indian Evidence Act of 1872.

Shah said the new bills would reform the country’s criminal justice system and shed its colonial legacy.

However, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M. K. Stalin, asserted that in the name of decolonization, the Union government is trying to “re-colonise”.

In a statement on X (formerly Twitter), Stalin criticized the naming of the three new bills as a “bold attempt by the federal BJP government to manipulate the essence of India’s diversity through comprehensive reform” that “smells of linguistic imperialism”. “.



“This is an affront to the very foundation of India’s unity. The BJP and Prime Minister Modi have no moral right even to utter the word Tamil hereafter.

“The fire of resistance against Indian colonialism is burning once again. The BJP’s bold attempt to replace our identity with Indianness will be resolutely opposed,” he added.

Union Minister for Education and Skills Development Dharmendra Pradhan responded to Stalin’s tweet, calling it “trivial politics”.

Pradhan said in a tweet and that such “petty politics” may well serve the chief minister’s political ambitions of Tamil Nadu, but “weaken the spirit of India”.

Pradhan said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP “have always been vocal about promoting and preserving India’s linguistic diversity, including Tamil linguistic diversity”.

Kashi Tamil Sangamam was one glowing example. This causes heartache to those who have the misplaced notion that India’s cultural continuity and literary pride is the property of a few dynasties.

Congressman Shashi Tharoor He said that Stalin’s reaction “is not surprising and should have been expected.”

“It would not have cost the government much if it had got the names of the new bills in both Hindi and English (as required under Article 348 of the Constitution),” he said.

“But they chose to rub their Indian chauvinism in everyone’s faces, thus nullifying all efforts made by the Chief Minister and other Ministers to pay tribute to the rich Tamil heritage and to pay tribute to Tamil culture at every opportunity.”

“Another own goal by the bumbling minds of the BJP!”

Article 348(b) States that all Bills or Amendments to be brought into either House of Parliament or the State Legislature, all Acts passed by Parliament or State Legislatures, Ordinances passed by the President or Governors, and all Orders, Rules, Regulations, and By-laws made under the Constitution or under any law Issued by the Parliament or State Legislature, it shall be in the English language.

The law also adds that if laws are made by state legislatures in any other Indian language, an English translation of the text must be available.

Earlier on Friday, the DMK MP, B. Wilson also said that the move to name the new bills in Hindi is “another form of enforcing the Hindi language”.

“South Indian lawyers will spend most of their time in the courts trying to pronounce these names.”

The Supreme Court’s Chief Advocate Mohan Katarky also criticized the naming of the new bills.

“The Indian heading in the English version of the bill is completely arbitrary and unconstitutional. It is an attempt to force the Hindi language on non-Indian people. Even otherwise, the changes are superficial.” He said.

Talking to the wire Earlier, Sanjoy Ghose was the senior advocate of the Delhi High Court He said That this is “unheard of”.

“All legislation, in the form of Ordinances or Bills, has an Indian version and an English version. But this is the first time that they have given the English version an Indian name and superimposed an Indian name on English law.

He added that this must also be seen in the light of a very Hindu Brahmin imposition as well.

“The reason I say this is because the Indian name they gave to a very Sanskrit, for example, could have simply been called Bharatiya Danda Kush, for example, but instead it is called Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, which is a very Indian Sanskrit name.” He said.


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