New Sections of Criminal Provisions in New Criminal Laws 

3 Jul 2024  Read 1550 Views

We Indians use a lot of slang, and “420"/ "charsobees" is one of the most iconic. This term refers to someone who is a fraud or trickster. The origins of the term come from Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code, which covers offences relating to cheating and dishonesty.

But now, "420" won't mean much as our old criminal laws have been replaced with new ones. This means that section numbers for many criminal offences and procedures have changed. In this blog, we'll look at some major law provisions and their new section numbers under the updated criminal laws. Keep reading to find out more.

Major Changes in Criminal Provisions and Their Numbering

Three new criminal laws came into effect on 1 July 2024. The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) 2023 replaces the Indian Penal Code (IPC); the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS), 2023, replaces the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC); and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA) replaces the Indian Evidence Act (IEA).

1. Punishment for Murder

Section 103 of the BNS covers punishment for murder; previously, it was under Section 302 of the IPC.

Section 103 (1) of BNS is the same as Section 302 of the IPC.

Change: But a new offence is added under Section 103 (2) of BNS as if 5 or more people commit murder due to someone's race, caste, gender, or similar reasons, each person will face either the death penalty or life in prison and may also have to pay a fine.

2. Attempt to murder

Section 109 of the BNS covered attempt to murder; previously, it was under Section 307 of the IPC. 

Section 109 of the BNS is the same as Section 307 of the IPC.

Change: But under the IPC, Section 307(2) states that if someone already serving a life sentence attempts murder, they face the death penalty. However, in the BNS, Section 109(2) offers an alternative. It allows the court to choose between the death penalty or imprisonment for life, which shall be the remainder of that person's natural life. 

3. Rape

Section 63 of the BNS defines rape, previously under Section 375 of the IPC.

Change: Exception 2 to Section 63 of the BNS says that sexual intercourse or sexual acts between a man and his wife, where the wife is under 18 years old, is considered rape. Under Section 375 of the IPC, the age limit was 15 years.

4. Gape Rape

Section 70 (1) of the BNS defines gape rape; previously, it was covered under Section 376D of the IPC.

No Change except the IPC section is included as a subsection in BNS.

5. Cruelty Defined

Section 86 of the BNS defines cruelty, previously, it was defined under Explanation of Section 498A of IPC.

Change: IPC Section 498A has been bifurcated into Sections 85 and 86. The IPC explanation part has been provided in Section 86 BNS under the heading Cruelty defined. 

However, no changes were made to Section 85 of the BNS, which addresses cruelty against a married woman. 

6. Dowry death, Sexual harassment

Section 80 of the BNS covers dowry death; previously, it was under Section 304B of the IPC. 

Section 75 of the BNS covers the offence of sexual harassment; previously, it was under Section 354A of the IPC

There is no change in the dowry death or sexual harassment provision under BNS other than section number.

7. Criminal intimidation

Section 351 of the BNS covers offence of criminal intimidation, previously, it was under Section 503 of the IPC.

Change: The IPC section is included as a sub-section in BNS. And "by any means" is added.

8. Defamation

Section 356(1) of the BNS defines defamation; previously, it was under Section 499 of IPC.

Change: In BNS, community service is added as an alternate punishment for defamation.

9. Cheating

 Section 318 of the BNS covers provisions for cheating previously, which was under Section 420 of IPC. 

Change: IPC's cheating sections are included as a sub-section in the BNS.

10. Sedition 

Section 124 A of IPC relating to sedition has been deleted in the BNS, 2023.

Change: Under Section 152 of BNS, 2023, a new section is introduced as an Act endangering the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India. 

Acts of secession, armed rebellion, subversive activities, separatist activities, or endangering the sovereignty, unity, and integrity of India are punishable by imprisonment for 7 years or imprisonment for life. 
Do you know how the new IPC is Different from the Old IPC? Read the full article to know in-depth.

11. Bail 

Section 478 of the BNSS covers what cases bail is to be taken; previously, it was under 436 of the CrPC.

Change: In BNSS, the word “bail” is replaced by "or bail bond", and "without sureties” is excluded. In subsection (2) of 478 of BNSS, "bond or” and “or bail bond" are added.

12. Maintenance of wife, children and parents

Section 144 of BNSS provides for the order for maintenance of the wife, children and parents; previously, it was under Section 125 of the CrPC.

Change: BNSS replaced "minor" with "child".

13. FIR

Section 173 of the BNSS covers FIR (Information in Cognizable Cases); previously, it was under Section 154 of IPC.

Change: The scope for filing an FIR has been expanded by including zero FIR and E-FIR

14. Examination of Complaint

Section 223 of the BNSS discusses examining complaints; previously, it was under section 200 of the CrPC.

Change: The new rule added to Section 223(1) of BNSS states that a Magistrate cannot start legal action against the accused without first giving them a chance to speak.

15. Procedure for Investigation

Section 176 of the BNSS talks about procedure for investigation, previously it was under section 157 of the CrPC.

Change: Audio-video electronic means are now included in the investigation. Forensic experts must now visit the crime scene for offences punishable by 7 years or more.

16. Police Officer's Report on Completion of Investigation

Section 193 of the BNSS deals with the police officer's report on the completion of the investigation; previously, it was under section 173 of the CrPC.

Change: Section 193(2) requires that investigations for rape, gang rape, and specific offences under the POCSO Act must be completed within 2 months.

Clause 193(3)(ii) of BNSS states that the police must update the informant or victim about the investigation progress within 90 days, using any communication method, including electronic communication.

17. Curfew

Section 163 of the BNSS talk about power to issue order in urgent cases of nuisance or apprehended danger (curfew), previously it was under section 144 of the CrPC.

There is no change in the curfew's provision in BNS except the section number.

18. Right of Accused

Section 38 of the BNSS talk about right of arrested person to meet an advocate of his choice during interrogation, previously it was under section 41D of the CrPC.

There is no change in section 38 of BNS other than section number.

Do you know how the new CrPC is different from the old CrPC? Read the full article to know in-depth.

19. Evidence

Section 2(1)(e) of the BSA defines evidence, previously it was under section 3, para 6 of the IEA.

Change: This section includes 'information given electronically' within oral evidence and 'or digital records' within documentary evidence.

20. Confession to Police Officer

Section 23 of the BSA says confession to a police officer and confession by accused while in the custody of police are not to be proved against him evidence, previously it was under section 25 and 26 of the IEA, respectively.

Change: The words "not to be proved" are removed from the heading. Section 26 of the IEA is added as a subsection of section 23 of the BSA.

21. Burden of proof

Section 104 of the BSA talks about burden of proof, previously it was under section 101 of the IEA.

No changes in the BSA section 104 other than the section number.

22. Dying Declaration

Section 26 of the BSA deals with cases in which a statement of relevant facts by a person who is dead or cannot be found, etc.(dying declaration); previously, it was under section 32 of the IEA.

Change: The word "namely" is added, and the headings of subsections are removed. In illustration word "ravished" is changed by "raped" and word "banya" is replaced by "business".

23. Privileged Communication

Section 132 of the BSA talks about privileged communication between advocate and client, previously it was under section 126 of the IEA.

Change: The words "barrister, attorney, pleader or vakil" are replaced by "advocate." Also, the word "employment" is replaced by "service." 

24. Alibi

Section 9 of the BSA talks about when facts not otherwise relevant become relevant; previously it was under section 11 of the IEA.

There is no change except in the illustrations; cities' names have been changed from Calcutta to Chennai and Lahore to Laddakh.

25. Estoppel 

Section 121 of the BSA is about estoppel, previously it was under section 115 of the IEA.

There are no changes in the provision of estoppel in BSA except for the section number.

Do you know how the new IEA is Different from the Old IEA? Read the full article to know in-depth.

About the Author: Anirudh Nikhare | 66 Post(s)

Anirudh did his Bachelor's in Law and has practical experience in IPR, Contracts, and Corporate. He is your go-to legal content writer turning head-scratching legal topics into easy-to-understand gems of wisdom. Through his blog, he aims to empower readers with knowledge, making legal concepts digestible and applicable to everyday life.

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