Tuesday, June 18, 2024

BNS-Second Bill does not include provisions criminalising adultery, non-consensual gay sex

The Union government has not included the parliamentary panel’s recommendation to include a “gender-neutral” provision criminalising adultery and a clause to separately criminalise non-consensual gay sex.

Meanwhile, in the revised Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita Bill, 2023 two new provisions to define “cruelty” against women in a marital relationship and to penalise the publication of court proceedings that may disclose the identity of a rape victim have been added.

The revised Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita Bill, 2023, Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Sanhita, and Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita were tabled by Union home minister Amit Shah in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday to replace the colonial-era Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Shah withdrew the three criminal Bills which were introduced in August this year. The Bills were then referred to the Parliamentary Panel.

As per the BNS-Second Bill, it does not include the Parliamentary panel’s suggestions for adultery which was added under 497 which was ended by the Supreme Court.

The BNS-Second Bill also does not have Section 377 which is related to unnatural sex against the order of the nature.

Once the Bill is passed, these two sections 377 and 497 will cease to exist.

The Parliamentary Panel had added adultery under 497, which was ended by the Supreme Court saying that it had been added because “the institution of marriage is sacred” and it must be “protected”.

The BNS-Second Bill has two more new additions.

In the BNS-Second two new sections which has been added include Section 73 which says whoever prints or publishes any matter in relation to any proceeding before a court with respect to an offence referred to in section 72 without the previous permission of such Court shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine.

It also said that the printing or publication of the judgment of any High Court or the Supreme Court does not amount to an offence within the meaning of this section.

The government has however, accepted the panel’s recommendation on doing away with the alternative punishment for murder by mob lynching — proposed as not less than seven years in Clause 101(2) of the original BNS Bill — and made it at par with punishment for murder.

Even as per the revised BNS Bill under Section 103 (2) it says that when a group of five or more persons acting in concert commits murder on the ground of race, caste or community, sex, place of birth, language, personal belief or any other similar ground each member of such group shall be punished with death or with imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.

–IANs

aks/dan

20231213176543

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