Police Reforms – SC directives, NPC, other committees reports

Overview of Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill, 2023


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill, 2023

Mains level: NA


Central Idea

  • The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) Bill, 2023, introduces significant reforms to replace the Indian Penal Code.
  • The bill addresses terrorism, organized crime, gender neutrality, and repeals outdated laws like Section 377.

Major Provisions in the BNS Bill

[1] Promise to Marry (Clause 69)

  • Targeting ‘Love Jihad’: Criminalizes deceitful promises to marry, potentially addressing the ‘love jihad’ narrative.
  • Criminalization of Consensual Sexual Activity: Broadens the scope to include consensual sexual acts under certain deceitful circumstances.

[2] Mob Lynching

  • Codification of Offences: Introduces specific provisions for mob lynching and hate-crime murders.
  • Punishment: Ranges from life imprisonment to the death penalty.

[3] Organized Crime

  • Inclusion in Ordinary Law: For the first time, organized crime is addressed under ordinary criminal law.
  • Punishment Criteria: Distinction based on whether the crime results in death, with varying degrees of punishment.

[4] Terrorism

  • Integration into Ordinary Law: Adopts definitions from stringent acts and international laws, broadening the scope of terror financing.

[5] Attempt to Suicide

  • New Provision: Criminalizes suicide attempts aimed at compelling public servants, with potential implications for protests.

Significant Deletions and Repeals

[a] Section 377 (Unnatural Sexual Offences)

  • Repeal: Decriminalizes homosexuality, but raises concerns about addressing non-consensual acts.

[b] Adultery

  • Omission: Following the Supreme Court’s ruling, adultery is no longer criminalized.

[c] Thugee/Thugs (Section 310 IPC)

  • Removal: Eliminates colonial-era notions of criminality associated with certain tribes.

Gender Neutrality in Laws

  • Child-Related Offences: Makes laws about children gender-neutral.
  • Adult Offences: Extends gender neutrality to crimes like outraging modesty and voyeurism.

Other Notable Changes

  • Fake News: Introduces provisions against publishing false and misleading information.
  • Sedition (‘Deshdroh’): Renames and broadens the definition to include financial support for subversive activities.
  • Mandatory Minimum Sentences: Limits judicial discretion, raising concerns about fairness in considering mitigating circumstances.
  • Public Property Damage: Implements fines corresponding to the extent of damage caused.

What was the need for new bills?

  • Colonial legacy
    • From 1860 to 2023, the country’s criminal justice system functioned as per the laws made by the British.
    • The laws were drafted during colonial times and contain archaic language and concepts that might not accurately reflect current social norms, values.
  • Advances in Technology
    • This has introduced new dimensions to crime, evidence, and investigation.
  • Simplification and Streamlining
    • The laws have become complex over time, leading to confusion among legal practitioners, law enforcement agencies, and the general public.
    • Simplifying and streamlining the legal framework can enhance transparency and understanding.
  • Evidence Collection and Presentation
    • The Indian Evidence Act was enacted before the advent of modern forensic science and technological tools.
  • Various reports highlighted the need for reforms in criminal laws
    • The department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs in its 146th report had recommended that there is a need for a comprehensive review of the criminal justice system of the country.
    • It was also pointed out that the Parliamentary Standing Committee in its 111th and 128th reports had also highlighted the need for reforms in criminal laws.


  • Reformative Approach: The BNS Bill represents a significant overhaul of India’s penal system, addressing contemporary issues and societal changes.
  • Judicial Implications: While it introduces necessary reforms, the bill’s impact on judicial discretion and fairness in sentencing warrants careful consideration.

Get an IAS/IPS ranker as your 1: 1 personal mentor for UPSC 2024

Attend Now

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join us across Social Media platforms.

💥Mentorship New Batch Launch
💥Mentorship New Batch Launch