3 new criminal laws need to be withdrawn: CTUs
   Date :09-Jul-2024

3 new criminal laws
■ Business Reporter :
THE common people are likely to be unaware of the farreaching implications of the 3 new criminal laws that have been implemented from July 1, 2024, said Central Trade Unions (CTUs). In this regard, all the CTUs have come together on a common platform to lodge their strong protest against the 3 new criminal laws. CTUs have urged the Government to scrap these laws and revert back to the earlier laws. Any changes proposed should be discussed in public domain before adopting and implementing them.
“These laws have been forced on the people without proper consultation, even ignoring suggestions given by the Parliamentary Committee, and without making the draft publicly available. The justification that these are meant to replace the British-era laws, is false as it retains all the provisions of the earlier laws, making some of them even more stringent,” the CTUs pointed out. For example, Section 124 of IPC, which is meant to punish sedition (a typical British Raj enactment) has been retained and it’s provision for 3 years imprisonment, has been enhanced to 7 years. Any gatherings of people and the leaders of the gatherings can be declared terrorists. All trade union activities can be brought under this provision, the CTUs added. More over various sections have been renumbered, which will lead to confusion and may cause huge pendency of cases.
The case law, built up over more than 100 years were replaced. They will be of no use and litigants, lawyers, and judges will be struggling to reach Constitutional conclusions. The Station House Officers (SHOs) have been vested with all the powers to register an FIR, i.e. to register one, will also be their discretion, unlike the earlier provision, under which it was the right of every citizen to file an FIR. The police custody duration is increased from existing 15 days to 90 days. The police are empowered to book case against peaceful protesters and Gheraoing workers for their genuine demands. This may usher in a‘Police Raj’. Even prevailing term in the definition clauses ‘Court of Justice’ to depict courts is just retermed to be only ‘Court’.
“Already it had a backlash from truck drivers across the country due to severe provisions related to hit and run cases, the Government had to step back and say that those sections will not be implemented, but they have not repealed them,” said CTU members. There is also an objection that Hindi is being imposed on people who do not have that as their language. Even Article 348 of the constitution and the Official Languages Act mandate that the texts of all enactment’s of Parliament and legislatures should be in English. It has even been suggested that instead of the mess created, a five page document could have been circulated, suggesting the amendments to the existing laws, informs Jaywant Gurway, General Secretary, Eastern Maharasthra Bank Employees Association (EMBEA). The platform of Central Trade Unions includes Indian NationalTrade Union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC),Trade Union Coordination Centre (TUCC), Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), Labour Progressive Federation (LPF), and United Trade Union Congress (UTUC).