ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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New Criminal Laws: Postcolonial or Nationalist?


On 21 December 2023, a new set of criminal laws were passed by Parliament under the context of decolonising colonial criminal laws. The colonial trinity of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 have now been replaced with the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), 2023, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023, and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023. The government has stated that the main motive behind such an overhaul is to break away from the colonial past and usher in a new era of nation-centric laws.

Relying on a contrast between the rationales given by the colonial powers and the sharp break provided by the current government, the union minister of home affairs created a distinction between government and nation while mentioning the repeal of the colonial law on sedition. While the colonial sedition law punished rajdroh, the anti-colonial changes by the present government will instead punish deshdroh. In light of such statements, it becomes imperative to understand the intersection of anti-colonialism and postcolonialism with nationalism.

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Updated On : 9th Feb, 2024
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