Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said that the new criminal law bills have a provision of trial in absentia for those who are “hiding in other countries” for terror acts and other offences in India.
Replying to the debate in Lok Sabha on Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita, 2023, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita, 2023 and the Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill, 2023, Amit Shah said if those hiding in other countries do not appear before the court within 90 days, then in their absence, trial will go on.
“Many may have objections to the provisions under trial in absentia. What sympathy can there be for someone who has committed a crime and fled the country? Whether it’s the Mumbai bomb blast or any other act of terrorism. They commit any crime and take refuge in countries like Pakistan or others. The question arises, should they be punished or not?”
The Home Minister said those evading trial by staying abroad should face legal consequences.
“Those people are hiding in other countries, and trials are not underway…Ninety days will be given for the accused to appear before the court. If they fail to do so, a public prosecutor will be appointed for their prosecution. This approach will not only expedite the legal process but also change their status in the other country when they are prosecuted. It will make the process to bring them back speedy.”
Amit Shah said that the new criminal law bills are in consonance with the spirit of the Constitution and have been brought keeping in mind the well-being of the people of the country.
The House later passed the three bills which will replace the Indian Penal Code of 1860, Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) of 1973 and Indian Evidence Act, of 1872.
The Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita 2023, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita 2023, and Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill 2023 will replace the IPC, CrPC and the Evidence Act respectively.
(With inputs from ANI)