In a significant move aimed at combating the issue of love jihad, the Lok Sabha has passed three crucial criminal laws introduced by the BJP government, marking a substantial step towards enhancing legal measures against sexual exploitation. The bills include the Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita Bill, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita Bill, and the Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill.
A focal point of the new legislation is the criminalisation of deceptive practices, specifically making false promises and concealing one’s identity to sexually exploit women. Union Home Minister Amit Shah led detailed discussions on these laws, emphasising their importance in addressing crimes against women and children.
— BJP (@BJP4India) December 20, 2023
Under the approved legislation, engaging in deceptive practices, such as establishing intimate relationships with women by making false commitments while concealing one’s identity or under false pretenses, is now classified as a criminal offense. This provision aims to fill a legal gap, as previous instances of women alleging rape based on the breach of a promise of marriage lacked dedicated legal provisions. The new law seeks to empower women who are exploited with false promises by providing them with a special legal provision.
The legislation also introduces stringent penalties for gang-rape cases, setting a minimum punishment of 20 years to life imprisonment. Notably, the rape and gang rape of girls under the age of 18 will mandate a minimum life imprisonment, with the possibility of extending to the death penalty.
During his address to the Lok Sabha, Union Home Minister Amit Shah underscored the government’s commitment to prioritising crimes against women and children. He stated, “In the legislation slated for repeal, emphasis has been placed on crimes against women and children.”
These three bills were initially introduced during the Monsoon session of the parliament in August 2023, reflecting the government’s resolute stance against crimes targeting women. At that time, Minister Shah had highlighted the comprehensive nature of the legislation, stating, “For the first time, intercourse with women under the false promise of marriage, employment, promotion, and false identity will amount to a crime.”
The passage of these bills represents a landmark moment in the legal landscape, reinforcing measures to protect women from exploitative practices and providing a comprehensive framework to address crimes against them. The laws signal a commitment to addressing evolving challenges and ensuring justice for victims of sexual exploitation.