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New Frontiers of Justice: Unveiling the Novel Sections of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023

The legal landscape is dynamic, and staying abreast of amendments to significant statutes is crucial. In this article, we delve into the new sections added to the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, providing a comprehensive understanding of these recent updates. Below is the list of new sections of the Sanhita:

Section 2(3): Definition of child.

“child” means any person below the age of eighteen years

Section 48: Abetment outside India for offence in India.

A person abets an offence within the meaning of this Sanhita who, without and beyond India, abets the commission of any act in India which would constitute an offence if committed in India.

Illustration.
A, in country X, instigates B, to commit a murder in India, A is guilty of abetting murder.

Section 69: Sexual intercourse by employing deceitful means, etc.

Whoever, by deceitful means or by making promise to marry to a woman without any intention of fulfilling the same, has sexual intercourse with her, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation.—“deceitful means” shall include inducement for, or false promise of employment or promotion, or marrying by suppressing identity

Section 95: Hiring, employing or engaging a child to commit an offence.

Whoever hires, employs or engages any person below the age of eighteen years to commit an offence shall be punished with imprisonment of either description or fine provided for that offence as if the offence has been committed by such person himself.

Explanation.—Hiring, employing, engaging or using a child for sexual exploitation or pornography is covered within the meaning of this section.

Section 103 (2): Punishment for murder.

(2) When a group of five or more persons acting in concert commits murder on the ground of race, caste or community, sex, place of birth, language, personal belief or any other similar ground each member of such group shall be punished with death or with imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.

Section 106 (2): Causing death by negligence.

(2) Whoever causes death of any person by doing any rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide and escapes from the scene of incident or fails to report the incident to a Police officer or Magistrate soon after the incident, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description of a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Section 111: Organised Crime

(1) Any continuing unlawful activity including kidnapping, robbery, vehicle theft, extortion, land grabbing, contract killing, economic offences, cyber-crimes having severe consequences, trafficking in people, drugs, illicit goods or services and weapons, human trafficking racket for prostitution or ransom by the effort of groups of individuals acting in concert, singly or jointly, either as a member of an organised crime syndicate or on behalf of such syndicate, by use of violence, threat of violence, intimidation, coercion, corruption or related activities or other unlawful means to obtain direct or indirect, material benefit including a financial benefit, shall constitute organised crime.

Explanation.—For the purposes of this sub-section,––

(i) ‘‘benefit’’ includes property, advantage, service, entertainment, the use of or access to property or facilities, and anything of benefit to a person whether or not it has any inherent or tangible value, purpose or attribute;

(ii) “organised crime syndicate” means a criminal organisation or group of three or more persons who, acting either singly or collectively in concert, as a syndicate, gang, mafia, or (crime) ring indulging in commission of one or more serious offences or involved in gang criminality, racketeering, and syndicated organised crime;

(iii) “continuing unlawful activity” means an activity prohibited by law, which is a cognizable offence undertaken either singly or jointly, as a member of an organised crime syndicate or on behalf of such syndicate in respect of which more than one charge-sheets have been filed before a competent court within the preceding period of ten years and that court has taken cognizance of such offence;

(iv) “economic offences” include criminal breach of trust; forgery, counterfeiting of currency and valuable securities, financial scams, running Ponzi schemes, mass-marketing fraud or multi-level marketing schemes with a view to defraud the people at large for obtaining the monetary benefits or large scale organised betting in any form, offences of money laundering and hawala transactions.

(2) Whoever, attempts to commit or commits an offence of organised crime shall,—

(i) if such offence has resulted in the death of any person, be punishable with death or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine which shall not be less than rupees ten lakhs;

(ii) in any other case, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years but which may extend to imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine which shall not be less than rupees five lakhs.

(3) Whoever, conspires or organises the commission of an organised crime, or assists, facilitates or otherwise engages in any act preparatory to an organised crime, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years but which
may extend to imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine which shall not be less than rupees five lakhs.

(4) Any person who is a member of an organised crime syndicate shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years but which may extend to imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine which shall not be less than rupees five lakhs.

(5) Whoever, intentionally harbours or conceals or attempts to harbour or conceal any person who has committed the offence of an organised crime or any member of an organised crime syndicate or believes that his act will encourage or assist the doing of such crime shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine which shall not be less than rupees five lakhs:
Provided that this sub-section shall not apply to any case in which the harbour or concealment is by the spouse of the offender.

(6) Whoever, holds any property derived, or obtained from the commission of an organised crime or proceeds of any organised crime or which has been acquired through the organised crime syndicate funds shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine which shall not be less than rupees two lakhs.

(7) If any person on behalf of a member of an organised crime syndicate is, or at any time has been in possession of movable or immovable property which he cannot satisfactorily account for, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to imprisonment for ten years and shall also be liable to fine which shall not be less than rupees one lakh and such property shall also be liable for attachment and forfeiture.

Explanation.–– For the purposes of this section, “proceeds of any organised crime” means all kind of properties which have been derived or obtained from commission of any organised crime or have acquired through funds traceable to any organised crime and shall include cash, irrespective of person in whose name such proceeds are standing or in whose possession they are found.

Section 112: Petty Organised Crime

(1) Whoever, being a member of a group or gang, either singly or jointly, commits any act of theft, snatching, cheating, unauthorised selling of tickets, unauthorised betting or gambling, selling of public examination question papers or any other similar criminal act, is said to commit petty organised crime.

Explanation.—For the purposes of this sub-section “theft” includes trick theft, theft from vehicle, dwelling house or business premises, cargo theft, pick pocketing, theft through card skimming, shoplifting and theft of Automated Teller Machine.

(2) Whoever commits any petty organised crime shall be punished with imprisonmentfor a term which shall not be less than one year but which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Section 113: Terrorist act

(1) Whoever does any act with the intent to threaten or likely to threaten the unity, integrity, sovereignty, security, or economic security of India or with the intent to strike terror or likely to strike terror in the people or any section of the people in India or in any foreign country,––
(a) by using bombs, dynamite or other explosive substance or inflammable substance or firearms or other lethal weapons or poisonous or noxious gases or other chemicals or by any other substance (whether biological, radioactive, nuclear or otherwise) of a hazardous nature or by any other means of whatever nature to cause or likely to cause,—
(i) death of, or injury to, any person or persons; or
(ii) loss of, or damage to, or destruction of, property; or
(iii) disruption of any supplies or services essential to the life of the community in India or in any foreign country; or
(iv) damage to, the monetary stability of India by way of production or smuggling or circulation of counterfeit Indian paper currency, coin or of any other material; or
(v) damage or destruction of any property in India or in a foreign country used or intended to be used for the defence of India or in connection with any other purposes of the Government of India, any State Government or any of their agencies; or
(b) overawes by means of criminal force or the show of criminal force or attempts to do so or causes death of any public functionary or attempts to cause death of any public functionary; or
(c) detains, kidnaps or abducts any person and threatening to kill or injure such person or does any other act in order to compel the Government of India, any State Government or the Government of a foreign country or an international or inter-governmental organisation or any other person to do or abstain from doing any act, commit a terrorist act.

Explanation.—For the purpose of this sub-section,—
(a) “public functionary” means the constitutional authorities or any other functionary notified in the Official Gazette by the Central Government as public functionary;
(b) “counterfeit Indian currency” means the counterfeit currency as may be declared after examination by an authorised or notified forensic authority that such currency imitates or compromises with the key security features of Indian currency.
(2) Whoever commits a terrorist act shall,—
(a) if such offence has resulted in the death of any person, be punished with death or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine;
(b) in any other case, be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.
(3) Whoever conspires or attempts to commit, or advocates, abets, advises or incites, directly or knowingly facilitates the commission of a terrorist act or any act preparatory to the commission of a terrorist act, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall
not be less than five years but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.
(4) Whoever organises or causes to be organised any camp or camps for imparting training in terrorist act, or recruits or causes to be recruited any person or persons for commission of a terrorist act, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.
(5) Any person who is a member of an organisation which is involved in terrorist act, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.
(6) Whoever voluntarily harbours or conceals, or attempts to harbour or conceal any person knowing that such person has committed a terrorist act shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to
imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine:
Provided that this sub-section shall not apply to any case in which the harbour or concealment is by the spouse of the offender.
(7) Whoever knowingly possesses any property derived or obtained from commission of any terrorist act or acquired through the commission of any terrorist act shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be
liable to fine.

Explanation.—For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that the officer not below the rank of Superintendent of Police shall decide whether to register the case under this section or under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

Section 117 (3)/(4): Voluntarily causing grievous hurt.

(3) Whoever commits an offence under sub-section (1) and in the course of such commission causes any hurt to a person which causes that person to be in permanent disability or in persistent vegetative state, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may extend to imprisonment for life, which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life.

(4) When grievous hurt of a person is caused by a group of five or more persons on the ground of his, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language, personal belief or any other ground, each member of such group shall be guilty of the offence of causing grievous hurt, and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Section 152: Acts endangering sovereignty unity and integrity of India.

Whoever, purposely or knowingly, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or by electronic communication or by use of financial mean, or otherwise, excites or attempts to excite, secession or armed rebellion or subversive
activities, or encourages feelings of separatist activities or endangers sovereignty or unity and integrity of India; or indulges in or commits any such act shall be punished with imprisonment for life or with imprisonment which may extend to seven years and shall also be
liable to fine.

Explanation.––Comments expressing disapprobation of the measures, or administrative or other action of the Government with a view to obtain their alteration by lawful means without exciting or attempting to excite the activities referred to in this section.

Section 195 (2): Assaulting or obstructing public servant when suppressing riot, etc.

(2) Whoever threatens to assault or attempts to obstruct any public servant or threaten or attempts to use criminal force to any public servant in the discharge of his duty in endeavouring to disperse an unlawful assembly, or to suppress a riot or affray, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.

Section 197 (1) (d): Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration.

(1) Whoever, by words either spoken or written or by signs or by visible representations or through electronic communication or otherwise,—
(d) makes or publishes false or misleading information jeopardising the sovereignty unity and integrity or security of India,
shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

Section 226: Attempt to commit suicide to compel or restraint exercise of lawful power.

Whoever attempts to commit suicide with the intent to compel or restrain any public servant from discharging his official duty shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine or with both or with community service.

Section 304: Snatching.

(1) Theft is “snatching” if, in order to commit theft, the offender suddenly or quickly or forcibly seizes or secures or grabs or takes away from any person or from his possession any moveable property.

(2) Whoever commits snatching, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Section 324 (3): Mischief.

(3) Whoever commits mischief and thereby causes loss or damage to any property including the property of Government or Local Authority shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.

Section 341 (3)/(4): Making or possessing counterfeit seal, etc., with intent to commit forgery punishable under section 338.

(3) Whoever possesses any seal, plate or other instrument knowing the same to be counterfeit, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine.

(4) Whoever fraudulently or dishonestly uses as genuine any seal, plate or other instrument knowing or having reason to believe the same to be counterfeit, shall be punished in the same manner as if he had made or counterfeited such seal, plate or other instrument.

Section 358: Repeal and savings.

(1) The Indian Penal Code is hereby repealed.

(2) Notwithstanding the repeal of the Code referred to in sub-section (1), it shall not affect,—

(a) the previous operation of the Code so repealed or anything duly done or suffered thereunder; or

(b) any right, privilege, obligation or liability acquired, accrued or incurred under the Code so repealed; or

(c) any penalty, or punishment incurred in respect of any offences committed against the Code so repealed; or

(d) any investigation or remedy in respect of any such penalty, or punishment; or (e) any proceeding, investigation or remedy in respect of any such penalty or punishment as aforesaid, and any such proceeding or remedy may be instituted, continued or enforced, and any such penalty may be imposed as if that Code had not been repealed.

(3) Notwithstanding such repeal, anything done or any action taken under the said Code shall be deemed to have been done or taken under the corresponding provisions of this Sanhita.

(4) The mention of particular matters in sub-section (2) shall not be held to prejudice or affect the general application of section 6 of the General Clauses Act,1897 with regard to the effect of the repeal.

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