Thursday, February 22, 2024

Law on assault of public servant: Parl panel suggests punishment be reduced to 1 year

NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 30: A parliamentary panel has recommended that the 2-year imprisonment given to anyone who assaults or uses criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty should be reduced to 1 year after taking into account submissions of some MPs that the law is widely “misused”.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, headed by BJP member Brij Lal, made the recommendation after examining the 3 proposed criminal laws.
In its report, the panel noted that some members of the Committee submitted that Section 353 under Indian Penal Code (IPC), which corresponds to clause 130 of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) is “widely misused by public servants in the name of deterrence”.
“As the political demonstrations are the soul of democracy and there are instances in the past when political leaders were harassed and falsely convicted for offences under this Section of IPC while demonstrating, therefore, it was suggested that the punishment under this clause may be reduced.
“The Committee agrees with the submission made before it and recommends that the punishment provided under Clause 130 may be reduced from 2 years to 1 year”, it said.
Clause 130 of BNS says: Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any person being a public servant in the execution of his duty as such public servant, or with intent to prevent or deter that person from discharging his duty as such public servant, or in consequence of anything done or attempted to be done by such person in the lawful discharge of his duty as such public servant, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 2 years, or with fine, or with both.
The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS-2023) bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on August 11 along with Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS-2023) and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA-2023) bills.
The 3 proposed laws seek to replace the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, 1898, the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, respectively. (PTI)