Topic: GS2 – Polity
This topic is relevant for both UPSC Prelims and Mains in the context of current affairs, legal reforms, and constitutional amendments
- The use of handcuffs, which are allowed under Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) Clause 43(3) to keep accused people from escaping, came under investigation.
- The Parliamentary Standing Committee recommended that this legislation only apply to serious crimes such as murder and rape, leaving out “economic offences” because of their wide range of offences.
- This recommendation was included in the amended Bill, which stressed the use of handcuffs at the discretion of the user and extended its use to anyone appearing in court.
- Clause 473(1) of the previous BNSS permitted death row inmates to ask for compassion.
- The group suggested creating a quasi-judicial board to manage remission and commutation and suggested a deadline for considering requests for compassion.
- The amended Bill, renumbered as Clause 472, expanded the range of unappealable directives, clarified the procedure, and removed the clause for mercy petitions to be sent to the Home Department.
Preventive Detention Powers:
- The BNSS’s clause 172(2) gave police further authority to take preventive action, including the right to hold or remove anyone who disobeyed orders.
- The committee recommended making unclear terminology clear and defining the duration of such detentions.
- According to the amended Bill, a person in custody may be brought before a magistrate and, in minor circumstances, freed in less than a day.
- For clarity, “Magistrate” has been used in place of “judicial magistrate.”
|More about Bhartiya Nagrik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS)
- The Centre responded to recommendations from the standing committee by introducing amended criminal reform bills.
- Handcuffs, mercy pleas, and the authority to use preventative detention are among the clauses that have changed, indicating an attempt to allay worries and make the proposed legal system more equitable and transparent.
- The continual process of improving and refining India’s criminal justice system is symbolised by these revisions.
|Question: Critically analyze the proposed amendments in the criminal reform Bills introduced by the Centre, with a focus on the changes related to the use of handcuffs, mercy petitions, and preventive detention powers.