With India’s new criminal laws coming into effect on July 1, the readiness of the police force is under scrutiny. Experts express concerns over adequate training and resources needed to enforce these laws effectively, highlighting potential gaps in implementation and the need for comprehensive reforms to support law enforcement.

At police stations #Khabarlive visited, officials had received only a few days of training to familiarise them with the new provisions. Early in June, assistant sub-inspector of police Sharafat Ali took a break from his regular duties at a police station in Hyderabad, to attend a day-long training session to learn criminal law afresh.

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The session was necessitated by the unprecedented overhaul of India’s criminal justice system looming ahead. On July 1, the three main criminal laws that had formed the foundation of this system – the Indian Penal Code, 1860, the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 – shall cease to remain in operation.

They will be replaced by the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023, the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023 and the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023 – that were passed in Parliament in December.

To prepare for such a seismic change in the legal system that forms the bedrock of their work, police departments across India have been busy training police officers in the new laws.

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Ali attended one such training session. “We were taken through how sections in the new laws relate to the sections in the existing laws as well as the changes introduced in the new laws,” he said.

“We also went through the new forms for the police to fill up, introduced in the Bharatiya Nagrik Suraksha Sanhita,” he added. Finally, they went through common case scenarios – snatching, rape, dowry death – and how the police would proceed under the new laws, he said.

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After the session ended, he was asked to revise the content of the new laws through a mobile phone app. However, he could not name the app and did not have it on his phone.

“I’m too old to learn from smartphones,” Ali, in his late 50s, said, laughing.

His colleague at the other police station, assistant sub-inspector Satish Kumar, was yet to undergo any training as of June 20, just 10 days before the new laws kick in. (Read More Here)