West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addresses a press conference at her residence, in Kolkata, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023.(IANS/Kuntal Chakrabarty)
Kolkata, November 29 (IANS): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday wrote a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah urging the latter to not rush the proposed bills on substitutions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and Indian Evidence Act (IEA).
Incidentally the chief minister's letter was being sent on the day when Shah launched scathing attacks against Trinamool Congress and the state government on various issues at a mega rally of BJP in central Kolkata.
As per information available so far, the bills for substitutions of IPC, CrPC and IEA are likely to be placed at the forthcoming winter session of the Parliament starting from next month.
In the letter, sources aware of its contents said, the chief minister said since the substitution of an existing legal system that had been prevailing is a long-term process, there should be discussions on the floor of the Parliament in the matter before the bills are being placed.
In the letter, that chief minister has also claimed that the state secretariat after studying the draft for the substitution of IPC, CrPC and IEA, has also forwarded their recommendations in the matter to the Union home ministry.
Last month, the chief minister had described the move for substitutions of the IPC, CrPC and IEA as 'draconian'.
“I have been reading the drafts prepared by the Union home ministry to substitute the IPC, CrPC and IEA. I was stunned to find that there is a serious attempt to quietly introduce very harsh and draconian anti-citizen provisions in these efforts. Earlier there was Sedition Law and now in the name of withdrawing those provisions, they are introducing more severe and arbitrary measures in the proposed Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, which can affect citizens more gravely,” the chief minister said then.
The chief minister had also said that the current acts should be decolonised not only in form but also in spirit. Urging the jurists and public activists of the country to study these drafts seriously for democratic contributions in the realm of the criminal justice system, the chief minister also said that Trinamool Congress’ Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members will raise these issues at the standing committee of the Parliament when these will be deliberated.
“Laws need to be improved in light of experiences, but colonial authoritarianism should not be allowed to have backdoor entry at Delhi,” the chief minister said then.