Union Home Minister Amit Shah presented the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill, 2023, in the Lok Sabha on Friday, marking a significant step towards combating the dissemination of fake news and misleading information that threatens India’s sovereignty and security.
The proposed bill, currently under review by the Standing Committee, features a crucial provision under section 195. This section addresses individuals who engage in spreading false or misleading information that endangers the unity, integrity, or security of India. If passed, those found guilty could face up to three years of imprisonment or a fine, or both.
Section 195 (1) d specifically states, “…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.” This provision is situated within Chapter 11 of the bill, which pertains to ‘Offences against the Public Tranquility’ under the category of ‘Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration.’
The content covered by the section, which was previously governed by Section 153B of the Indian Penal Code, addresses the crucial issue of protecting India’s national integration and security against the spread of false information.
Amit Shah, while introducing three bills in the Lok Sabha, emphasized that these new laws aim to uphold the rights granted to Indian citizens by the Constitution. He stated that the three proposed bills, namely the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill, 2023, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita Bill, 2023, and Bharatiya Sakhshya Bill, 2023, are in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to eliminate remnants of historical oppression and slavery.
The bills are set to replace significant legislative frameworks established during British rule, including the Indian Penal Code, 1860, the Criminal Procedure Code, (1898), and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
Amit Shah affirmed, “The Indian Penal Code, 1860 will be replaced by the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill, 2023; the Criminal Procedure Code, 1898 will be replaced by the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita Bill, 2023, and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 will be replaced by the Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, 2023.”
As the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill, 2023, progresses through the legislative process, it seeks to address the contemporary challenges posed by the rapid dissemination of misleading information, safeguarding the unity, integrity, and security of India in the digital age.
Sources By Agencies