Parliamentary panel approves Hindi names for new criminal laws

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New parliament building of India.

A parliamentary committee, led by BJP MP Brijlal, have asserted that the Hindi names assigned to the three new criminal laws are constitutionally sound.

Criticisms from certain political factions are dismissed by the committee, which references Article 348 of the Constitution, specifying English as the language for the Supreme Court, high courts, Acts, Bills, and legal documents.

Examining the English text of the Sanhita, the committee concludes it aligns with Article 348. Expressing contentment with the Ministry of Home Affairs’ response, the committee’s report to Rajya Sabha states that the proposed legislation names comply with the Constitution.

Introduced on August 11 in the Lok Sabha, the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS-2023), Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS-2023), and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA-2023) will replace the Indian Penal Code, 1860, Criminal Procedure Act, 1898, and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

Critics, including Congress leader P Chidambaram and Tamil Nadu’s DMK, question the BJP-led government’s choice of Hindi names.

Chidambaram suggests using English names for laws drafted in English and expresses difficulty in pronouncing the Hindi names.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin accuses the government of linguistic imperialism, denouncing it as an attempt at recolonisation in the guise of decolonisation. The Madras Bar Association deems the naming against the Constitution and passes a resolution in opposition.

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