New criminal bills threat to Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis: Owaisi

Asaduddin Owaisi, the Hyderabad MP and leader of AIMIM.

Hyderabad: Asaduddin Owaisi, the Hyderabad MP and leader of AIMIM, asserted on Wednesday that the newly proposed criminal bills pose a danger to civil liberties and the rights of individuals, as they grant extensive powers to the police to take action against anyone.

During a debate in the Lok Sabha on the three criminal laws put forth, Owaisi argued that these legislations work against the common people of the country, as their rights would be taken away once the laws are enacted.

Home Minister Amit Shah introduced the three redrafted bills —Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita (BNS), Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita (BNSS), and Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill (BSB)— last week.

The Lok Sabha took them up for debate on Tuesday for consideration and passage, aiming to replace the Indian Penal Code, 1860, the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, 1898, and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

Owaisi, who leads the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), highlighted the inclusion of “very dangerous” provisions in the BNS.

He expressed concern that the bills empower the police to act as “judge, jury, and executor,” posing a significant threat to civil liberties and rights.

According to Owaisi, the proposed bills introduce a modified form of the offence of sedition, with an increased punishment from three to seven years.

He also called for making the offence of rape gender-neutral. Owaisi argued that these laws would specifically endanger Muslims, Dalits, and Adivasis in the country, claiming that 30% of prisoners nationwide and 33% of prisoners in Uttar Pradesh alone belong to the Muslim community.

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