We Hope NDA Constituents Rethink Implementation Of New Criminal Laws: Omar Abdullah

SRINAGAR: National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Monday said that he hopes that the NDA constituents will rethink the implementation of three new criminal laws in the country.

“We had wanted that a new government will be formed after the (Lok Sabha) elections and these laws would be reviewed but it has not happened. However, this is not (purely) a BJP government as the party did not get a majority. This is an NDA government.

“We would hope that the NDA constituents will rethink these laws. At the end of the day, these are human-made laws and these can be changed. These should be reviewed,” Abdullah told reporters at party headquarters here.

Three new criminal laws came into effect in the country on Monday, bringing far-reaching changes in India’s criminal justice system.

The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA) take into account some of the current social realities and modern-day crimes. The new laws replaced the British-era Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure and the Indian Evidence Act, respectively.

The former chief minister of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir said the NC has always been apprehensive about these laws.

“We have expressed our apprehensions about these laws right from the start. It is said that no law is bad in itself. The problem lies in the way the laws are used. However, the laws that are being implemented from today have much more room for misuse than the earlier laws. We have usually seen whenever the governments get an opportunity, they misuse the laws,” Abdullah said.

He added that his party fears these laws will be first implemented in Jammu and Kashmir.

“All these laws are first used against the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and then the rest of the country feels the effects. We will have to bear the consequences.

“The PM has said that assembly elections will be held in Jammu and Kashmir. A new government will be formed and then we will find out where these laws are implemented,” the NC leader said.

On permission being granted to jailed Kashmiri leader Sheikh Abdul Rashid, popularly known as Engineer Rashid, to take oath as MP on July 5, Abdullah said that while the incarcerated leader will take oath as MP, the people of Baramulla will still not get their representative.

Rashid, an Independent MP from Baramulla, was arrested in a 2017 Jammu and Kashmir militant funding case and has been in jail since 2019 after he was charged by the NIA under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for his alleged involvement in a militant funding case.

“NIA has given permission for oath-taking and now he will take the oath in the speaker’s chamber. The regrettable part is that people of Baramulla (Lok Sabha constituency) will still not get their representative as he has been granted permission to take oath but he would not be able to work as a representative of the people,” Abdullah said. (PTI)

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