The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, which was scheduled to adopt its report Friday on the three Bills that seek to replace the Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure and Indian Evidence Act, has deferred it to its next meeting on November 6.
Some of the Opposition members in the panel have sought more time for perusing the drafts.
It is learnt that three Opposition members in the panel have submitted dissent notes, disagreeing with the draft reports.
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien, a member of the panel, is also said to have written to the panel’s chairman Brij Lal, urging him to seek an extension of three months from Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar for submitting the reports.
The gist of O’Brien’s letter, it is learnt, is that bulldozing the Bills will be a legislative disservice.
He had earlier sought a thorough stakeholder consultation on the Bills, pointing out that a more meaningful scrutiny would require no less than a year and a half.
Three Opposition members in the panel — Congress’s Digvijaya Singh and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and DMK’s N R Elango — are said to have submitted dissent notes.
The Congress members believe that the three Bills – Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita and Bharatiya Sakshya – are significantly identical in both language and content to the Acts they seek to replace.
They maintain that the Bills are just about renumbering the existing sections, which will only create confusion, resulting in delay in courts and functioning of investigative agencies.
Some among the Opposition members believe that the usage of Hindi in the Bills goes against the spirit of the Constitution. Moreover, they say that the Bills still retain the colonial spirit of the laws which they seek to replace. They also feel that the changes that have been made to the existing laws enhance the coercive powers of the State and its instrumentalities.