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Mamata Banerjee writes to Amit Shah, urges Centre to ‘arrive at consensus’, ‘not rush through’ criminal bills | Kolkata News

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday, urging him not to rush through the criminal bills scheduled to be placed in the winter session of the Parliament. Shah was in Kolkata on Wednesday where he addressed a rally, targeted the TMC government and urged people to re-elect Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“I do hope that keeping the sensitivity of the subject in mind, you will kindly attempt to arrive at a consensus building amongst all stakeholders on the proposed Bills, rather than rushing to pass them in their present form, which has potential implications of serious nature in future,” Mamata Banerjee urged in the letter.

She also mentioned that the bills have been examined in detail by the state government and relevant comments have already been sent to the Rajya Sabha secretariat.

The letter is written in connection with proposed Bill No. 121 of 2023 (The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita 2023), Bill No. 122 of 2023 (The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita 2023) and Bill No. 123 of 2023 (The Bharatiya Sakshya Bil 2023).

“I strongly believe that these are very significant legislations that form the bedrock of our penal-criminal jurisprudence. As such, the proposed overhauling of the existing criminal-penal statutes and replacing them with new statutes is bound to have far-reaching long-term implications on our polity,” the letter read.

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Banerjee stated through the letter that extreme caution and due diligence were needed before changing existing statutes since the suggested changes would affect public life. She also urged for a discussion with stakeholders like jurists, human rights workers and the general public before going ahead with the bills.

“The suggested changes will also affect the public life of India in multiple ways. Therefore, in my view, extreme caution and due diligence should precede any change in the existing statutes. This can only be achieved through wide-ranging consultations and discussions with all stakeholders before the Parliament legislates on such issues…,” the letter stated.

“In my considered opinion, before we embark on any such exercise which permanently changes the criminal-penal landscape of the country, detailed views of all sections of stakeholders (e.g., jurists, public activists, human rights workers, general public etc.) is taken in order to, create consensually accepted platform. Failure on our part may have very adverse implications on our polity…,” the letter further added.

“Moreover, the term of the current Lok Sabha is almost coming to an end. In all fitness of things, it would be fair and appropriate that the newly elected members of the ensuing Lok Sabha and the new government may deliberate upon these extremely important legislations and take a considered view…,” the chief minister said.

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