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29 Jun 2024

New Criminal Rules in Bharat Effective from July 2024

The Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023, marks a significant milestone in India's legal landscape. Enacted on December 25, 2023, and implemented from July 1, 2024, this legislation, also known as the Bharatiya Eyewitness Law, 2023, is designed to consolidate and standardize the rules and principles of evidence to ensure fair trials across the nation. This new criminal law is pivotal in shaping judicial proceedings, aiming to enhance the administration of justice by providing clear guidelines on what constitutes admissible evidence in court.

This article focuses on Part I, offering our viewpoint so far. We at PrivateCourt, an ADR/ODR organization, will cover the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023, part by part in subsequent articles.

Importance of the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023

The Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023, is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it aims to streamline the judicial process by establishing uniform rules for the admissibility of evidence, thereby reducing ambiguities and discrepancies that often arise in court proceedings. Secondly, it embraces modern technological advancements by including electronic and digital records as valid forms of evidence, reflecting the evolving nature of communication and record-keeping in today's digital age. This inclusion is particularly significant in ensuring that the legal system keeps pace with technological progress.

Key Provisions in Part I

Short Title, Application, and Commencement

The Act, officially titled the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023, applies to all judicial proceedings in or before any court, including courts-martial, but explicitly excludes affidavits presented to any court or officer and proceedings before an arbitrator. This comprehensive application ensures that the principles of evidence are uniformly applied across different types of legal proceedings under the new criminal laws in India.

Definitions and Scope

The Act provides detailed definitions to clarify the scope and application of its provisions:

Court: Includes all judges and magistrates, and all persons legally authorized to take evidence, excluding arbitrators.

Conclusive Proof: When one fact is declared conclusive proof of another, the court shall, on proof of the one fact, regard the other as proved without allowing contrary evidence.

Disproved: In relation to a fact, means when, after considering the matters before it, the court either believes that it does not exist or considers its non-existence so probable that a prudent man ought, under the circumstances of the particular case, to act upon the supposition that it does not exist.

Document: Any matter expressed or described or otherwise recorded upon any substance by means of letters, figures or marks or any other means or by more than one of those means, intended to be used, or which may be used, for the purpose of recording that matter and includes electronic and digital records.

Evidence: Includes both oral statements and documentary evidence, encompassing electronic or digital records.

Fact: Any state of things capable of being perceived by the senses or any mental condition.

Facts in Issue: Facts from which the existence, non-existence, nature, or extent of any right, liability, or disability necessarily follows in a suit or proceeding.

Relevant: Facts are considered relevant when connected with other facts in ways specified in the Act.


The Act also outlines various types of presumptions:

  • May Presume: The court may regard a fact as proved unless disproved.
  • Shall Presume: The court shall regard a fact as proved unless disproved, establishing a stronger presumption.
Implications for the Legal System

The implementation date of the new criminal laws in India is significant as it marks the beginning of a more efficient and transparent legal system. By providing clear definitions and guidelines for the admissibility and evaluation of evidence, the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023, aims to minimize the potential for judicial errors and enhance the consistency of legal outcomes. The inclusion of electronic and digital records is particularly noteworthy, as it aligns the legal framework with contemporary technological practices, ensuring that justice is served in a manner reflective of modern societal norms.

The new criminal laws in India 2024, particularly the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023, signify a transformative phase in the country's judicial process. By standardizing evidence rules and embracing digital advancements, the Act aims to foster a more robust and fair legal system. As these new criminal rules on law and justice come into effect from July 1, 2024, they promise to bring greater clarity, efficiency, and fairness to judicial proceedings, reinforcing the foundational principles of justice in India.

This explanation of new criminal law highlights the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023 of law and justice, as a testament to India's commitment to evolving its legal framework in line with contemporary needs and technological advancements. The Act's provisions ensure that the new rules on law and justice are well-defined and adapted to modern requirements, making it a cornerstone of the new criminal laws in India 2024.

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