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BNSB: 302 is not murder, 420 is not cheating: How will IPC section numbers change in the proposed new code?

Read in Hindi: Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill:  302 हत्या नहीं है, 420 धोखाधड़ी नहीं है: प्रस्तावित नए कोड में IPC धारा संख्या कैसे बदल जाएगी?

Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill, 2023: The Indian Code of Justice Bill, 2023 that will repeal and replace the over 160-year-old Indian Penal Code (IPC), will include new numbers for some of the most frequently used sections of the Code – Sections Numbers that have long been part of dialogues in films, aspects of popular culture, and the language of the common people.

Think, for example, “Section 302” for murder, “420” for cheating, or “376” for rape – the sections of the IPC that are invoked for these crimes. Now, under the BNS, the proposed successor to the IPC, these sections will be numbered separately.

Here is the list of old and new section numbers. Note, however, that these new figures are not yet final – they may change after the Bill is considered by the Standing Committee and debated in Parliament.

IPC Section 420: Cheating

Section 420 of the IPC (“Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property”), states, “Whoever cheats and so dishonestly causes any person to…to make delivery of any property.. .or induces to make, alter or destroy the whole or any part of any thing of value.” security, or anything so signed or sealed… shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.”

Proposed BNS in 2023: There is no section 420 in the proposed code. The offense of cheating comes under section 316.

IPC Section 302: Murder

Section 302 of the IPC sets out the punishment for murder: “Whoever commits murder shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.”

Proposed BNS, in 2023: Section 302 in the proposed Code describes the offense of “snatching”. Section 302(1) says: “Theft is a “snatch” if, in order to commit the theft, the offender suddenly or hastily or forcibly seizes or secures or takes away any movable property from any person or his possession.”

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In the proposed Code, murder is covered under Section 99, which identifies a distinction between culpable homicide and murder.

The punishment for murder is prescribed in section 101, which has two sub-sections.

Section 101(1) says: “Whoever commits murder shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.”

IPC Section 307: Attempt to murder

Section 307 of the IPC says: “Whoever does any act with such intention or knowledge and under such circumstances that, if that act causes death, he shall be guilty of murder, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to Will be punished.” extendable to ten years and shall also be liable to fine; and if such act causes hurt to any person, the offender shall be liable either to imprisonment for life, or to such punishment as is here before mentioned.”

In the proposed BNS, 2023: Section 307 in the proposed Code deals with the offense of dacoity and the punishment therefor.

Attempt to murder comes under section 107 of the proposed code, which also prescribes punishment for the offence.

IPC Section 120B: Criminal conspiracy

On punishment for criminal conspiracy, the IPC says, “Whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit an offense punishable with death, imprisonment for life or rigorous imprisonment for a term of two years or more, where no express provision Is.” Provided in this Code for the punishment of such conspiracy, he shall be punished in the same manner as if he had abetted the commission of such offence.”

Proposed BNS, 2023: In the proposed Code, section 120 deals with “voluntarily causing hurt or grievous hurt on abetment”.

Criminal conspiracy is covered under section 61(1): “When two or more persons – (a) agree to do or cause to be done an illegal act; or (b) an act which is not illegal by illegal means, such agreement being designated a criminal conspiracy”. Section 61(2) of the proposed Code provides for punishment for criminal conspiracy.

IPC Section 499: Defamation

This section of the IPC, under which a Gujarat court convicted Rahul Gandhi and sentenced him to two years in prison, invoked the provision that led to his disqualification from Parliament (now withheld), defamation as Defines:

“Whoever, by words spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person with intent to cause harm, or knowing or believing has reason to believe that such imputation would damage the reputation of such person, the person is, except in cases hereinafter omitted, said to have defamed that person.”

Section 500 of the IPC provides for punishment for defamation: “Whoever defames another shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.”

Proposed BNS in 2023: Section 499 is missing from the proposed new code.

The offense of defamation comes under section 354(1) of the new code. Section 354(2) of the proposed Code describes the punishment for defamation, and includes “community service”. It states: “Whoever defames another, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine

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