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Protests in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry against ‘Hindi domination’ in the new triad of criminal law Bills

The Federation of Bar Associations in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are protesting for the immediate withdrawal of the three Bills which according to them represents the imposition of a vernacular language which is not spoken by many in the country.

YESTERDAY, the Federation of Bar Associations in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry announced protests against the three criminal law Bills introduced in the Parliament recently.

The three Bills, Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita, 2023; Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023 and the Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, 2023, are set to replace the Indian Penal Code, 186o; Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, and Indian Evidence Act, 1872 respectively.

The federation, which will be protesting for more than 10 days across the state and the Union territory, are demanding the immediate withdrawal of these three Bills.

The Leaflet is in possession of the resolution passed by the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Advocates Joint Action Committee in this regard.

The joint action committee consists of advocates from lower courts.

According to the resolution passed by the general body of the committee, Trichy, the vernacular titles given to the Bills are in violation of Article 348 (Language to be used in the Supreme Court and in the High Courts and for Acts, Bills, etc.) of the Indian Constitution.

The resolution has urged the Union government to withdraw these Bills. Protests across the state are expected to intensify if the Union government refuses to withdraw the Bills.

Further, the resolution states that the respective Bar Associations of Tamil Nadu will hold a demonstration on August 23 in front of various courts to mark their demand for the withdrawal of these Bills.

A “massive” rally will be followed after a demonstration in Trichy, the resolution states.

Another resolution passed by the All India Lawyers Union, Chennai, states that although the attempt is to repeal British-era laws, their replacement is going to result in the blatant imposition of the Hindi language.

The resolution states: “By saying that they are abolishing colonial thinking, [they are] replacing it with the dominance of Hindi language.”

The advocate has also confirmed that the lawyers practising at the Madras High Court will organise an agitation against the Bills on August 25.

As per C. Vijayakumar, a senior advocate at the Madras High Court, the three Bills have been introduced in an undemocratic manner.

He told The Leaflet: “Many provisions in the proposed three legislations are questionable. The Bills [have been] moved all of a sudden when Manipur was burning. The move of the Union government is undemocratic and malafide. There is no public interest involved. The three bills shall have to be immediately withdrawn.”

He added: What was the urgency in introducing these three Bills before the next Parliamentary election in 2024?