The criminal justice system in India is set for  major changes with the introduction of three new criminal laws - Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA) - coming into force from July 1 ,2024,  therby abolishing the British-era Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code and the Indian Evidence Act.
Henceforth  all FIRs will be registered under the provisions of BNS. However, all cases registered before July 1 will continue to be tried under IPC, CrPC and Indian Evidence Act until final disposal.
 Judgments are now required within 45 days of completion of trial and charges framed within 60 days of first hearing.
It allows a person to file a Zero FIR at any police station, regardless of jurisdiction; it will permit online registration of police complaints and electronic serving of summons.
Both the accused and the victim are entitled to receive copies of the FIR, police report, charge sheet, statements, confessions, and other documents within 14 days. Courts are allowed a maximum of two adjournments to avoid unnecessary delays in case hearings.
They make videography of crime scenes mandatory for all heinous crimes. Summonses can be served electronically, expediting the legal processes.
Judges and lawyers have expressed  a mix of readiness and concern with the implementation of these laws.
Some have cautioned that there would be a lot of misuse of this process specially with the filing of Zero FIR.
"These laws signify a watershed moment for our society because no law affects the day-to-day conduct of our society like the criminal law," Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud has said.
The Opposition has panned the government of "acting in haste" in the implementation process.


New Criminal Laws