Restoration of J&K's statehood to Manipur violence, challenges galore before Amit Shah

It will be under Amit Shah’s watch that Bharat Nyay laws will be rolled out

Amit Shah BJP MP Amit Shah takes oath as minister at the swearing-in ceremony of the new Union government at Rashtrapati Bhavan | PTI

Amit Shah’s second term as the Union Home Minister will go a long way in cementing his position as the architect of reforms in the criminal justice system by rolling out the three Bharat Nyay laws from July 1.

It will be under Amit Shah’s watch that the three laws-Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, replacing the British-era Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, and the Indian Evidence Act of 1872, will come into effect from July 1.   

It is now that the smooth implementation of these laws that will hold the key to the process of reforming the criminal justice system. Any transformation, whether technological leaps or citizen-centric outcomes that yield success, will be attributed to Shah. The laws aim to fast track and modernise the justice delivery system that is presently plagued by instances of shoddy investigations, and inordinate delays leading to miscarriage of justice where people’s right to access justice, equality before law, and justice for all, has been a far cry.

After Shah took over MoH, his image as a consummate election manager for his party soon transformed into that of a minister who was building a legacy of his own. This included helming some of the tough decisions of the Modi government during his tenure like the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, rolling out of the Citizenship Amendment Act and putting national security ahead in every decision taken by the various arms of the government, including financial crimes. 

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The process is half done. Besides the rolling out of the new laws, where timelines have been added to 35 sections at various stages of police investigation, prosecution and judiciary,  the home ministry will also be overseeing the smooth conduct of assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir this year. The promise of restoration of statehood in J&K after the polls rests on Shah’s shoulders, who would first like to focus on ensuring Pakistan’s proxy war does not disrupt peace. 

Terror threats continue to keep J&K on tenterhooks with a tragic incident unfolding in Jammu and Kashmir's Reasi district on June 9 when a bus carrying pilgrims fell into a gorge after terrorists fired upon it. 

The other big challenge is the Manipur ethnic crisis that has prolonged for more than a year now and internal unrest and external threats continue to keep the pot boiling in the northeast state. Shah will also have to keep an eye on the lurking threat from Khalistani outfits at a time when Amritpal Singh won the Khadoor Sahib Lok Sabha seat and his return to Punjab could be a headache for security agencies who have been complaining of separatist sentiments being spread by the radical preacher in the recent past. 

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The next five years will also be crucial to address the irritants and threats arising from the unresolved Sino- India border dispute which remains yet another daunting task for national security that will find mention as Shah returns to his desk in North Block. 

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