Delhi Police books street vendor in first FIR under new criminal law; Shah says case 'dismissed'

A poster depicting the implementation of three new criminal laws -- Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam -- being put by Delhi Police to raise awareness, in New Delhi, Monday, July 1, 2024.
A poster depicting the implementation of three new criminal laws -- Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam -- being put by Delhi Police to raise awareness, in New Delhi, Monday, July 1, 2024.

New Delhi | Delhi Police registered its first FIR under provisions of the new criminal code Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) against a street vendor for allegedly obstructing a public way in central Delhi's Kamala Market area on Monday, officials said.

The BNS and two other new criminal laws came into effect on Monday, bringing far-reaching changes in India's criminal justice system.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the Delhi's case was not the first FIR registered in the country. He said the first case under the new laws was about a motorcycle theft registered in Madhya Pradesh's Gwalior at 10 minutes past midnight.

He also said the Delhi Police "dismissed" the case filed against a street vendor after an investigation. "By using the provisions of review, police have dismissed this case," he told the media.

The BNS, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA) replaced the colonial-era Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure and the Indian Evidence Act, respectively.

Delhi Police sources said that they will initiate the process of cancelling the FIR registered against the street vendor selling water and tobacco products from a cart that allegedly obstructed a public way in central Delhi's Kamala Market area.

Police will have to inform the court for formally cancelling the FIR, the sources said.

The FIR was registered under Section 285 of the BNS which states, "Whoever, by doing any act, or by omitting to take order with any property in his possession or under his charge, causes danger, obstruction or injury to any person in any public way or public line of navigation, shall be punished with fine which may extend to Rs 5,000."

Police said 23-year-old Pankaj Kumar, a native of Patna, was found selling water, bidi and cigarettes from a cart under a foot overbridge near the New Delhi railway station around 12:15 am.

The FIR, a copy of which is with PTI, stated that a patrol officer asked Kumar to move his makeshift cart away from the path as it was hindering people's movement.

The officer also asked four-five passersby to become witnesses but they refused, the FIR stated.

After Kumar ignored the officer's instructions, a case was registered at 1:30 am.

The patrol officer used the e-Pramaan app to record the seizures made, the FIR further stated.

The app, handled by the Delhi Police's Crime Branch, will directly feed the content to police records for further investigation, an officer said.

The Delhi Police has imparted training to its 30,000 personnel -- from the ranks of assistant sub-inspectors and inspectors to assistant commissioners and deputy commissioners -- who are responsible for registering FIRs and conducting investigations.

The force was among the first in the country to start training personnel on the new criminal laws, the officials said.

Meanwhile, Delhi Police chief Sanjay Arora said the force has started registering FIRs under the three new laws.

He told reporters during the Delhi Police's Commissionerate Day celebrations at Kingsway Camp that the force was fortunate the new laws came into force on this day.

"We are fortunate as today is our Commissionerate Day and, on the same day, these laws are being implemented," Arora said.

The first FIR under the new laws was registered early on Monday, he added.

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