1. Parliament Passes Bills To Replace British-era Criminal Laws –


  • The Parliament recently passed three pivotal Bills: Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita, 2023; Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita, 2023; and Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill, 2023.
  • However, their passage was marked by the absence of 97 Opposition members due to their suspension, creating a contentious backdrop.
  • Following their introduction in August, 2023, the bills were referred to a 31-member Parliamentary Standing Committee.


The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (Second) (BNS2) replaces the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and introduces significant alterations including-

  • Terrorism- Defined as acts threatening the nation’s integrity or causing terror among the populace. Penalties range from death or life imprisonment to imprisonment with fines.
  • Organized Crime- Includes offenses like kidnapping, extortion, financial scams, cybercrime, and more. Punishments vary from life imprisonment to death, with fines for those committing or attempting organized crime.
  • Mob Lynching- BNS2 identifies murder or severe injury by five or more individuals on specific grounds (race, caste, etc.) as a punishable offence, carrying life imprisonment or death penalty.
  • Sexual Offences Against Women- Retaining IPC sections on rape, voyeurism, and other violations, BNS2 raises the age threshold for gangrape victims from 16 to 18 years. Additionally, it criminalizes deceptive sexual acts or false promises.
  • Death by Negligence- The BNSS elevates the punishment for causing death by negligence from two to five years under Section 304A of the IPC.


The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita, 2023 (BNSS2) replaces the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC) and introduces significant alterations including-

  • Medical Examination- It broadens the scope of medical examinations, allowing any police officer (not just a sub-inspector) to request one, making the process more accessible.
  • Forensic Investigation- Mandates forensic investigation for crimes punishable by at least seven years’ imprisonment.
  • Court Hierarchy- The CrPC organizes India’s criminal courts hierarchically, from Magistrate’s Courts to the Supreme Court. It previously allowed cities with over a million people to have Metropolitan Magistrates, but the BNSS2 eliminates this distinction and the role of Metropolitan Magistrates.


The Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill, 2023 (BSB2) replaces the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (IEA). It retains most provisions of the IEA including those on confessions, relevancy of facts, and burden of proof. However, it introduces significant alterations including-

  • The BSB2 broadens the definition of documents to include electronic records alongside traditional writings, maps, and caricatures.
  • Oral Evidence- The BSB2 permits electronic provision of oral evidence, enabling witnesses, accused individuals, and victims to testify through electronic means.
  • Admissibility of Electronic Records- Electronic or digital records are granted equivalent legal status as paper records.
  • Amended Explanation to Joint Trials- Joint trials encompass cases where one accused is absent or has not responded to an arrest warrant, now categorized as joint trials.


  1. Recently, 146 Members of Parliament (MPs) have been suspended during the winter session of Parliament 2023 –


  • MPs in both Houses faced suspension due to their disruption of Parliamentary proceedings in protest of the recent breach of security in Parliament.


Who Can Suspend a Minister of Parliament-

  • The general principle is that it is the role and duty of the Presiding Officer i.e., Speaker of Lok Sabha and Chairman of Rajya Sabha to maintain order so that the House can function smoothly.
  • In order to ensure that proceedings are conducted in the proper manner, the Speaker/ Chairman is empowered to force a Member to withdraw from the House.


What are the Rules Under Which the Presiding Officer Suspends MPs-

  • Rule 373- Rules The Speaker can direct a member to withdraw immediately from the House if he finds the member’s conduct disorderly.
  • Rule 374- The Speaker can name a member who disregards the authority of the Chair or abuses the rules of the House by persistently and wilfully obstructing the business thereof.
  • Rule 374A- Rule 374A was incorporated in the Rule Book in December 2001.


Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of Rajya Sabha-

  • Rule 255- The Chairman of Rajya Sabha is empowered under Rule 255 of its Rule Book to “direct any Member whose conduct is in his opinion grossly disorderly to withdraw immediately” from the House.
  • Rule 256- Under this rule, the Chairman may “name a Member who disregards the authority of the Chair or abuses the rules of the Council by persistently and wilfully obstructing” business.


Drawbacks of the Suspension of MPs-

  • The suspension of MPs in Parliament is a drastic measure that is taken to maintain the order and decorum of the House.
  • It reduces the scope and quality of debate and discussionon important matters of legislation and policy.


  1. China Bans Export of Rare Earth Technologies –


  • Recently, China has banned the export of technology to extract and separate the Rare Earth Metals, as it overhauled a list of technologies deemed key to national security.I t also banned the export of production technology for rare earth metals and alloy materials as well as technology to prepare some rare earth magnets.
  • The move comes as Europe and the US try to reduce their reliance themselves off rare earths from China, which accounts for 90% of global refined output.
  • Rare Earth Metals are a set of seventeen metallic elements. These include the fifteen lanthanides on the periodic table in addition to scandium and yttrium that show similar physical and chemical properties to the lanthanides.
  • The 17 Rare Earths are cerium (Ce), dysprosium (Dy), erbium (Er), europium (Eu), gadolinium (Gd), holmium (Ho), lanthanum (La), lutetium (Lu), neodymium (Nd), praseodymium (Pr), promethium (Pm), samarium (Sm), scandium (Sc), terbium (Tb), thulium (Tm), ytterbium (Yb), and yttrium (Y).
  • These minerals have unique magnetic, luminescent, and electrochemical properties and thus are used in many modern technologies, including consumer electronics, computers and networks, communications, health care, national defense, clean energy technologies etc.
  • They are called ‘rare earth’ because earlier it was difficult to extract them from their oxides forms technologically.
  • They occur in many minerals but typically in low concentrations to be refined in an economical manner.
  • India, like many other countries, relies on Chinese rare earth exports. The ban presents an opportunity for India to reassess its dependence and explore diversification strategies.