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Indian Government delays Stringent Hit-and-Run Law, requests Truckers to return to work

In a significant development, the Indian Government has paused the enactment of a contentious provision under the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), which prescribes up to 10 years of imprisonment and a hefty fine for hit-and-run offenses. This decision comes after extensive discussions with the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), representing the nation’s truckers.

The debated provision, Section 106 (2) of the BNS, a modern replacement for the colonial-era Indian Penal Code, significantly escalates the penalties for drivers who flee the scene of a serious road accident without notifying the police or other authorities. The new law proposes a punishment of up to 10 years in jail or a fine of Rs 7 lakh, a stark increase from the two-year sentence stipulated in the former Indian Penal Code.

Amidst mounting concerns from truckers, the government clarified that these new laws are not yet operational. Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla emphasized the government’s commitment to a consultative approach, stating, “The implementation of BNS 106/2 will be considered only after thorough discussions with AIMTC representatives.”

The AIMTC, which had earlier called for protests against the law, decided to suspend their agitation following the government’s assurance. Amrit Lal Madan, President of AIMTC, acknowledged the government’s decision to hold off on the harsh penalties pending further dialogue. “No new laws will be imposed until the next AIMTC meeting,” he confirmed.

The government’s announcement and the ensuing suspension of protests by truckers mark a temporary resolution in what could have escalated into a significant standoff. Both parties are expected to engage in further discussions to reach a mutually agreeable solution.

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