This article sheds light on the newly introduced offences within the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, offering readers valuable insights.

This article sheds light on the newly introduced offences within the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), offering readers valuable insights into the evolving legal landscape.


This article will provide you with all the information related to the new offences added to the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS). BNS is being passed by the legislature to replace the colonial laws mentioned in the Indian Penal Code. Even though most of the offences in the BNS have been taken from the Indian Penal Code, some important new offences have been added that everybody should be aware of.

Act endangering Sovereignty, Unity and Integrity of India

One of the most controversial sections i.e., sedition which was a part of IPC has been removed from the BNS. In place of sedition, the legislature introduced Section 152. This section punishes individuals who perform acts that endanger the sovereignty, unity, and integrity of India. Section 152 says:

Whoever, purposely or knowingly, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or by electronic communication or by use of financial mean, or otherwise, excites or attempts to excite, secession or armed rebellion or subversive activities, or encourages feelings of separatist activities or endangers sovereignty or unity and integrity of India; or indulges in or commits any such act shall be punished with imprisonment for life or with imprisonment which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

The punishment prescribed under this section can be extended to imprisonment for life. On comparison between the old sedition part of IPC and the new section it can be observed the words ‘electronic communication’ and ‘use of financial means’ and ‘endangering sovereignty unity and integrity of India’ have been included in BNS.

Through an analysis of the sedition law in IPC and the new section 152 in BNS we can observe the following changes being made by the legislature:

  • Sedition law under IPC punished people for performing acts that were exciting disaffection towards the government whereas the latter mentions punishing people who perform acts that endanger the unity and sovereignty of India.
  • The gravity of the punishment under BNS is higher in comparison to IPC. The punishment under IPC was prescribed to be three years whereas the BNS extends such punishment for a minimum of seven years to imprisonment for life.


Another offence that can be seen in the BNS is ‘Terrorism’. It has been defined under Section 113 of BNS. It provides imprisonment of not less than 5 years for organising terrorist training camps and recruiting any person to conduct a terrorist act. Terrorism has been defined as any act that ‘intimidates the general public’ or ‘disturbing public order’ in the Sanhita.

It has to be noted that the definitions used for terrorism in the BNS and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act are the same. A single act therefore is being categorised as two offences – one under BNS and the other under UAPA which have two different procedures.

Organised Crime

Organised Crime is for the first time being addressed thoroughly at a central level in the BNS. Nowadays, the rapid advancement in technology is giving a leeway for criminals to commit cybercrimes. The legislature recognizing the lack of a standard definition of organized crime in the IPC introduced the offences of organised crime, including petty organised crime in the BNS.

BNS defines organised crime as any continuing unlawful activity that leads to a ‘material benefit’. Even though the phrase material benefit has not been defined in the BNS, the word ‘benefit’ has been defined in the explanation providing clarity to the offence of organised crime. Some of the kinds of organised crimes that are included in the Sanhita under Section 111 are vehicle theft, extortion, cyber crimes having serious consequences, human trafficking, and land grabbing.

Whoever commits organised crime shall,—
(a) if such offence has resulted in the death of any person, be punished with death or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine which shall not be less than ten lakh rupees;
(b) in any other case, be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine which shall not be less than five lakh rupees. Section 112 of BNS defines ‘Petty organised crime or organised crime in general’.


‘Snatching’ is another offence that is included in the BNS. Today, an individual who commits snatching is accused of charges of theft and use of criminal force. The legislature observing the rapid rise of cases of snatching introduced it as a specific offence under clause 304 of Chapter XVII of the Sanhita. It describes theft as snatching when the e offender suddenly quickly or forcibly seizes or takes away movable property from any individual. The offence is punishable which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Before the passing of BNS, Haryana by making amendments made snatching a non-bailable offence. The punishment provided under this amendment was a minimum period of five years which might extend to ten years and in case of snatching with hurt or wrongful restraint or fear of hurt, the quantum of punishment would be 10 years, which may extend to 14 years, and fine of Rs 25,000.

Mob Lynching

The legislature observing the cases of mob lynching being caused based on religion, caste and other similar grounds recognized the need to introduce mob lynching as an offence. It has been added under Section 103(2) of the BNS. Mob lynching in simple words is any murder carried out by a group of five persons or more based on the victim’s caste, language or personal beliefs. Even though the language used in the section alludes to mob lynching, the term is not used explicitly in the Sanhita.

The punishment for murder is now specified under Section 103 of the BNS.

Offences Against Public Tranquillity

A significant addition in Chapter XI of the BNS (formerly categorized under Chapter VIII of the IPC) is the delineation of offences against public tranquillity, which now incorporates 'electronic communication' within its provisions. These are outlined under Section 196 and Section 197.

Attempt to Suicide

Section 226 says:

Whoever attempts to commit suicide with the intent to compel or restrain any public servant from discharging his official duty shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both, or with community service.


The absence of certain offences like bribery and dishonest removal or concealment of property in the BNS is a missed opportunity by the government. These offences are prevalent in everyday crimes and could have been effectively addressed within the framework of the BNS. Additionally, there are instances of overlap between provisions of the BNS and special laws like the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, as well as state legislation on organized crimes such as the Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act, 1999.


[1] Navigating through Criminal Law Reforms: Part I - Review of Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023, Available Here

[2] Specific Clause under BNS may help curb snatchings in capital, Available Here

[3] Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita 2023, Available Here

Gangireddy Spoorthi

Gangireddy Spoorthi

Spoorthi is deeply immersed in research and writing, particularly law and business. Institution: O.P Jindal Global University

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