Legislation UpdatesStatutes/Bills/Ordinances

The Lok Sabha passed the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019, after negating all the proposed amendments today.

Read below to know the discussion on the above:

Initiating the debate on the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019 today in the Lok Sabha, Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah said that SPG shall provide proximate security to the Prime Minister and his immediate family members residing with him at his official residence. The Bill says that family members of a former Prime Minister who reside with him at his allotted accommodation will get security cover of the SPG only for five years, from the date he/she ceases to hold the office of Prime Minister.

Replying to the debate, the Home Minister noted that there is a perception in the country that the amendment in SPG Act is only for the purpose to remove the SPG security cover for the Gandhi family. Contrary to this, the change of the security cover has been done only on the basis of yearly security threat perception review by the government. Such a security review has been a part of the original act, he added.

Shri Shah emphasized that the security cover of the Gandhi family has not been reduced or taken away, rather it has just been changed from SPG cover to Z Plus security cover by the CRPF, along with ASL and ambulance, across the country. The level of the security cover has been maintained and not even one security personnel has been reduced. He also said that the SPG security cover is being formed by the same security personnel who comprise of the Z plus security cover.

Shri Shah informed that based on the recommendations of the Birbal Nath committee report, SPG came into existence in 1985. From 1985 to 1988, SPG was governed by an Executive Order and only in 1988 the SPG Act came into existence to provide security to the Prime Minister and his/her family.

Shri Shah said that the SPG Act was enacted in 1988 to provide for the constitution and regulation of the SPG as an armed force to provide proximate security to the Prime Minister and his/her immediate family members. Amendments to the Act were effected in 1991, 1994, 1999 and 2003 and today a further amendment is being brought to revert back to the original spirit of the Act.

Shri Shah stated that the previous amendments to the 1988 Act have been carried out each time to provide security cover only to one family. According to the original Act, SPG is a specialised force to provide comprehensive security cover to the Prime Minister of the country and not a particular family. SPG doesn’t only provide physical security, but it takes care about protection of Prime Minister’s office, his/her communication systems, foreign tours and issues pertaining to his/her health and well being.

Dismissing the charge of vindictiveness for removal of SPG cover of Gandhi family, Shri Shah stated that such security cover reviews have happened in the past with respect to ex prime ministers, including Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao, Shri I.K. Gujaral, Shri Chandra Shekhar, Shri H.D. Deve Gowda and Dr. Manmohan Singh, but there was no such opposition ever when SPG cover was withdrawn. The Home Minister said that the Government is committed to secure each citizen of the country.

Shri Shah further stated that the Modi government never takes decision of providing security cover on the basis of vendetta politics but on scientific threat analysis for a particular individual. He also said that security cover has been provided to members of all political parties based on individual case based threat analysis. Security cover must not be treated as a status symbol by individuals. The security cover meant specifically for the Prime Minister, must not be enjoyed by any other individual. Moreover, the three protectees of the Gandhi family who have been specially mentioned here, have been on many trips without informing SPG, the Home Minister pointed out.

Talking about the rationale behind bringing the amendment, Shri Shah informed the House that in the Act, there is no cut off period for providing the SPG protection to former Prime Ministers or members of their immediate families. Thus, the number of individuals to be provided SPG cover can potentially become quite large. In such a scenario, there can be severe constraint on the resources, training and related infrastructure of SPG. This can also impact the effectiveness of SPG in providing adequate cover to the principle protectee, the Prime Minister in office.

Shri Shah said that the main aim of bringing this amendment is to make SPG more efficient. This would ensure that no omission happens in carrying out its core mandate, as the security of the Prime Minister, as Head of the Government, is of paramount importance for Government, governance and national security. The Bill says that when the proximate security is withdrawn from a former Prime Minister, such proximate security shall also stand withdrawn from members of his or her immediate family.

*Please follow the link to read the Bill —Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019


Ministry of Home Affairs

[Source: PIB]

[Press Release dt. 27-11-2019]

Hot Off The PressNews

List of Bills for the Winter Session:

Hot Off The PressNews

The Winter Session of Parliament begins today, following are the key bills that are likely to be taken up for discussion:

  • Citizenship Amendment Bill
  • Companies (Second Amendment) Bill
  • Competition (Amendment) Bill
  • Personal Data Protection Bill
  • National River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Bill
  • The Multi-State Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill
  • The Insolvency and Bankruptcy (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019

Two ordinances which were cleared by the Union Cabinet – one reducing corporate tax rates for new and domestic manufacturing companies to arrest a slowdown in the economy and boost growth, and the other banning sale, manufacture and storage of e-cigarettes in India – are also likely to be tabled in the Winter Session of the Parliament.

About 50 bills are scheduled to be presented in the parliament and it will continue till 13-12-2019.

Prime Minister Modi said the Winter session will be the last session of Parliament in 2019 and a very significant one.

“This is the 250th session of the Rajya Sabha. During this session on November 26, there is Constitution Day, when our Constitution completes 70 years. The Constitution inculcates the unity, integrity, diversity and beauty of the country and is a driving force for the country.”

Rajya Sabha Chairman Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu sharing the remarkable journey of the house said that, from passing the Hindu Marriage and Divorce Bill in 1952 to the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill in 2019 (Triple Talak Bill), from imposition of additional excise duty on dhotis in 1953 to introduction of Goods and Services Tax in 2017, from passing the Industrial Disputes (Amendment) Bill in 1954 to the New Delhi International Arbitration Bill in 2019, from the passage of the Andhra State Bill in 1953 to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill in 2019, from clearing  the All India Institution of Medical Sciences Bill in 1955 to the National Medical Council Bill in 2019, from setting up of the University Grants Commission in 1954 to empowering the children with the Right to Free and Compulsory Education in 2009 and from passing the Preventive Detention (Second Amendment) Bill in 1952 to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill in 2019, Rajya Sabha has come a long way in addressing the challenges faced and meeting the requirements of the nation from time to time.

Hot Off The PressNews

The First Session of the Parliament after the 2019 General Elections, the most productive session in the longest time was conducted. In total 30 Bills have been passed this session in 35 sittings.

Bills passed by both the houses of the Parliament are listed below:

  1. The Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill, 2019
  2. The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019
  3. The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2019
  4. The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Bill, 2019
  5. The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2019
  6. The Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2019
  7. The Aadhar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019
  8. The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2019
  9. The National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019
  10. The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill, 2019
  11. The Appropriation (No. 2) Bill, 2019
  12. The Finance (No. 2) Bill, 2019
  13. The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019
  14. The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019
  15. The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2019
  16. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019
  17. The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2019
  18. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2019
  19. The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2019
  20. The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019
  21. The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019
  22. The Codes on Wages, 2019
  23. The Repealing and Amending Bill, 2019
  24. The Airport Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2019
  25. The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019
  26. The National Medical Commission Bill, 2019
  27. The Consumer Protection Bill, 2019
  28. The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill, 2019
  29. The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019.
  30. The Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Bill, 2019

Legislations relating to almost all walks of socio and economic activities have been passed. 30 Bills have been passed by both the Houses of Parliament in this Session which is a record in single first/effective Session after the constitution of new Lok Sabha.

Most important business transacted during this Session is the abrogation of certain provisions from Article 370 and Presidential Orders thereunder.  This will ensure equal opportunities to all sections of Society in Jammu & Kashmir particularly with the restoration of applicability of the provisions of the Constitution of India and all socio-economic legislations thereby ensuring rule of law and equity.  Further, for ensuring better administration and for curbing terrorism, the State of Jammu & Kashmir has been reorganized with the formation of two Union Territories – Jammu &Kashmir and Ladakh. 

Hot Off The PressNews

Lok Sabha has passed the Consumer Protection Bill, 2019, today, i.e. 30-07-2019.

As reported by PTI, the bill seeks to strengthen the rights of consumers and provides a mechanism for redressal of complaints regarding defects in goods and deficiency in services.

The Consumer Protection Bill, 2019 once passed in the Rajya Sabha will replace the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 with the object of setting up of  Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and forums at the district, state and national levels for adjudicating consumer complaints.
It also seeks to set up a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce consumer rights as a class. The CCPA would make interventions to prevent consumer detriment arising from unfair trade practices. The agency can also initiate class action, including enforcing recall, refund and return of products.

Now, the bill will be moved to Rajya Sabha.


[Source: PTI]

Legislation UpdatesStatutes/Bills/Ordinances

Lok Sabha passed the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on 22-07-2019.

In this amendment, it is proposed to amend the Right to Information Act, 2005 so as to provide that the term of office of, and the salaries, allowances and other terms and conditions of service of, the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners and the State Chief Information Commissioner and the State Information Commissioners, shall be such as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

Union Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Dr Jitendra Singh said: that this Government is fully committed to transparency and accountability. Following this principle, the Government has encouraged suo motu dissemination of maximum information by Government Departments in order to reduce the number of RTIs.


[Source: PIB]

[Press Release dt. 22-07-2019]

Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions


[Picture Credits: Hindustan times.com]

Cabinet DecisionsLegislation Updates

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the “General Elections to the Lok Sabha 2019” for the issuance of statutory notifications under sub-section(2) of Section 14 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. It provides for calling upon the parliamentary constituencies to elect Members to the House of the People, on the dates to be recommended by the Election Commission of India in its Proceedings.

Impact:

The issuing of notifications would begin the election process for constituting the Seventeenth House of the People.

[SOURCE: PIB]

Ministry Of Law & Justice

Legislation UpdatesRules & Regulations

S.O. 1023(E)—In the exercise of the powers conferred by Section 169 read with Section 33 of the Representation of People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951), the Central Government after consulting the Election Commission hereby makes the following rules further to amend the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, namely:––

1. (1) These rules may be called the Conduct of Elections (Amendment) Rules, 2019.
(2) They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette.

2. In the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 in FORM 26,––
I. in PART A—
(i) for paragraph (4) and the Table thereunder, the following shall be substituted, namely:—
“(4) Details of Permanent Account Number (PAN) and status of filing of income tax return:

[Refer link for detailed notification: Notification]

Ministry of Law and Justice


Note: In accordance to the amended Form 26, five years’ returns are to be furnished, along with details of offshore assets. Along with this,  it would also require details under various heads of the candidate’s spouse, members of the Hindu Undivided Family (if the candidate is a ‘karta’ or coparcener) and dependents.

Legislation UpdatesStatutes/Bills/Ordinances

Lok Sabha passed “The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill – 2019” on 08-01-2019. The Bill has been formulated recognizing the need for regulation of the use and application of Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) technology, for establishing identity of missing persons, victims, offenders, under trials and unknown deceased persons.

The purpose of this Bill is to expand the application of DNA-based forensic technologies to support and strengthen the justice delivery system of the country. The utility of DNA based technologies for solving crimes, and to identify missing persons, is well recognized across the world. By providing for the mandatory accreditation and regulation of DNA laboratories, the Bill seeks to ensure that with the proposed expanded use of this technology in this country, there is also the assurance that the DNA test results are reliable, and furthermore that the data remains protected from misuse or abuse in terms of the privacy rights of our citizens.

The key components of this Bill include: establishment of a DNA Regulatory Board; accreditation of DNA laboratories undertaking DNA testing, analysing, etc.; establishment of the National and Regional DNA Data Banks, as envisaged in the Bill, will assist in forensic investigations. This will aid in scientific up-gradation and streamlining of the DNA testing activities in the country with appropriate inputs from the DNA Regulatory Board which would be set up for the purpose.

The Bill will add value in empowering the criminal justice delivery system by enabling the application of DNA evidence, which is considered the gold standard in crime investigations.

Ministry of Science & Technology

Legislation UpdatesStatutes/Bills/Ordinances

Lok Sabha passed a bill seeking to replace Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance by placing a significant provision of death penalty to the convicts of rape of girls below the age of 12 years.

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju stated that “Indian Penal Code provided for punishment to those convicted of raping a woman, but there was no provision for rape or gangrape of minor girls below 16 or 12 years of age. These are “very important provisions” which the government has proposed.

The bill stipulates stringent punishment for perpetrators of rape, particularly of girls below 12 years. Death sentence has been provided for rapists of girls less than 12 years. The minimum punishment in cases of rape of women has been increased from rigorous imprisonment of seven years to 10 years, extendable to life imprisonment.

This Bill would be a climacteric weapon in order to eradicate the menace of society.

[Source: PTI]