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]

Legislation UpdatesStatutes/Bills/Ordinances

The Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013 by a voice vote, that seeks to punish bribe givers for the first time with imprisonment of up to a maximum of seven years. In the House debate, Minister for Personnel and Public Grievances Dr. Jitendra Singh said, the legislation against the corruption has been made wide based. He said the Bill has been brought in the House after it was deliberated in the Standing Committee, Law Commission and finally after holding consultations in the Select Committee. The Bill introduces the offence of giving a bribe as a direct offence. However, a person who is compelled to give a bribe will not be charged with the offence if he reports the matter to law enforcement authorities within seven days. The Bill has many provisions to ensure speedy trial of corruption cases besides providing protection to bureaucrats, even after their retirement, from malicious complaints.

Highlights of the Bill

  • The Act covers the offence of giving a bribe to a public servant under abetment.  The Bill makes specific provisions related to giving a bribe to a public servant, and giving a bribe by a commercial organisation.
  • The Bill redefines criminal misconduct to only cover misappropriation of property and possession of disproportionate assets.
  • The Bill modifies the definitions and penalties for offences related to taking a bribe, being a habitual offender and abetting an offence.
  • Powers and procedures for the attachment and forfeiture of property of public servants accused of corruption have been introduced in the Bill.
  • The Act requires prior sanction to prosecute serving public officials.  The Bill extends this protection to former officials, including those retired.
  • The Bill has included commercial organisation into its ambit.

The Bill will be tabled in the Lok Sabha.

Cabinet DecisionsLegislation Updates

In the Budget 2018, Finance Minister had said reiterating his stand and extending the warning one more time, that dealing with cryptocurrencies was not legal in India. The Cabinet on 20-03-2018, approved to introduce Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018, which includes Ponzi schemes and the usage of cryptocurrencies. With the passage of this bill, it is likely that Ponzi schemes and dealing in cryptocurrencies will become illegal.

The Bill seeks to ban unregulated deposit schemes with a view to curb defrauding of gullible investors through chit funds. The bill is aimed at tackling the menace of illicit deposit-taking activities in the country as in the recent past there have been rising instances of people in various parts of the country being defrauded by such schemes. Companies and institutions running such schemes exploit the existing regulatory gaps and lack of strict administrative measures to dupe the poor and gullible people of their hard-earned savings. The worst victims are the poor and the financially illiterate, and the operations of such schemes are often spread over many States.

To curb black money and corruption, Government cleared the Bill, by making even the act of running such Ponzi schemes an offence. According to the new law, real estate developers that offer schemes with fixed returns till possession will come under “unregulated deposits”. Similarly, some jewellers, offer schemes in which the consumers pay 11 instalments while the company pay the 12th one. Other schemes have offers where consumers pay instalments for at least 10 months and get up to 50 % discounts in monthly contribution. All these schemes will be illegal under the new law. There have been several instances in the past where government try to curb these schemes but could not succeed. A new comprehensive law would completely prohibit unregulated deposit-taking and provide for deterrent punishment for promoting or operating such schemes, besides introducing other changes.

Cabinet