Hot Off The PressNews

What does Zero Hour refer to?

The Zero Hour refers to the time immediately following the Question Hour in both the Houses of Parliament. During this hour, parliamentarians can raise matters of great importance without the mandatory ten days advance notice.

As reported by ANI,

“A discussion on air pollution and climate change is expected to take place in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday afternoon on the second day of the Parliament’s winter session.”

The discussion assumes significance as Delhi and its adjoining regions have been battling severe pollution levels in the last few days mainly due to stubble burning by farmers in Haryana and Punjab. Air quality in the national capital deteriorates every winter owing to incidents of farm fires in the two states.


[Source: ANI]


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. 

Legislation UpdatesStatutes/Bills/Ordinances

Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 has been introduced in the Rajya Sabha today, which will amend the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004.

Following is the objective of the same as stated in the bill:

The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004 (the Act) was enacted with a view to provide for reservation in appointment and admission in Professional Institutions, for the members of the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and other socially and educationally backward classes.

2. The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Rules, 2005 made under the Act provide for the manner of reservation to the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and socially and educationally backward classes. The expression “socially and educationally backward classes” includes the residents of backward areas, Actual Line of Control, International Border and social castes.

3. Vide the Constitution (One Hundred and Third Amendment) Act, 2019 (the Constitution Act, 2019) the Government of India has extended ten per cent. reservation to the persons belonging to economically weaker sections in matters of admission to educational institutions and public employment. Subsequently, to extend the provisions of the Constitution Act, 2019 to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, the President issued the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Amendment Order, 2019 on the 1st day of March, 2019.

4. In order to implement the provisions of the Constitution Act, 2019 in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, it has become necessary to amend certain provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004. Accordingly, the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019, inter alia, provides for the following, namely:—

(i) to amend Section 2 of the Act, so as to define the “economically weaker sections” to mean such categories as may be notified by the Government from time to time, on the basis of family income and other indicators of economic disadvantage,
other than the classes or categories defined in clauses (m), (n) and (o) of the said section;

(ii) to amend sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the Act so as to insert the clause relating to economically weaker sections and to provide that the reservation to economically weaker sections shall be subject to a maximum of ten per cent. of the posts in each category; and

(iii) to amend sub-section (1) of Section 9 of the Act so as to insert the clause relating to economically weaker sections and to provide that the reservation to economically weaker sections shall be subject to a maximum of ten percent. of the seats in each category

The amendments to take place in accordance with this bill will be under Sections 2, 3 and 9.

*Please read the bill here: Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019


Rajya Sabha

Bill No. XXVIII of 2019

Legislation UpdatesStatutes/Bills/Ordinances

Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 has been passed by Rajya Sabha, dated 31-07-2019.

The amendments in the Bill mainly focus on issues relating to improving road safety, citizens’ facilitation while dealing with the transport department, strengthening rural transport, last mile connectivity and public transport, automation and computerization and enabling online services.

Some of the important areas of the amendment are as follows:

Road Safety

In the area of road safety, the Bill proposes to increase penalties to act as a deterrent against traffic violations.  Stricter provisions are being proposed in respect of offences like juvenile driving, drunken driving, driving without licence, dangerous driving, over-speeding, overloading, etc. Stricter provisions for helmets have been introduced along with provisions for electronic detection of violations.  Penalty regarding motor vehicles is to be increased by 10 % every year.

Proposed Amendments in Various Penalties under Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill – 2019

Section Old Provision / Penalty New Proposed Provision / Minimum Penalties
177 General Rs 100 Rs 500
New 177A Rules of road regulation violation Rs 100 Rs 500
178 Travel without ticket RS 200 Rs 500
179 Disobedience of orders of authorities Rs 500 Rs 2000
180 Unautorized use of vehicles without licence Rs 1000 Rs 5000
181 Driving without licence Rs 500 Rs 5000
182 Driving despite disqualification Rs 500 Rs 10,000
182 B Oversize vehicles New Rs 5000
183 Over speeding Rs 400 Rs 1000 for LMV

Rs 2000 for Medium passenger vehicle

184 Dangerous driving penalty Rs 1000 Upto Rs 5000
185 Drunken driving Rs 2000 Rs 10,000
189 Speeding / Racing Rs 500 Rs 5,000
192 A Vehicle without permit upto Rs 5000 Upto Rs 10,000
193 Aggregators (violations of licencing conditions) New Rs 25,000 to

Rs 1,00,000

194 Overloading Rs 2000 and

Rs 1000 per extra tonne

Rs 20,000 and

Rs 2000 per extra tonne

194 A Overloading of passengers Rs 1000 per extra passenger
194 B Seat belt Rs 100 Rs 1000
194 C Overloading of two wheelers Rs 100 Rs 2000, Disqualification for 3 months for licence
194 D Helmets Rs 100 Rs 1000 Disqualification for 3 months for licence
194 E Not providing way for emergency vehicles New Rs 10,000
196 Driving Without Insurance RS 1000 Rs 2000
199 Offences by Juveniles New Guardian / owner shall be deemed to be guilty. Rs 25,000 with 3 yrs imprisonment. For Juvenile to be tried under JJ Act. Registration of Motor Vehicle to be cancelled
206 Power of Officers to impound documents Suspension of driving licenses u/s 183, 184, 185, 189, 190, 194C, 194D, 194E
210 B Offences committed by enforcing authorities Twice the penalty under the relevant section

Vehicle Fitness

Bill mandates automated fitness testing for vehicles. The testing agencies issuing automobile approvals have been brought under the ambit of the Act and standards will be set for motor vehicle testing institutes. The Bill also provides for a compulsory recall of defective vehicles and power to examine irregularities of vehicle companies.

Recall of Vehicles

The Bill allows the central government to order for recall of motor vehicles if a defect in the vehicle may cause damage to the environment, or the driver, or other road users. The manufacturer of the recalled vehicle will be required to: (i) reimburse the buyers for the full cost of the vehicle, or (ii) replace the defective vehicle with another vehicle with similar or better specifications.

Road Safety Board

Bill provides for a National Road Safety Board, to be created by the central government through a notification. The Board will advise the central and state governments on all aspects of road safety and traffic management including standards of motor vehicles,  registration and licensing of vehicles,  standards for road safety, and promotion of new vehicle technology.

Protection of Good Samaritan

To help road accident victims, Good Samaritan guidelines have been incorporated in the Bill.  The Bill defines a Good Samaritan as a person who renders emergency medical or non-medical assistance to a victim at the scene of an accident, and provides rules to prevent harassment of such a person.

Cashless Treatment during Golden Hour

The Bill provides for a scheme for cashless treatment of road accident victims during golden hour.

Third-Party Insurance

The Bill has included the driver’s attendant in 3rd Party insurance. re will be no cap on liability of insurers. There will be a 10-time increase in insurance compensation, from Rs 50, 000 to Rs 5 lakh. Claim process has been simplified. Insurance firms have to pay claims within a month if the victim’s family agree to accept Rs 5 lakh compensation. The Bill also increases the minimum compensation for hit and run cases from Rs 25,000 to two lakh rupees in case of death, and from Rs 12,500 to Rs 50,000 in case of grievous injury.

Motor Vehicle Accident Fund

Bill requires the central government to constitute a Motor Vehicle Accident Fund, to provide compulsory insurance cover to all road users in India. It will be utilised for:  treatment of persons injured in road accidents as per the golden hour scheme,  compensation to representatives of a person who died in a hit and run accident,  compensation to a person grievously hurt in a hit and run accident, and  compensation to any other persons as prescribed by the central government.

Improving Services using e-Governance

Improving the delivery of services to the stakeholders using e-Governance is one of the major focuses of this Bill. This includes:

  • Provision for online driving licenses
  • Process of Vehicle Registration
  • Drivers Training

Reforms in the Transportation System

Development of an integrated Transport System will be possible from the National Transportation Policy. This will also enhance the powers of the State Governments, provide better last-mile connectivity, rural transport, etc.

Taxi aggregators

Bill defines aggregators as digital intermediaries or market places which can be used by passengers to connect with a driver for transportation purposes (taxi services). The Bill provides guidelines for Aggregators. At present, there are no rules in many states for regulating aggregators, taxis, etc.

Reforms in Driving Licences

The vehicle owners may register their vehicle anywhere in the state and process of registration will be done by dealers. Differently abled persons will get facilities for registration of vehicles.

Reforms in the Transportation System

Development of an Integrated Transport System will be possible from the National Transportation Policy. This will also enhance the powers of the State Governments, provide better last mile connectivity, rural transport, etc. The Bill provides guidelines for Aggregators.


[Press Release dt. 31-07-2019]

Source: PIB

Amendments to existing lawsLegislation Updates

Parliament passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2019, yesterday, i.e. 30-07-2019 and it would replace Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Second Ordinance, 2019.

The practice of instant divorce by Muslim men will be punishable by a jail term of up to three years.

This Bill will protect the rights of married Muslim women and prohibit divorce by pronouncing talaq by their husbands and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Talaq to be void and illegal Section 3 Any pronouncement of talaq by a Muslim husband upon his wife, by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form or in any other manner whatsoever, shall be void and illegal.
Punishment for pronouncing talaq Section 4 Any Muslim husband who pronounces talaq referred to in section 3 upon his wife shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Subsistence allowance Section 5 A married Muslim woman upon whom talaq is pronounced shall be entitled to receive from her husband such amount of subsistence allowance, for her and dependent children, as may be determined by the Magistrate.
Custody of minor children Section 6 A married Muslim woman shall be entitled to custody of her minor children in the event of pronouncement of talaq by her husband, in such manner as may be determined by the Magistrate
Offence to be cognizable, compoundable, etc. Section 7
  • offence punishable under this Act shall be cognizable, if information relating to the commission of the offence is given to an officer in charge of a police station by the married Muslim woman upon whom talaq is pronounced or any person related to her by blood or marriage
  • offence punishable under this Act shall be compoundable, at the instance of the married Muslim woman upon whom talaq pronounced
  • no person accused of an offence punishable under this Act shall be released on bail unless the Magistrate, on an application filed by the accused and after hearing the married Muslim woman upon whom talaq is pronounced, is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for granting bail

The Home Minister congratulated Muslim women by saying, “On the passage of this Bill, I congratulate the Muslim sisters across the country on getting rid of the Triple Talaq curse. This act will free Muslim women from the curse of this regressive practice


UPDATE: President gave assent to Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 on 31-07-2019.

*Please refer to the Act here: The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019


[Press Release dt. 31-07-2019]

Source: PIB

Legislation UpdatesStatutes/Bills/Ordinances

Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 25-07-2019.

The Lok Sabha had passed the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on 22-07-2019.  In this amendment, it was 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.

Further, Speaking about the objective of bringing this amendment, the Minister of State for Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension Jitendra Singh said that:

In regard to fixation of the tenure of Information Commissioners, it is never mentioned in the amendment that the Government will change it after every two years, as alleged by the Opposition. The Government will not have unbridled powers to amend the rules. The Minister said that the Government is open to the suggestions and the amendment is being done with a clean intention. On the issue of referring it to the Select Committee of the House, the Minister said that it is the prerogative of the members and it should be determined on the basis of the merit of the Bill.

CIC is a statutory body and Election Commission is a Constitutional body. Therefore, the mandate of Election Commission of India and Central and State Information Commissions are different and needed to be determined accordingly. He clarified that this amendment has been brought in without any motivation. This will help in streamlining the RTI.

The Bill was not referred to a Select Committee, with 117 members voting against referring the bill to a select committee, and 75 members voting for it.

The proposed amendments are as follows:

Amendment of :

Sections 13, 16 and 27.

Succinct of what changes would take place:

  • Provision of “5 years of the term of office” is to be replaced with “Central Government notifying the term of office” of both Chief Information Commissioner and the Information Commissioners.
  • The salaries and allowances payable to and other terms and conditions of service of the Chief Information Commissioner and the Information Commissioners shall be such as may be prescribed by the Central Government.
  • Salaries and allowances payable to and other terms and conditions of service of the State Chief Information Commissioner and the State Information Commissioners shall be such as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

*Please follow the link for detailed bill: Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019


[Press Release dt. 25-07-2019]

Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions

[Source: PIB]

Legislation UpdatesStatutes/Bills/Ordinances

Rajya Sabha passed the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019, yesterday, i.e. 24-07-2019 with a death penalty provision for committing sexual crimes against children.

As reported by All India Radio, “Bill provides that those who use a child for pornographic purposes should be punished with imprisonment up to five years and a fine. However, in the event of second or subsequent conviction, the punishment would be up to seven years and fine.

The Bill defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a child including photographs, video, digital or computer-generated image indistinguishable from an actual child.

According to the amendment bill, those committing penetrative sexual assaults on a child below 16 years of age would be punished with imprisonment up to 20 years, which might extend to life imprisonment as well as fine.

In case of aggravated penetrative sexual assault, the bill increases the minimum punishment from ten years to 20 years, and the maximum punishment to death penalty.”


[Source: All India Radio]

Legislation UpdatesStatutes/Bills/Ordinances

Rajya Sabha passed the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019 unanimously on 22-07-2019.

Clarifying on the transparency of the selection process for the Chairperson and Members of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Union Minister for Home Affairs Shri Amit Shah said that the selection committee was a diverse one, containing opposition leaders from  both the houses in addition to the Prime Minister; Union Home Minister; Speaker, Lok Sabha and Deputy Chairperson, Rajya Sabha.

The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 was enacted to provide for the constitution of a National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) and the Human Rights Courts for protection of human rights.

The NHRC has proposed certain amendments to the Act to address the concerns raised at certain global platforms. Besides this, certain State Governments have also proposed for amendment of the Act, as they have been facing difficulties in finding suitable candidates to the post of Chairperson of the respective State Commissions owing to the existing eligibility criteria to the said post.

The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019, inter alia, provides

  • that a person who has been a Judge of the Supreme Court is also made eligible to be appointed as Chairperson of the Commission in addition to the person who has been the Chief Justice of India;
  • to increase the Members of the Commission from two to three of which, one shall be a woman;
  • to include Chairperson of the National Commission for Backward Classes, Chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities as deemed Members of the Commission;
  • to reduce the term of the Chairperson and Members of the Commission and the State Commissions from five to three years and shall be eligible for re-appointment;
  • to provide that a person who has been a Judge of a High Court is also made eligible to be appointed as Chairperson of the State Commission in addition to the person who has been the Chief Justice of the High Court; and,
  • to confer upon State Commissions, the functions relating to human rights being discharged by the Union territories, other than the Union territory of Delhi, which will be dealt with by the Commission.

[Press Release dt. 22-07-2019]

[Source: PIB]

Legislation UpdatesNotifications

Minister of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Arvind Ganpat Sawant provided the following information in Rajya Sabha yesterday, i.e. 01-07-2019.

The Phase-II of FAME Scheme envisages support for setting up of adequate public charging infrastructure to instill confidence among Electrical Vehicles (EV) users, through active participation and involvement of various stakeholders including Government agencies, industries and Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs).

A budget provision of Rs. 1000 Crore for a period of 3 years [2019-20 to 2021-22] has been earmarked for setting up of charging infrastructure under Phase-II of FAME India Scheme. However, no fund for the establishment of charging infrastructure has been sanctioned under this phase of the scheme so far.


[Source: PIB]

Cabinet DecisionsLegislation Updates

The statutory resolution on extending President’s rule by another six months with effect from 03-07-2019 and Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was approved by Rajya Sabha today, i.e. 01-07-2019.

The reservation bill has been passed unanimously.

Home Minister Amit Shah tabled the Reservation Bill, which is set to benefit 435 villages along Samba, Kathua and Jammu.

J-K Governor Satypal Malik had on 21-11-2018 dissolved the 87-member assembly. On 20-12-2018 President’s rule was imposed.


This Act may be called the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Act, 2019.

It shall be deemed to have come into force on the 1st day of March, 2019.

 In Section 2 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004 (hereinafter referred to as the principal Act), in clause (o),—

(a) for sub-clause (ii), the following sub-clause shall be substituted, namely:—

“(ii) the persons residing in the area adjoining Actual Line of Control and International Border; and”;

(b) in the second proviso, in clause (ix), in the proviso, for the words “Actual Line of Control”, the words “Actual Line of Control or International Border” shall be substituted.

In Section 3 of the principal Act, in sub-section (2), for the words “Line of Actual Control”, the words “Actual Line of Control or International Border” shall be substituted.

(1) The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 is hereby repealed.

(2) Notwithstanding such repeal, anything done or any action taken under the said Ordinance shall be deemed to have been done or taken under this Act.

Legislation UpdatesNotifications

The following issue was raised in Rajya Sabha on 26-06-2019 in respect to the “Reservation of Eunuchs”.

Will the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment be pleased to state:-

a) whether Government is aware that an estimated 5-6 million eunuchs live in the country, who are deprived, alienated and encounters hostilities since early childhood which are so deep and extreme that, at some point, finding no other social space, they exclude themselves;
(b) whether Government has directed or taken measures such as to provide reservation to help bring eunuchs into the mainstream; and
(c) if so, the details thereof?

Response by Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Rattan Lal Kataria:

The Registrar General of India (RGI), during Enumeration of Census 2011, for the first time provided three codes i.e. Male-1, Female –2 and others -3 for enumeration. This was at the discretion of the respondent. In case the respondent wished to record neither ‘1’ nor ‘2’, then enumerator was instructed to record sex as ‘other’ and give code ‘3’. It is important to note that the Census of India does not collect any data specifically on ‘transgender’. Thus, the category of ‘other’ would not only include ‘transgender’ but also any person who desires to record sex under the category of ‘other’. It is also possible that some transgenders would have returned themselves either male or female depending upon their choice. The population of ‘other’ as per Census 2011 is 4,87,803.

An Expert Committee was constituted in the Ministry to make an in-depth study of the problems being faced by the Transgender Community and suggest suitable measures to ameliorate their conditions. The Committee submitted its report on 27th January 2014.  The Committee in its report has observed that the transgender community is a highly marginalized and vulnerable one and is seriously lagging behind on human development indices mainly in the area of education and employment.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court in its Judgment dated 15.04.2014 in WP(C) 400/2012 (NLSA Vs. UOI) directed, inter-alia, the Centre and State Governments to take steps to treat Transgenders as socially and educationally backward classes of citizens and extend all kinds of reservation in cases of admission in educational institutions and for public appointments.

In order to provide for the protection of rights of transgender persons and their welfare, the Ministry introduced a Bill titled “The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016” in the Lok Sabha on 2.8.2016, the Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on 17.12.2018.


[Press Release dt. 26-06-2019]

[Source: PIB & RajyaSabha.nic.in]

Hot Off The PressNews

Rajya Sabha passed a few path-breaking Bills positively impacting the socio-economic development of the country besides checking corruption and improving transparency. These include:

1. The Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill,2019 providing 10% reservation for economically weaker sections;

2. The Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014 for introduction of GST and nine other related Bills;

3. The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bills, 2015 and 2018;

4. The Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018 to prevent sexual abuse of children;

5. The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018;

6. The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2018;

7. The Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Bill, 2015;

8. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 and the related Amendment Bill, 2017;

9. The Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017 for setting up a National Commission for Backward Classes;

10. The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2016 to protect the interest of buyers and enhance the confidence in and credibility of the important real estate sector;

11. The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill,2015 and 2016 besides The Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill,2015 for auctioning of mines;

12. The Aadhar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016;

13. The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2016;

14. The Commercial Courts, Commercial Divisions and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Bill, 2015; and

15. The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2016.

[Source: PIB]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

“Introduction of NOTA will be an anathema to the fundamental criterion of democracy.”

Supreme Court: The Bench comprising of CJ Dipak Misra and A.M. Khanwilkar and Dr D.Y. Chandrachud, while deciding a petition challenging the availability of the option “None of the Above” (NOTA), stated that “it would not only undermine the purity of democracy but also serve the Satan of defection and corruption. ”

The facts of the case pertain to availability of the option of NOTA in the elections held for Rajya Sabha. The petitioner challenged a circular issued in relation to the conduct of elections for the Council of States (Rajya Sabha). He asserted that Election Commission of India had issued directions stating that the option of NOTA could be applicable to elections for the Rajya Sabha, which the petitioner contended to be contrary to Article 80(4) of the Constitution of India and the decision pronounced by the Supreme Court in PUCL v. Union of India, (2013) 10 SCC 1.

On the other hand, contentions, as placed by the respondents, were that the EC had issued a letter which was further reiterated on 12-11-2015 that the option of NOTA would be applicable to elections for Rajya Sabha and as the elections were already conducted, no justification stood for challenging the said direction at such a belated stage.

The Supreme Court, while concluding its decision, emphasized that “In a democracy, the purity of election is categorically imperative”. It opined that on exercising the choice of NOTA in the voting process of the Rajya Sabha, such choice would have a negative impact. Further, it was observed by the Court that provisions for introduction of NOTA as conceived by the Election Commission, on the basis of the judgment mentioned hereinabove, were absolutely erroneous and the introduction of NOTA would certainly lead to the aspect of defection that would indirectly usher in with immense vigour. Holding thus, the Court allowed the petition and quashed the said introduction. [Shailesh Manubhai Parmar v. Election Commission of India,2018 SCC OnLine SC 1041, decided on 21-08-2018]

Hot Off The PressNews

As reported by media, Rajyasabha has passed the Fugitive Economic offender’s Bill, 2018, which was introduced by the Finance Minister Piyush Goyal.

About: The Bill aimed at strengthening the laws dealing with loan defaulters who flee the country. It will replace the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance which was promulgated by the President in April.

[Source: The Hindu]

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: In an unexpected turn of events, Rajya Sabha Congress Parliamentarians Pratap Singh Bajwa & Amee Harshadray Yajnik have withdrawn the he petition challenging the rejection of impeachment motion against CJI Dipak Misra after the Constitution Bench of Dr. AK Sikri, SA Bobde, NV Ramana, Arun Mishra and AK Goel, JJ refused to share the details of the administrative order by which the Constitution Bench was formed.

The Parliamentarians had filed the petition after Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu rejected the impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, moved by 7 opposition parties. He had, in his order, stated:

“The motion presented by the MPs indicates a mere suspicion, conjecture or an assumption in the Prasad Education Trust case. The same does not constitute proof beyond a reasonable doubt required to make out a case of proved misbehavior.”

64 lawmakers from seven parties had moved an impeachment motion in Rajya Sabha against CJI Dipak Misra. The motion was moved a day after the Supreme Court rejected a batch of petitions seeking an independent probe into the death of Judge B H Loya, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case.

The Supreme Court has been marred by controversy ever since CJI Misra has joined the office. The initiation of the impeachment motion  on the opposition’s agenda ever since the senior most judge of the Supreme Court of India, Justice J. Chelameswar, along with Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Kurian Jospeh, held a press conference over the controversy relating to assignment of cases by the CJI. The judges had also released the letter that they had addressed to the CJI on the said issue. On the principle of Chief Justice being the ‘master of the roster’, the letter states:

“The convention of recognizing the privilege of the Chief Justice to form the roster and assign cases to different members/benches of the Court is a convention devised for a disciplined and efficient transaction of the business of the Court but not a recognition of any superior authority, legal or factual of the Chief Justice over his colleagues.”

It is important to note that earlier, the Court number 1 of the Supreme Court witnessed a high voltage drama when a 7-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, Justice Dipak Misra, assembled for reviewing the 2-judge bench order calling for constitution of a Constitution Bench of the first five judges of the Supreme Court to hear the matter wherein it was alleged that attempts were made to bribe some Supreme Court Judges in the matters relating to Medical admission scam. The bench of J Chelameswar and S. Abdul Nazeer, JJ had given the said order on 09.11.2017 .