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'PRELIMS 2017'
Current Affairs

Importa nt
For Civil Services Examination


A) Governance
1. Representation of People (Amendment) Bill, 2010
2. Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act,
3. Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill, 2016
4. The Anti-Hijacking Act, 2016
5. Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996
6. Lokpal and Lokayukta (Amendment) Act, 2016
7. Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016

8. Whistleblowers Amendment Bill

B) Economy
1. GST Bill
2. Bill to Amend SARFAESI and DRT Act
3. Model Land Leasing Act
4. Model Shops and Establishments Bill, 2016
5. Merchant Shipping Bill
6. Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016
7. The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016

8. Arbitration and Conciliation Bill, 2015

C) Social Sector
1. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act
2. 'Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016'
3. 'Child Labor (Prohibition and Amendment) Bill, 2016'
4. Maternity Benefit Bill, 2016
5. Pre-Conception & Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act
6. Mental Health Care Bill, 2013
7. Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO)
8. Anti Trafficking Bill with Stringent Penalty
9. HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill-2014 - Amendments
10. Domestic Violence Act, 2005 - SC Widens Ambit
11. Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014 with more Benefits
12. Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2016
13. The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment


D) Environment
1. Draft National Water Framework Bill
2. Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill



Representation of People (Amendment) Bill, 2010
Bill Name The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2010
Ministry / Status Ministry of Law
Objectives Bill amends the Representation of the People Act, 1950 to confer voting
rights to citizens of India who are absenting from their place or ordinary
residence in India owing to their employment, education or otherwise
outside India (whether temporarily or not). They shall be entitled to
have their names registered in the electoral roll in the Assembly/
Parliamentary constituency in which their place of residence in India

as mentioned in their passport is located.

Salient Features of the Bill The Representation of the People Act, 1950 makes detailed provisions
for elections and lays down the conditions required to register as a
voter in a constituency. The conditions of registration include that a
citizen should be ordinarily resident of a constituency.
The Bill allows for all citizens to be enrolled in the electoral rolls in the
constituency in which his place of residence in India as mentioned in
his passport.
The Electoral officer has to undertake the required verification for
The procedure for registration and the time period within which the

registration shall take place is to be specified by the Government in

consultation with the Election Commission.
The Bill permits registration in electoral rolls of persons who are (a)
citizens of India, (b) not enrolled in electoral rolls, (c) have not taken
up the citizenship of any other country, and (d) are absent from the
ordinary place of residence.

Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies,

Benefits and Services) Act, 2016
Bill Name Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits
and Services) Bill, 2016
Ministry / Status MInistry of Finance
Objectives The Bill intends to provide for targeted delivery of subsidies and
services to individuals residing in India by assigning them unique
identity numbers, called Aadhaar numbers.
Salient Features of the Bill Eligibility: Every resident shall be entitled to obtain an Aadhaar
number. A resident is a person who has resided in India for 182 days,
in the one year preceding the date of application for enrolment for

Information to be submitted: To obtain an Aadhaar number, an
individual has to submit his, (i) biometric (photograph, finger print,
iris scan) and (ii) demographic (name, date of birth, address)
information. The Unique Identification Authority (UID) may specify
other biometric and demographic information to be collected by
Enrolment: At the time of enrolment, the individual will be informed
of, (i) the manner in which the information will be used, (ii) the nature
of recipients with whom the information will be shared, and (iii) the
right to access this information. After verification of information
provided by a person, an Aadhaar number will be issued to him.
Use of Aadhaar number: To verify the identity of a person receiving
a subsidy or a service, the government may require them to have an
Aadhaar number. If a person does not have an Aadhaar number,
government will require them to apply for it, and in the meanwhile,
provide an alternative means of identification. Any public or private
entity can accept the Aadhaar number as a proof of identity of the
Aadhaar number holder, for any purpose. Aadhaar number cannot be
a proof of citizenship or domicile.

Authentication: The UID authority will authenticate the Aadhar
number of an individual, if an entity makes such a request. A requesting
entity (an agency or person that wants to authenticate information of a
person) has to obtain the consent of an individual before collecting his
information. The agency can use the disclosed information only for
purposes for which the individual has given consent.
Protection of information: Biometric information such as an

individuals fingerprint, iris scan and other biological attributes

(specified by regulations) will be used only for Aadhaar enrolment
and authentication, and for no other purpose. Such information will
not be shared with anyone, nor will it be displayed publicly, except for
purposes specified by regulations.

Admiralty (Jurisdiction And Settlement Of Maritime Claims) Bill,

Bill Name Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill, 2016
Ministry / Status Ministry of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping
Objectives The Bill seeks to consolidate the existing laws on civil matters of
admiralty jurisdiction of courts, admiralty proceedings on maritime
claims, and arrest of ships. Admiralty laws deal with cases of accidents
in navigable waters or involve contracts related to commerce on such
waters. The Bill repeals laws such as the Admiralty Court Act, 1861,
the Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act, 1890.
Salient Features of the Bill Admiralty Jurisdiction: The jurisdiction with respect to maritime
claims under the Bill will vest with the respective High Courts and will
extend up to the territorial waters of their respective jurisdictions. The
central government may extend the jurisdiction of these High Courts.
Currently admiralty jurisdiction applies to the Bombay, Calcutta and
Madras High Courts. The Bill further extend this to the High Courts of
Karnataka, Gujarat, Orissa, Kerala, Hyderabad, and any other High
Court notified by the central government.

Maritime Claims: The High Courts may exercise jurisdiction on
maritime claims arising out of conditions including: (i) disputes
regarding ownership of a vessel, (ii) disputes between co-owners of a
vessel regarding employment or earnings of the vessel, (iii) mortgage
on a vessel, (iv) construction, repair, or conversion of the vessel, (v)
disputes arising out of the sale of a vessel, (vi) environmental damage
caused by the vessel, etc. The Bill defines a vessel as any ship, boat, or
sailing vessel which may or may not be mechanically propelled.
Priority of Maritime Claims: Among all claims in an admiralty
proceeding, highest priority will be given to maritime claims, followed
by mortgages on the vessel, and all other claims. Within maritime
claims, the highest priority will be given to claims for wages due with
regard to employment on the vessel. This would be followed by claims
with regard to loss of life or personal injury in connection with the
operation of the vessel. Such claims will continue to exist even with
the change of ownership of the vessel.
Arrest of Vessel: The courts may order for the arrest of any vessel
within their jurisdiction for providing security against a maritime claim

which is the subject of a proceeding. They may do so under various
reasons such as: (i) owner of the vessel is liable for the claim, (ii) the

claim is based on mortgage of the vessel, and (iii) the claim relates to
ownership of the vessel, etc.
Appeals: Any judgments made by a single Judge of the High Court
can be appealed against to a Division Bench of the High Court. Further,
the Supreme Court may, on application by any party, transfer an
admiralty proceeding at any stage from one High Court to any other
High Court. The latter High Court will proceed with the matter from
the stage where it stood at the time of the transfer.

The Anti-Hijacking Act, 2016

Bill Name The Anti-Hijacking Bill, 2014

Ministry / Status Ministry of Civil Aviation

Objectives The Bill seeks to repeal The Anti-Hijacking Act, 1982, and give effect
to the Hague Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of
Aircraft, 1970 and its Beijing Protocol Supplementary, signed on
September 10, 2010.
Salient Features of the Bill It expands definition of aircraft hijacking (for example, by covering
hijacking by technological means);
It includes related offences (like, threatening/ organizing a hijacking)
within the definition of hijacking;
It provides capital punishment for hijackers and conspirators/ abettors
in cases where the offence results in death of a hostage or security
It widens provisions related to jurisdiction;
It enables the conferment of powers of investigation, arrest and
prosecution on any officer of the central government or the National
Investigation Agency; and
It confers power to attach or seize property on the investigating officers
and courts designated to deal with hijacking cases.


Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996

Bill Name Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996
Ministry / Status Ministry of Tribal Affairs
Objectives The Provision of the Panchayat (Extension to the Scheduled Areas)
Act, 1996 popularly known as PESA was enacted to bring the Scheduled
Areas in nine States of the country under the purview of national
framework of Panchayat.
PESA Act of 1996 was in principle meant to give self rule authority to
the tribal people and govern themselves as well as their resources.
Salient Features of the Bill The salient feature of the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas)
Act, 1996 (PESA) and the modalities worked out to grant rights to
tribals in the country are:
a) Legislation on Panchayats shall be in conformity with the customary
law, social and religious practices and traditional management practices

of community resources;
b) Habitation or a group of habitations or a hamlet or a group of hamlets
comprising a community and managing its affairs in accordance with
traditions and customs; and shall have a separate Gram Sabha.
c) Every Gram Sabha to safeguard and preserve the traditions and customs
of people, their cultural identity, community resources and the
customary mode of dispute resolution.

d) The Gram Sabhas have roles and responsibilities in approving all

development works in the village, identify beneficiaries, issue
certificates of utilization of funds; powers to control institutions and
functionaries in all social sectors and local plans.
e) Gram Sabhas or Panchayats at appropriate level shall also have powers

to manage minor water bodies; power of mandatory consultation in

matters of land acquisition; resettlement and rehabilitation and
prospecting licenses/mining leases for minor minerals; power to prevent
alienation of land and restore alienated land; regulate and restrict sale/
consumption of liquor; manage village markets, control money lending
to STs; and ownership of minor forest produce.
f) The provisions of Panchayats with certain modification and exceptions
have been extended to the Schedule V areas viz. the ten States where
the Panchayats exists in the country including Andhra Pradesh. A list
of ten States has been annexed.
g) Gram Sabhas have been constituted in every State as per the Panchayat
Raj Act/PESA Rules of the concerned State. Only four States have
framed their Rules for implementation of PESA. These are, Andhra
Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

Lokpal and Lokayukta (Amendment) Act, 2016

Bill Name The Lokpal and Lokayuktas (Amendment) Bill, 2016
Ministry / Status Law and Justice

Objectives The Bill amends the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 in relation to
declaration of assets and liabilities by public servants. The provisions
of the Bill would apply retrospectively, from the date of the coming
into force of the 2013 Act.
Salient Features of the Bill The Lokpal Act requires a public servant to declare his assets and
liabilities, and that of his spouse and dependent children. Such
declarations must be made to the competent authority within 30 days
of entering office. Further, the public servant must file an annual return
of such assets and liabilities by July 31st of every year. The Lokpal
Act also mandates statements of such declarations be published on the
website of the relevant Ministry by August 31 of that year.
The Bill replaces these provisions to state that a public servant will be
required to declare his assets and liabilities. However, the form and
manner of making such a declaration will be prescribed by the central

Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016

Bill Name The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016
Ministry / Status Ministry of Road Transport and Highways


The Act provides for standards for motor vehicles, grant of driving
licenses, and penalties for violation of these provisions.
The Act seeks to address various issues such as road safety, third party
insurance, regulation of taxi aggregators, recall of unsafe vehicles,
and compensation for victims in case of road accidents.
Salient Features of the Bill The Bill amends the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 to address issues such
as third party insurance, regulation of taxi aggregators, and road safety.
Under the Act, the liability of the third party insurer for motor vehicle
accidents is unlimited. The Bill caps the maximum liability for third

party insurance in case of a motor accident at Rs 10 lakh in case of

death and at five lakh rupees in case of grievous injury.
The Bill provides for a Motor Vehicle Accident Fund which would
provide compulsory insurance cover to all road users in India for certain
types of accidents.
The Bill defines taxi aggregators, guidelines for which will be
determined by the central government.
The Bill also provides for: (i) amending the existing categories of driver
licensing, (ii) recall of vehicles in case of defects, (iii) protection of
good samaritans from any civil or criminal action, and (iv) increase of
penalties for several offences under the 1988 Act.

Whistleblowers Amendment Bill

Bill Name The Whistleblowers Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2015
Ministry / Status Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
Pending Passed by LS
Objectives The Bill amends the Whistleblowers Protection Act, 2014
Salient Features of the Bill The Act provides a mechanism for receiving and inquiring into public
interest disclosures against acts of corruption, wilful misuse of power
or discretion, or criminal offences by public servants.

The Bill prohibits the reporting of a corruption related disclosure if it
falls under any 10 categories of information.
These categories include information related to: (i) economic, scientific
interests and the security of India; (ii) Cabinet proceedings, (iii)
intellectual property; (iv) that received in a fiduciary capacity, etc.
The Act permits disclosures that are prohibited under the Official
Secrets Act (OSA), 1923. The Bill reverses this to disallow disclosures
that are covered by the OSA.
Any public interest disclosure received by a Competent Authority will
be referred to a government authorized authority if it falls under any
of the above 10 prohibited categories. This authority will take a decision
on the matter, which will be binding.



GST Bill
Bill Name The Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014 (GST)
Ministry / Status Ministry of Finance
Objectives The idea behind GST is to subsume all existing central and state indirect
taxes under one value added tax, which will be levied on all goods
and services.
No good or service is exempt, and there is no differentiation between
a good or service, whether as an input or as a finished product.

Salient Features The Bill enables Parliament and state legislatures to frame laws on
GST. The GST Council, that includes representatives from the centre

and all states, will make recommendations on the implementation of
The Bill amends the Constitution to introduce the goods and services
tax (GST).
The GST Council will recommend rates of tax, period of levy of
additional tax, principles of supply, special provisions to certain states
etc. The GST Council will consist of the Union Finance Minister, Union
Minister of State for Revenue, and state Finance Ministers.
Scope of GST
GST is applicable on the supply of goods and services.

Alcohol for human consumption has been exempted from the purview
of GST.
Initially, GST will not apply to five Petroleum products i.e Petroleum
crude, high speed diesel, motor high spirit (petrol) , natural gas and
Aviation turbine fuel.
Tobacco and tobacco products will be subject to GST.
Levy of GST
Parliament and state legislatures will have concurrent powers to make
laws on GST. Only the centre may levy an integrated GST (IGST) on
the interstate supply of goods and services, and imports.
The central government will have the exclusive power to levy and
collect GST in the course of interstate trade or commerce, or imports.
This will be known as Integrated GST (IGST).
A central law will prescribe the manner in which the IGST will be
shared between the centre and states, based on the recommendations
of the GST Council.
GST Council
The GST Council will consist of: (a) the Union Finance Minister (as
Chairman), (b) the Union Minister of State in charge of Revenue or
Finance, and (c) the Minister in charge of Finance or Taxation or any
other Minister, nominated by each state government.

All decisions of the GST Council will be made by three fourths majority
of the votes cast; the center shall have one-third of the votes cast, and
the states together shall have two-third of the votes cast
Other Features
The Bill empowers the center to impose an additional tax of up to 1%,
on the inter-state supply of goods for two years or more. This tax will
accrue to states from where the supply originates.
Parliament may, by law, provide compensation to states for any loss
of revenue from the introduction of GST, up to a five year period

Bill to Amend SARFAESI and DRT Act

Bill Name The Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws
and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Bill, 2016
Ministry / Status Ministry of Finance
Objectives The bill will amend four acts-Sarfaesi Act, 2002, the Recovery of Debts
due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993, the Indian Stamp

Act, 1899 and the Depositories Act, 1996.
It is an important step aimed to resolve bad loans, to amend the existing
Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement
of Security Interest (Sarfaesi) Act, and the debt recovery tribunal (DRT)
Salient features of the Bill Amendments to the SARFAESI Act are:

Taking possession over collateral: The SARFAESI Act allows secured

creditors to take possession over a collateral, against which a loan had
been provided, upon a default in repayment. This process is undertaken
with the assistance of the District Magistrate, and does not require the
intervention of courts or tribunals. The Bill provides that this process
will have to be completed within 30 days by the District Magistrate.
However, if the Magistrate is unable to pass an order within this time

limit due to externalities, this limit would be extended to 60 days.

Creation of database: The Act creates a central registry to maintain
records of transactions related to secured assets. The Bill creates a
central database to integrate records of property registered under
various registration systems with this central registry. This includes
integration of registrations made under Companies Act, 2013,
Registration Act, 1908 and Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
Audit and inspection: The Act empowered the Reserve Bank of India
(RBI) to examine the statements and any information of Asset
Reconstruction Companies related to their business. The Bill further
empowers the RBI to carry out audits and inspections of these
companies on its own, or authorise specialised agencies to conduct
these audits. The RBI may penalise a company if the company fails to
comply with any directions issued by it.
Stamp duty exemption: The Bill provides that stamp duty will not be
charged on transactions undertaken for transfer of financial assets in
favour of asset reconstruction companies. Financial assets include loans
and collaterals. This exemption will not be applicable, if the asset has
been transferred for purposes other than securitisation or reconstruction
(such as for the ARC's own use).

Jurisdiction for filing appeals: The Act provides the grounds on which
an aggrieved party can file an appeal before a Debt Recovery Tribunal
(DRT). The Bill seeks to clarify that such cases will be filed in the DRT
having jurisdiction over the area, (i) where the cause of action arises,
(ii) where the collateral security is located, or (iii) where the bank branch
is located where the debt is outstanding.
Amendments to the RDDBFI Act
Presiding Officer and Chairman: The RDDBFI Act established Debt
Recovery Tribunals (DRTs) and Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunals
(DRATs). The Bill increases the retirement age of Presiding Officers
of Debt Recovery Tribunals from 62 years to 65 years. Further, it
increases the retirement age of Chairpersons of Appellate Tribunals
from 65 years to 67 years. It also makes Presiding Officers and
Chairpersons eligible for reappointment.
The Bill allows Presiding Officers of tribunals established under other
laws (such as the National Company Law Tribunal) to also perform
functions of Presiding Officers of DRTs. Similarly, it allows Chairmen

of Appellate Tribunals established under other laws to additionally
perform functions of Chairmen of DRATs.

Filing of Application: The Act provides that banks and financial
institutions will be required to file cases in tribunals having jurisdiction
over the defendant's area of residence or business. The Bill also allows
banks to file cases in tribunals having jurisdiction over the area of
bank branch where the debt is pending.
Procedures: The Bill provides that certain procedures under the Act
will be undertaken in electronic form. These include presentation of
claims by parties and summons issued by tribunals.
The Bill provides details of procedures that the tribunals will follow in
case of debt recovery proceedings. This includes the requirement of

applicants to specify the assets of the borrower, which have been

collateralized. The Bill also prescribes time limits for the completion
of some of these procedures.

Model Land Leasing Act

Bill Name Model Agricultural Land Leasing Act, 2016
Ministry / Status The Expert Committee on Land Leasing (Chair: Dr. T. Haque),
constituted under the NITI Aayog submitted the model Agricultural
Land Leasing Act, 2016 on March 31, 2016.
Objectives The Model Act seeks to permit and facilitate leasing of agricultural
land to improve access to land by the landless and marginal farmers. It
also provides for recognition of farmers cultivating on leased land to
enable them to access loans through institutional credit.
Salient Features of the Bill Lease
'Lease' is defined as a contract between the land owner and cultivator,
who uses the land owner's land for agriculture and allied activities for
a mutually agreed specified period. 'Leasing in' means taking land
from an owner (who is leasing out his land) for use.

Land lease agreement
The lease agreement between the land owner and cultivator will include
information pertaining to: (i) the location and area of leased out land,
(ii) the duration of lease, (iii) the lease amount and the due date by
which it has to be paid, and (iv) terms and conditions for the renewal
or extension of lease.
The lease period and lease amount will be based on a mutual agreement
between the land owner and cultivator.
Additionally, the lease agreement will not confer any protected tenancy
right on a cultivator. The lease agreement may or may not be registered
(as mutually agreed), and will also not be entered into any record of
Enforcement of lease agreement
The tahsildar or a revenue officer of equal rank will be responsible for,
enforcement of terms of lease, and facilitating return of the leased out
agricultural land to the owner on expiry of the lease period
Rights and responsibilities of land owner

The landowner will give possession of the leased-out land to the
cultivator on the first day of the lease. He will be entitled to automatic
possession of the land on the expiry of the agreed lease period. He can
put the leased out land for use such as sale, gift, mortgage, etc.
However, this should not affect the cultivator's right to cultivate the
land till the end of the lease period. He will also be responsible to pay
all taxes and cess on the land
Rights and responsibilities of cultivator

The cultivator, to whom the land has been leased out, will be entitled
to an undisturbed possession and use of this land. He can use the land
only for agriculture and allied activities.
Further, he cannot sub-lease or mortgage the land. He will be eligible
to raise loans from banks and other financial institutions without

mortgaging the leased in land. He will be entitled for compensation

from landowner for any improvements or fixtures that he makes on
this land. He will also have the right to surrender land to the landowner
within a time period as specified in the lease agreement.
Termination of lease
The lease agreement may be terminated on grounds including: (i) failure
of cultivator to pay the lease amount after a grace period of three
months, (ii) use of land for purposes other than those specified in the
agreement, (iii) sub-leasing of land or damage caused to it by the
Dispute resolution
The cultivator and the owner can settle disputes between them using
third party mediation, or gram panchayat, or gram Sabha. If the dispute
cannot be settled by third party mediation, either the landowner or the
cultivator can file a petition before the Tahsildar, or an equal rank
revenue officer. He will have to adjudicate the dispute within four
weeks. In such cases, an appeal can also be made to the collector or
district magistrate.
Special Land Tribunal:
State governments will constitute a special Land Tribunal, which will
be the final authority to adjudicate disputes under the model Act. It

will be headed by a retired high court or district court judge. No civil
courts will have jurisdiction over disputes under the model Act

Model Shops and Establishments Bill, 2016

Bill Name Model Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and
Conditions of Service) Bill, 2016
Ministry / Status Ministry of Labor & Employment
The Cabinet considered the Model Shops and Establishment
(Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2016 to
be sent to States who will modify their individual Acts, if they so desire
either by adopting the said Bill as it is or after modifying its provisions
as per the requirement of that particular State/UTs.
Objectives The Model bill is aimed at
improving the working conditions of workers
creating many more job opportunities for women and

providing favorable environment for doing business

The Model Bill would bring about uniformity in the legislative provisions,
making it easier for all the States to adopt it and thereby ensuring uniform
working conditions across the country and facilitate the ease of doing
business and generate employment opportunities.
Salient Features of the Bill Workers' Rights and Welfare Measures
Paid holidays for workers - 18 days earned Leaves, 8 days casual
Leaves, weekly holiday, 5 festival leaves and national holidays.
Highly skilled workers (employed in IT, Biotech and R&D) will be
exempted from daily working hours of 9 hours and weekly working
hours of 48 hours. However, this provision is to subject to maximum

125 over-time hours in a quarter for the skilled workers.

It will enable establishments serving international customers especially
in IT sector.
Provision of clean and safe drinking water in the establishments.
Provision for common lavatory, crche, canteen, and first aid facilities
by a group of employers. It will be applicable if individual
establishments cannot provide these facilities due to constraint in space
or otherwise.
Empowers Government to make rules regarding adequate measures to
be taken for the safety and health of workers by the employer.
Provisions for Women
Does not allow discrimination against women in the matter of
recruitment, training, promotions or transfer. Permits women during
night shift, if the establishments have provisions of shelter, restroom,
ladies toilet, transportation and adequate protection of their dignity
This will enhance gender diversity at work places and will do away
with "protective discrimination" faced by women. Safety and better
working conditions have to be ensured by the establishments. Facilities
such as late-night drops and crches have to be provided.

Covers only those shops and establishments employing ten or more
workers. It does not cover manufacturing units. It covers banks, stocks,
brokerages, journalistic or printing work, cinema halls, malls, shops,
warehouses, bars, restaurants and more. Provides freedom to the
establishment to operate 365 days and also in choosing their opening/
closing time.
The provision of operating 247 is aimed at providing customer
flexibility and boosting retail market across the country. The
enhancement of working hours will result in generation of additional
employment opportunities. There will be growth in jobs especially in
retail, IT, hospitality and services sector.
Establishing a simplified one common online Registration procedure.
There will be uniformity in legal provisions across States/UTs. It can
facilitate the establishments to have uniform HR and leave policies.
This would promote competition among the states in improving
governance and ease of doing business.

Merchant Shipping Bill
Bill Name The Merchant Shipping Bill, 2016
Ministry / Status Ministry of Shipping
Objectives The Bill seeks to bring in reforms in the shipping sector to promote

ease of doing business, and develop Indian coastal shipping.

The Bill provides for repealing of Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 as
well as for the repealing of the Coasting Vessels Act, 1838.
It aims to consolidate and amend the law relating to merchant shipping
to ensure compliance with the country's obligation under the maritime
treaties and International Instruments and also to ensure the efficient

maintenance of Indian mercantile marine in a manner best suited to

serve the national interest.
Salient Features of the Bill The significant reforms that will usher in, upon enactment of the Bill, are:
A. Augmentation of Indian tonnage promotion/development of coastal
shipping in India by:-
Allowing substantially-owned vessels and vessels on Bare Boat-cum-
Demise (BBCD); charter by Indians to be registered as Indian flag
Recognizing Indian controlled tonnage as a separate category;
Dispensing with the requirement for issuing of licences to Indian flag
vessels for coastal operation and for port clearance by the Customs
authorities; and
Making separate rules for coastal vessels to develop & promote coastal
B. Introduction of welfare measures for seafarers, such as:-
Seafarers held in hostage captivity of pirates will receive wages till
they are released and reach home back safely;

Owners of vessels to compulsorily take insurance of crew engaged on
vessels including fishing, sailing without mechanical means of
propulsion and whose net tonnage is less than 15; and
The requirement of signing of articles of agreement by the crew before
the Shipping Master will no longer be necessary.
C. Registration of certain residuary category of vessels not covered under
any statute and lo make provisions for security-related aspects.
D. Incorporation of all International Maritime Organization (IMO)
Conventions/Protocols in the Indian laws up-to-date by inserting
provisions relating to seven different conventions, namely,
The Intervention Convention 1969,
The Search and Rescue Convention 1979
The Protocol for Prevention of Pollution from Ships Annex VI to Marine
Pollution Convention,
The Convention for Control and Management of Ships Ballast Water
and Sediments, 2004,

The Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention, 2007,

The Salvage Convention 1989 and
The International Convention for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001.
Besides, the provisions for survey, inspection and certification of
vessels which were scattered in various Parts of the existing Act are
placed together to provide for a simplified regime for convenience of
Indian shipping industry.

Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016

Bill Name Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2015
Ministry / Status Ministry Of Law And Justice

Objectives The Bill seeks to:
Amend the Benami Transactions Act, 1988.
Amend the definition of benami transactions
Establish adjudicating authorities and an Appellate Tribunal to deal
with benami transactions,
Specify the penalty for entering into benami transaction
In recent years the Union Government has taken various measures to curb
the black money and the proposed legislation is one of them. It has been
framed to tackle the menace black money by creating fear of law. However,
the law does not cover benami property which is outside the country under
it as it will be deemed as black money.
Salient Features of the Bill The Act defines a benami transaction as a transaction where a property
is held by or transferred to a person, but has been provided for or paid
by another person.
The Bill amends this definition to add other transactions which qualify
as benami, such as property transactions where: (i) the transaction is
made in a fictitious name, (ii) the owner is not aware of denies
knowledge of the ownership of the property, or (iii) the person providing
the consideration for the property is not traceable.

The Bill also specifies certain cases will be exempt from the definition
of a benami transaction. These include cases when a property is held
by: (i) a member of a Hindu undivided family, and is being held for
his or another family member's benefit, and has been provided for or
paid off from sources of income of that family; (ii) a person in a fiduciary
capacity; (iii) a person in the name of his spouse or child, and the
property has been paid for from the person's income; and
The Bill defines benamidar as the person in whose name the benami
property is held or transferred, and a beneficial owner as the person
for whose benefit the property is being held by the benamidar.
The Bill also seeks to establish an Appellate Tribunal to hear appeals
against any orders passed by the Adjudicating Authority. Appeals
against orders of the Appellate Tribunal will lie to the high court.
Under the Act, the penalty for entering into benami transactions is
imprisonment up to three years, or a fine, or both. The Bill seeks to
change this penalty to rigorous imprisonment of one year up to seven
years, and a fine which may extend to 25% of the fair market value of
the benami property.

The Bill also specifies the penalty for providing false information to
be rigorous imprisonment of six months up to five years, and a fine
which may extend to 10% of the fair market value of the benami
Certain sessions courts would be designated as Special Courts for trying
any offences which are punishable under the Bill.

The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016

Bill Name Enemy Property (Amendment & Validation) Bill, 2016
Ministry / Status Minister of Home Affairs
Passed on March 14th 2017

Objectives The Bill seeks to amend the Enemy Property Act, 1968 and the Public
Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act, 1971. It will replace
the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance, 2016
Salient Features of the Bill The central government had designated some properties belonging to
nationals of Pakistan and China as 'enemy properties' during the 1962,
1965 and 1971 conflicts.
It vested these properties in the 'Custodian of Enemy Property for India', an
office instituted under the central government. The 1968 Act regulates these
enemy properties, and lists the powers of the Custodian.
Retrospective application: The Bill will come into force on January
7, 2016, the date of promulgation of the 2016 Ordinance. However,
several of its provisions will come into effect from the date of
commencement of the 1968 Act. Consequently, divestments (i.e.,
returning of property from the Custodian to the owner or other person)
and transfers of enemy property, which had taken place before January
7, 2016 and are in contravention of the Bill, will be void.
Definition of enemy: The 1968 Act defined an 'enemy' as a country
(and its citizens) that committed external aggression against India (i.e.,
Pakistan and China). The Bill seeks to expand this definition to include:

(i) legal heirs of enemies even if they are citizens of India or of another
country which is not an enemy, (ii) nationals of an enemy country
who subsequently changed their nationality to that of another country,
Vesting of property: The 1968 Act allowed for vesting of enemy
properties with the Custodian, after the conflicts with Pakistan and
China. The Bill seeks to amend the Act to clarify that even in the
following cases these properties will continue to vest with the Custodian:
(i) the enemy's death, (ii) if the legal heir is an Indian, (iii) enemy
changes his nationality to that of another country, etc. The Bill further
provides that vesting of enemy property with the Custodian will mean
that all rights, titles and interests in the property will vest with the
Custodian. No laws and customs governing succession will be
applicable to these properties
Divestment: The 1968 Act provided that the central government may
order for an enemy property to be divested from the Custodian and
returned to the owner or other person. The Bill replaces this provision,
and allows enemy property to be returned to the owner only if an

aggrieved person applies to the government, and the property is found
not to be an enemy property.

Power of sale: The 1968 Act permitted sale of enemy property by the
Custodian only if it was in the interest of preserving the property, or to
secure maintenance of the enemy or his family in India. The Bill seeks
to expand this power, and allows the Custodian to sell or dispose of
enemy property.
Transfers by enemies: The 1968 Act prohibited transfer of enemy
property by an enemy if: (i) it was against public interest, or (ii) to
evade vesting of property in the Custodian. The Bill seeks to remove
this provision, and prohibits all transfers by enemies. Further, it renders
transfers that had taken place before or after the commencement of the
1968 Act as void.

Bar of jurisdiction: The Bill seeks to bar civil courts and other
authorities from entertaining cases against enemy properties, or against
actions of the central government or the Custodian under the Act.
Powers of the Custodian: The 1968 Act authorised the Custodian to
take measures to preserve enemy property, and maintain the enemy
and his family if they are in India, from the income derived from the
property. The Bill seeks to remove the duty to maintain the enemy and
his family. Further, for the aforementioned purposes, the Act permitted
the Custodian to carry out some measures (including selling, mortgaging
or leasing enemy property).

Arbitration and Conciliation Bill, 2015

Bill Name Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2015
Ministry / Status Minister for Law and Justice,
Objectives The Bill amends the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.
Salient Features of the Bill Relevant court for domestic and international arbitration matters:
Under the Act, the relevant court for all arbitration matters would be a
principal civil court or high court with original jurisdiction.
The Bill modifies this to state that in the case of international arbitration,
the relevant court would only be the relevant high court.

Applicability of certain provisions to international commercial
Part I of the Act that included provisions related to interim orders by a
court, order of the arbitral tribunal, appealable orders etc. only applied
to matters where the place of arbitration was India.
Under the Bill, these provisions would also apply to international
commercial arbitrations even if the place of arbitration is outside India.
This would apply unless the parties agreed otherwise.
Powers of Court to refer a party to arbitration if agreement exists:
Under the Act, if any matter that is brought before a court is the subject
of an arbitration agreement, parties will be referred to arbitration.
The Bill states that this power of referral is to be exercised by a court
even if there is a previous court judgment to the contrary. The Court
must refer the parties to arbitration unless it thinks that a valid arbitration
agreement does not exist.
Interim order by a Court:

The Act states that a party to arbitration may apply to a court for interim
relief before the arbitration is complete. For example, a party may seek
interim protection of goods, amounts, property, etc. that is the subject
matter of the arbitration before a court.
The Bill amends this provision to specify that if the Court passes such
an interim order before the commencement of arbitral proceedings,
the proceedings must commence within 90 days from the making of
the order, or within a time specified by the Court. Further, the Court

must not accept such an application, unless it thinks that the arbitral
tribunal will not be able to provide a similar remedy.
Public Policy as grounds for challenging an award:
The Act permits the court to set aside an arbitral award if it is in conflict
with the public policy of India. This includes awards affected by (i)

fraud or corruption, and (ii) those in violation of confidentiality and

admissibility of evidence provisions in the Act.
The Bill modifies this provision to also include those awards that are
(i) in contravention with the fundamental policy of Indian Law or (ii)
conflict with the notions of morality or justice, in addition to the grounds
already specified in the Act.
Appointment of arbitrators:
The Act permits parties to appoint arbitrators. If they are unable to
appoint arbitrators within 30 days, the matter is referred to the court to
make such appointments.
The Bill states that, at this stage, the Court must confine itself to the
examination of the existence of a valid arbitration agreement.
Time period for arbitral awards:
The Bill introduces a provision that requires an arbitral tribunal to make
its award within 12 months. This may be extended by a six month
period. If an award is made within six months, the arbitral tribunal will
receive additional fees. If it is delayed beyond the specified time
because of the arbitral tribunal, the fees of the arbitrator will be reduced,
up to 5%, for each month of delay.

Time period for disposal of cases by a Court
The Bill states that any challenge to an arbitral award that is made
before a Court, must be disposed of within a period of one year.
Fast track procedure for arbitration: The Bill permits parties to choose
to conduct arbitration proceedings in a fast track manner. The award
would be granted within six months



The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act
Bill Name The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2014
Ministry / Status Ministry of Women and Child Development
Objectives The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2014 was
introduced in Lok Sabha on August 12, 2014 to address crimes
committed by juveniles, children in need of protection, their
rehabilitation and adoption processes, etc
Salient Features of the Bill The Bill replaces the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children)
Act, 2000. It addresses children in conflict with law and children in
need of care and protection.

The Bill permits juveniles between the ages of 16-18 years to be tried
as adults for heinous offences. Also, any 16-18 year old, who commits
a lesser, i.e., serious offence, may be tried as an adult only if he is
apprehended after the age of 21 years.
Juvenile Justice Boards (JJB) and Child Welfare Committees (CWC)
will be constituted in each district. The JJB will conduct a preliminary

inquiry to determine whether a juvenile offender is to be sent for

rehabilitation or be tried as an adult. The CWC will determine
institutional care for children in need of care and protection.
Eligibility of adoptive parents and the procedure for adoption have
been included in the Bill.
Penalties for cruelty against a child, offering a narcotic substance to a

child, and abduction or selling a child have been prescribed.

There are differing views on whether juveniles should be tried as adults.
Some argue that the current law does not act as a deterrent for juveniles
committing heinous crimes. Another view is that a reformative approach
will reduce likelihood of repeating offences.
The provision of trying a juvenile committing a serious or heinous
offence as an adult based on date of apprehension could violate the
Article 14 (right to equality) and Article 21 (requiring that laws and
procedures are fair and reasonable). The provision also counters the
spirit of Article 20(1) by according a higher penalty for the same
offence, if the person is apprehended after 21 years of age.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child requires all signatory
countries to treat every child under the age of 18 years as equal. The
provision of trying a juvenile as an adult contravenes the Convention.
Some penalties provided in the Bill are not in proportion to the gravity
of the offence. For example, the penalty for selling a child is lower
than that for offering intoxicating or psychotropic substances to a child.
The Standing Committee examining the Bill observed that the Bill was
based on misleading data regarding juvenile crimes and violated certain
provisions of the Constitution.


Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016

Bill Name Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016:
Ministry / Status Minister of Health and Family Welfare
Objectives The Bill aims to prevent exploitation of women, especially those in
rural and tribal areas.
The Bill promises to ensure parentage of children born out of surrogacy
is legal and transparent.
Salient Features of the Bill Meaning of Surrogacy
The Bill defines surrogacy as a practice where a woman gives birth to
a child for an intending couple and agrees to hand over the child after
the birth to the intending couple.
Surrogacy is when another woman carries and gives birth to a baby
for the couple who want to have a child.

What are the types of surrogacy?
Straight (or traditional) surrogacy - The surrogate mother uses an

insemination kit to become pregnant using the intended fathers semen.
The baby will therefore be conceived using the surrogates egg.
Host (or gestational) surrogacy - Host surrogacy is when IVF is used,
either with the eggs of the intended mother, or with donor eggs. The
surrogate mother therefore does not use her own eggs, and is genetically
unrelated to the baby. It is physically more complicated and
considerably more expensive than straight surrogacy.
Salient Features
The new Bill proposes complete ban on commercial surrogacy but
allows ethical surrogacy to needy infertile couples.

It also prohibits Single parents, homosexual couples, live-in

relationships couples to opt for altruistic surrogacy.
The bill effectively bans foreigners to seek an Indian surrogate mother.
This includes non-resident Indians (NRIs). The Associated Press
reported that the Indian surrogacy industry is at "around $1 billion a
year and growing".
For the surrogacy the couple should be married for at least five years
before approaching a surrogate mother, according to the proposed
legislation. Further, the woman has to be between 23-50 years of age
and the man should be 26-55 years old.
A surrogate child would have equal inheritance rights as a biological
or adopted child.
The surrogate mother has to be a close relative.
10 years of imprisonment, up to Rs 10 lakh fine for abandoning
surrogate child, mistreatment of surrogate mother

Child Labor (Prohibition and Amendment) Bill, 2016

Bill Name The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012
Ministry / Status Ministry of Labour and Employment

Objectives The Bill seeks to amend the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation)
Act, 1986, which prohibits the engagement of children in certain types
of occupations and regulates the condition of work of children in other
Salient Features of the Bill The Act prohibits employment of children below 14 years in certain
occupations such as automobile workshops, bidi-making, carpet
weaving, handloom and power loom industry, mines and domestic
work. In light of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory
Education Act, 2009, the Bill seeks to prohibit employment of children
below 14 years in all occupations except where the child helps his
family after school hours.
The Bill adds a new category of persons called adolescent. An
adolescent means a person between 14 and 18 years of age. The Bill
prohibits employment of adolescents in hazardous occupations as
specified (mines, inflammable substance and hazardous processes).
The Bill enhances the punishment for employing any child in an
occupation. It also includes penalty for employing an adolescent in a
hazardous occupation.
The penalty for employing a child was increased to imprisonment

between 6 months and two years (from 3 months-one year) or a fine of
Rs 20,000 to Rs 50,000 (from Rs 10,000-20,000) or both.
The penalty for employing an adolescent in hazardous occupation is
imprisonment between 6 months and two years or a fine of Rs 20,000
to Rs 50,000 or both.
The government may confer powers on a District Magistrate to ensure
that the provisions of the law are properly carried out.

The Bill empowers the government to make periodic inspection of

places at which employment of children and adolescents are prohibited.

Maternity Benefit Bill, 2016

Bill Name The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016

Ministry / Status Ministry of Labour and Employment

Objectives The Bill amends the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961. The Act regulates
the employment of women during the period of child birth, and provides
maternity benefits. The Act applies to factory, mines, plantations, shops
and other establishments. The Bill amends provisions related to the
duration and applicability of maternity leave, and other facilities.
Salient Features of the Bill The Act provides maternity leave up to 12 weeks for all women. The
Bill extends this period to 26 weeks. However, a woman with two or
more children will be entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave.
The Bill introduces maternity leave up to 12 weeks for a woman who
adopts a child below the age of three months, and for commissioning
mothers. The period of maternity leave will be calculated from the
date the child is handed over to the adoptive or commissioning mother.
The Bill requires every establishment with 50 or more employees to
provide for crche facilities within a prescribed distance. The woman
will be allowed four visits to the crche in a day.
An employer may permit a woman to work from home, if the nature of
work assigned permits her to do so. This may be mutually agreed upon
by the employer and the woman.

The Bill requires an establishment to inform a woman of all benefits
that would be available under the Bill, at the time of her appointment.
Such information must be given in writing and electronically.

Pre-Conception & Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act

Bill Name The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition
of Sex Selection) Act 1994
Ministry / Status Ministry of Women and Child Development
Objectives To provide for the prohibition of sex selection, before or after
conception, and for regulation of prenatal diagnostic techniques for
the purposes of detecting genetic abnormalities or metabolic disorders
or chromosomal abnormalities or certain congenital malformations or
sex-linked disorders and for the prevention of their misuse for sex
determination leading to female foeticide; and, for matters connected
therewith or incidental thereto.

Salient Features of the Bill The PNDT Act 1994

Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse)
Act, 1994 (PNDT) was passed in 1994 to stop female foeticides and
arrest the declining sex ratio in the country. This act banned the use of
sex selection techniques before or after conception.
However, this was not followed up by effective implementation, mainly
because it did not specify the techniques of sex selection and it did not
bring all techniques within its ambit. Then, the need for smaller families
led to even more intensified misuse of such technologies, cutting
across barriers of caste, class, religion and geography to ensure that at
least one child, if not more, is a son.

PCPNDT Act 2003

The act not only prohibits determination and disclosure of the sex of
the foetus but also bans advertisements related to preconception and
pre-natal determination of sex. All the technologies of sex
determination, including the new chromosome separation technique
have come under the ambit of the Act.
It regulates the use of pre-natal diagnostic techniques such as ultrasound
and amniocentesis. They sonographers are allowed only to use
ultrasound for the following diagnostics:
Genetic abnormalities
Metabolic disorders
Chromosomal abnormalities
Certain congenital malformations
Sex linked disorders.
The Act has also made mandatory in all ultrasonography units, the
prominent display of a signboard that clearly indicates that detection/
revelation of the sex of the foetus is illegal. Further, all ultrasound
scanning machines have to be registered and the manufacturers are

required to furnish information about the clinics and practitioners to
whom the ultrasound machinery has been sold.
The act empowered the appropriate authorities with the power of civil
court for search, seizure and sealing the machines and equipments of
the violators. The act mentions that no person, including the one who
is conducting the procedure as per the law, will communicate the sex
of the foetus to the pregnant woman or her relatives by words, signs or
any other method.
Any person who puts an advertisement for pre-natal and pre-conception
sex determination facilities in the form of a notice, circular, label,
wrapper or any document, or advertises through interior or other media
in electronic or print form or engages in any visible representation
made by means of hoarding, wall painting, signal, light, sound, smoke
or gas, can be imprisoned for up to three years and fined Rs. 10,000.
The PCPNDT act mandates compulsory registration of all diagnostic
laboratories, all genetic counselling centres, genetic laboratories, genetic
clinics and ultrasound clinics.

Mental Health Care Bill, 2013

Bill Name The Mental Health care Bill, 2016
Ministry / Status Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
Objectives The Mental Health care Bill, 2016, aims to provide for mental healthcare
and services for persons with mental illness and ensure these persons
have the right to live a life with dignity by not being discriminated
against or harassed.

The Bill repeals the existing Mental Health Act, 1987, which is vastly
different in letter and spirit. The Act of 1987 had been widely criticized
for proving to be inadequate to protect the rights of mentally ill persons.
Salient Features of the Bill The Bill defines mental illness as a substantial disorder of thinking,
mood, perception, orientation or memory that grossly impairs

judgment, behavior, capacity to recognize reality or ability to meet the

ordinary demands of life, mental conditions associated with the abuse
of alcohol and drugs, but does not include mental retardation which is
a condition of arrested or incomplete development of mind of a person,
specially characterized by subnormality of intelligence.
Mental Healthcare Bill seeks to decriminalize the Attempt to Commit
Seeks to fulfill Indias international obligation pursuant to the
Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional
Seeks to empower persons suffering from mental-illness, marking a
departure from the Act of 1987.
Adopts a rights-based approach, which is a first in the mental health
law of India.
Provisions for registration of institutions and regulation of the sector.
The Bill allows only restricted use of Electro-convulsive therapy. The
Bill completely prohibits Electro-compulsive therapy (ECT) as a
measure of emergency treatment.
Property Management unlike the Act of 1987, the Bill does not provide
for management of property of mentally ill persons.

Responsibilities of certain other Agencies The Bill imposes a duty on
the police officer in the charge of a police station to take under
protection any person found wandering at large within the limits of the
police station
Funds The Bill guarantees a right of affordable, accessible and quality
mental health care and treatment from mental health services run or
funded by Central and State governments.
The Bill seeks to tackle stigma attached to mental illness By addressing
mental illness from a holistic perspective and by empowering mentally
ill persons, the Bill seeks to remove the stigma attached to mental

Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO)

Bill Name The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill, 2011
Ministry / Status Ministry: Women and Child Development

Objectives To protects children from sexual abuse and exploitation, and establishes
special courts to exclusively deal with cases of child abuse and

Salient Features of the Bill The Bill seeks to protect children from offences such as sexual assault,
sexual harassment and pornography. India is a signatory to the UN
Convention on the Rights of the Child since 1992. The parties to the
Convention are required to take measures to prevent children from
being coerced into any unlawful sexual activity.
Any person below the age of 18 years is defined as a child. The Bill
seeks to penalize any person who commits offences such as sexual
harassment, sexual assault, penetrative sexual assault, and
aggravated penetrative sexual assault.
A person commits sexual harassment if he uses words or shows

body parts to a child with sexual intent, shows pornography to a child

or threatens to depict a child involved in sexual act through the media.
The penalty is imprisonment for upto three years and a fine.
A person commits penetrative sexual assault if he penetrates his penis
into the vagina, mouth, urethra or anus of a child or makes a child do
the same or inserts any other object into the childs body or applies his
mouth to a childs body parts. If however the child is between 16 and
18 years, it shall be considered whether consent for the act was taken
against his will or was taken by drugs, impersonation, fraud, undue
influence and when the child was sleeping or unconscious. The penalty
is imprisonment between seven years and life and a fine.
The Bill penalises aggravated penetrative sexual assault.
Penetrative sexual assault shall be considered aggravated if it injures
the sexual organs of the child or takes place during communal violence
or the child becomes pregnant or gets any other threatening disease or
is below 12 years.
A person commits sexual assault if he touches the vagina, penis,
anus or breast of a child with sexual intent without penetration. If the
child is between 16 and 18 years, it shall be considered whether the
consent was taken against the childs will or by threat or deceit.
A person shall be guilty of using a child for pornographic purposes if
he uses a child in any form of media for the purpose of sexual

gratification through representation of sexual organs of a child or using
a child in sexual acts or other types of obscene representation.
The Bill also includes penalties for storage of pornographic material
and abatement of an offence.
The guardian of the child has the right to take assistance from a legal
counsel of his choice, subject to the provisions of Code of Criminal
Procedure, 1973.
If an offence has been committed by a child, it shall be dealt with
under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.

Anti Trafficking Bill with Stringent Penalty

Bill Name Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill,
Ministry / Status Ministry: Women and Child Development
Objectives The Bill aims to prevent trafficking of persons and to provide protection
and rehabilitation to the victims of trafficking and to create a legal,

economic, and social environment against trafficking of persons .
Salient Features of the Bill The Bill provides for speedy trial with a view to increase prosecution
and to reduce the trauma faced by the victims, the proposed draft Bill
provides for establishing Special Courts in each district and experienced
Special Prosecutors.
It provides for Protection Homes and Special Homes for short term
and long term rehabilitation

The proposed draft Bill aims to place dedicated institutional mechanisms

at District, State and Central level. It also envisages a designated
Agency for the investigation of offences.
A District Anti Trafficking Committee will be created for exercising
the powers and performing such functions and duties in relation to:

Prevention, rescue, protection, medical care, psychological assistance,

skill development,
Need based rehabilitation of victims as may be prescribed.
An Anti-Trafficking Fund will be created for the effective
implementation of the proposed Act and for the welfare and
rehabilitation of the victims.
The Bill provides for mandatory reporting within 24 hours by a Police
Officer or Public servants having custody of the victim (of trafficking)
to the District Anti-Trafficking Committee.
Recovery of back wages and other monetary losses of the victim of
trafficking has also been proposed.
A trafficker would be considered guilty until proven innocent

HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill-2014 - Amendments

Bill Name The Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune
Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014
Ministry / Status Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
Pending Passed by RS

Objectives The Bill seeks to prevent and control the spread of HIV and AIDS,
prohibits discrimination against persons with HIV and AIDS, provides
for informed consent and confidentiality with regard to their treatment,
places obligations on establishments to safeguard their rights, and
creates mechanisms for redressing their complaints.
Salient Features of the Bill Prohibition of discrimination against HIV positive persons: The Bill
lists the various grounds on which discrimination against HIV positive
persons and those living with them is prohibited. These include the
denial, termination, discontinuation or unfair treatment with regard to:
(i) employment, (ii) educational establishments, (iii) health care services,
(iv) residing or renting property, (v) standing for public or private office,
and (vi) provision of insurance (unless based on actuarial studies).
The requirement for HIV testing as a prerequisite for obtaining
employment or accessing health care or education is also prohibited.
Every HIV infected or affected person below the age of 18 years has
the right to reside in a shared household and enjoy the facilities of the
household. The Bill also prohibits any individual from publishing
information or advocating feelings of hatred against HIV positive

persons and those living with them.
Informed consent and disclosure of HIV status: The Bill requires

that no HIV test, medical treatment, or research will be conducted on a
person without his informed consent. No person shall be compelled
to disclose his HIV status except with his informed consent, and if
required by a court order.
Role of the Ombudsman: An ombudsman shall be appointed by each
state government to inquire into complaints related to the violation of
the Act and the provision of health care services. The Ombudsman
shall submit a report to the state government every six months stating
the number and nature of complaints received, the actions taken and
orders passed.
Guardianship: A person between the age of 12 to 18 years who has

sufficient maturity in understanding and managing the affairs of his

HIV or AIDS affected family shall be competent to act as a guardian
of another sibling below 18 years of age. The guardianship will be
apply in matters relating to admission to educational establishments,
operating bank accounts, managing property, care and treatment,
amongst others.

Domestic Violence Act, 2005 - SC Widens Ambit

Bill Name The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005".
Ministry / Status Ministry of Women and Child Development
Objectives It is the first significant attempt to recognize domestic abuse as a
punishable offence, to extend its provisions to those in live-in
relationships, and to provide for emergency relief for the victims, in
addition to legal recourse.
Salient Features of the Bill Definitions
a) Domestic Violence - The term domestic violence has been used in
widest sense which covers all forms of physical, sexual, verbal,
emotional and economic abuse that can harm, cause injury to, endanger
the health safety, life, limb or well-being either mental or physical of
the aggrieved person.

b) Aggrieved person - The span of the term aggrieved person covers
not just a wife but a woman who is the sexual partner of the male
irrespective of whether she is legal wife or not (includes live-in
relationships as well) The daughter, mother, sister, child (male or
female), widowed relative, in fact, any woman residing in the household
who is related in some way with the respondent is covered by the act.
c) Respondent - The term respondent implies any male, adult person
who is, or has been, in a domestic relationship with the aggrieved
This ensures that the respondents mother, sister and other relatives do not
go scott free, the case can also be filed against relatives of the husband or
the male partner.
Basic Features
Apart from the victim herself, the complaint regarding an act or act of
domestic violence can also be lodged by any person who has a reason
to believe that such an act was committed or is being committed. This
means that neighbors, social workers, relatives can also take initiative.
And the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act make sure that no

criminal, civil or any other liability lies on the informer, if the complaint
is lodged in good faith.
The magistrate has been given powers to permit the aggrieved women
to stay in her place of adobe and she can not be evicted by her male
relatives in the retaliation.
This is not all; the aggrieved woman can even be allotted a part of the
house for personal use.

The respondent can be prohibited from dispossessing the aggrieved

person or in any other manner disturbing her possessions, entering the
aggrieved persons place of work, if the aggrieved person is a child,
the school. Also magistrate can bar the respondent to communicate
with aggrieved person by personal, oral, written, electronic or
telephonic contact.

The magistrate can impose monthly payments of maintenance. The

respondent can also be ordered to meet the expenses incurred and
losses suffered by the aggrieved person and any child of aggrieved
person as a result of domestic violence. It can also cover loss of earnings,
medical expenses, loss or damage to property.
Under Sec 22 magistrate can make the respondent pay compensation
and damages for injuries including mental torture and emotional distress
caused by act(s) of domestic violence.
Penalty up to one-year and/or a fine up to Rs. 20,000/- can be imposed
under under the act. The offence is also considered cognizable and
non-bailable while Sec 32 (2) goes even says that under the sole
testimony of the aggrieved person, the court may conclude that an
offence has been committed by the accused.
The act ensures speedy justice as the court has to start proceedings
and have the first hearing within 3 days of the complaint being filed in
the court and every case must be disposed off within a period of sixty
days of the first hearing.
The act makes provisions for state to provide for protection officers
and status of service providers and medical facility.
Chapter 4 Sec 16 allows the magistrate to hold proceedings in camera
if either party to the proceedings so desires.

Recent Updates
In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court has widened the scope of
the Domestic Violence Act by ordering deletion of the words adult
male from it, paving the way for prosecution of women and even
non-adults for subjecting a woman relative to violence and harassment.
The apex court has ordered striking down of the two words from section
2(q) of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005,
which deals with respondents who can be sued and prosecuted under
the Act for harassing a married woman in her matrimonial home.

Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014 with more Benefits

Bill Name The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014
Ministry / Status Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
Objectives The Bill replaces the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities,
Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995. Instead of seven

disabilities specified in the Act, the Bill covers 19 conditions.
Salient Features of the Bill Definition - Disability is defined to include 19 conditions such as:

autism; low vision and blindness; cerebral palsy; deaf blindness;
hemophilia; hearing impairment; leprosy; intellectual disability; mental
illness; muscular dystrophy; multiple sclerosis; learning disability;
speech and language disability; sickle cell disease; thalassemia; chronic
neurological conditions; and multiple disability.
Persons with benchmark disabilities are defined as those with at least
40 per cent of any of the above specified disabilities. Persons with at
least 40% of a disability are entitled to certain benefits such as
reservations in education and employment, preference in government
schemes, etc.

The Bill confers several rights and entitlements to disabled persons.

These include disabled friendly access to all public buildings, hospitals,
modes of transport, polling stations, etc.
Education, skill development and employment: The Bill provides for
the access to inclusive education, vocational training and self-
employment of disabled persons.
Guardianship -In case of mentally ill persons, district courts may award
two types of guardianship. A limited guardian takes decisions jointly
with the mentally ill person. A plenary guardian takes decisions on
behalf of the mentally ill person, without consulting him.
Violation of any provision of the Act is punishable with imprisonment
up to six months, and/or fine of Rs 10,000. Subsequent violations
carry a higher penalty.

Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016

Bill Name Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2016
Ministry / Status Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment
Objectives There are many problems faced by the transgender community such
as of discrimination, unemployment, lack of educational facilities,
homelessness, lack of medical facilities like HIV care and hygiene,

depression, hormone pill abuse, tobacco and alcohol abuse, penectomy
and problems related to marriage and adoption. Thus the government
of India has launched Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014.
The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014 calls for equal rights
and reservation to transgender and envisages creation of a national
commission and state level commissions for transgender communities.
Salient Features of the Bill Definition of a transgender person: The Bill defines a transgender
person as one who is (i) neither wholly female or male; (ii) a
combination of female and male; or (iii) neither female nor male. Such
a persons gender does not match the gender assigned at birth, and
includes trans-men and trans-women, persons with intersex variations
and gender-queers.
Seeks to provide framework for the formulation and implementation
of a comprehensive national policy for ensuring overall development
of the transgender persons and their welfare.
Two percent reservation in primary, secondary and higher education
and in government jobs.
Establishment of Employment Exchange, National and State

Commissions for Trasngender Persons and Special Transgender Rights
No child who is transgender will be separated from his or her parents
on the grounds of being a transgender except on an order of competent
Penalty for hate speech against transgender persons includes
imprisonment extending upto one year and with fine.

This bill will help government take necessary steps in order to ensure
that transgender persons enjoy the right to life with dignity and to
personal liberty guaranteed by the Constitution.

The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of

Atrocities) Amendment Act

Bill Name The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities)
Amendment Bill, 2014
Ministry / Status Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
Objectives The Bill replaces the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
(Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Ordinance, 2014.
The Bill seeks to amend the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes
(Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
Salient Features of the Bill The Act prohibits the commission of offences against members of the
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SCs and STs) and establishes
special courts for the trial of such offences and the rehabilitation of
Actions to be treated as offences: The Act outlines actions (by non
SCs and STs) against SCs or STs to be treated as offences. The Bill
amends certain existing categories and adds new categories of actions
to be treated as offences.
Forcing an SC or ST individual to vote or not vote for a particular
candidate in a manner that is against the law is an offence under the
Act. The Bill adds that impeding certain activities related to voting
will also be considered an offence. Wrongfully occupying land

belonging to SCs or STs is an offence under the Act. The Bill defines
wrongful in this context, which was not done under the Act.
Assaulting or sexual exploiting an SC or ST woman is an offence
under the Act. The Bill adds that: (a) intentionally touching an SC or
ST woman in a sexual manner without her consent, or (b) using words,
acts or gestures of a sexual nature, or (c) dedicating an SC or ST women
as a devadasi to a temple, or any similar practice will also be considered
an offence. Consent is defined as a voluntary agreement through verbal
or non-verbal communication.
New offences added under the Bill include: (a) garlanding with
footwear, (b) compelling to dispose or carry human or animal carcasses,
or do manual scavenging, (c) abusing SCs or STs by caste name in
public, (d) attempting to promote feelings of ill-will against SCs or STs
or disrespecting any deceased person held in high esteem, and (e)
imposing or threatening a social or economic boycott.
Preventing SCs or STs from undertaking the following activities will
be considered an offence: (a) using common property resources, (c)
entering any place of worship that is open to the public, and (d) entering

an education or health institution.
The court shall presume that the accused was aware of the caste or

tribal identity of the victim if the accused had personal knowledge of
the victim or his family, unless the contrary is proved.
Role of public servants: The Act specifies that a non SC or ST public
servant who neglects his duties relating to SCs or STs shall be punishable
with imprisonment for a term of six months to one year. The Bill
specifies these duties, including: (a) registering a complaint or FIR, (b)
reading out information given orally, before taking the signature of
the informant and giving a copy of this information to the informant,
Role of courts: Under the Act, a court of Session at the district level is
deemed a Special Court to provide speedy trials for offences. A Special

Public Prosecutor is appointed to conduct cases in this court.

The Bill substitutes this provision and specifies that an Exclusive Special
Court must be established at the district level to try offences under the
Bill. In districts with fewer cases, a Special Court may be established
to try offences. An adequate number of courts must be established to
ensure that cases are disposed of within two months. Appeals of these
courts shall lie with the high court, and must be disposed of within
three months. A Public Prosecutor and Exclusive Public Prosecutor
shall be appointed for every Special Court and Exclusive Special Court
Rights of victims and witnesses: The Bill adds a chapter on the rights
of victims and witness. It shall be the duty of the state to make
arrangements for the protection of victims, their dependents and
witnesses. The state government shall specify a scheme to ensure the
implementation of rights of victims and witnesses.
The courts established under the Bill may take measures such as: (a)
concealing the names of witnesses, (b) taking immediate action in
respect of any complaint relating to harassment of a victim, informant
or witness, etc. Any such complaint shall be tried separately from the
main case and be concluded within two months.


Draft National Water Framework Bill
Bill Name The draft National Water Framework Bill, 2016
Ministry / Status Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga
Objectives The Bill seeks to provide a national legal framework for protection,
conservation, regulation and management of water
The comprehensive draft Bill proposes model law for all states.
However, water being a State subject under VII Schedule of constitution
the law will be not binding on States for adoption.
Salient Features of the Bill Right to water for life - The Bill states that every person has a right to

sufficient quantity of safe water for life within easy reach of a
household, regardless of ones community, economic status, land
ownership, etc. The responsibility to ensure every person has access
to safe water remains with the concerned state government even if
water is being provided through a private agency.
Standards for water quality - National water quality standards shall
be binding on all types of water use. In addition, efforts should be

made for treatment of wastewater to make it appropriate for use.

Integrated River Basin Development and Management - A river
basin, with its associated aquifers (underground layer that contains
water) should be considered as the basic hydrological unit for planning,
development and management of water. For every inter-state river basin,
a River Basin Authority should be established, which will be responsible

to prepare Master Plans for river basins under its jurisdiction.

Water security - The appropriate state government will prepare and
oversee the implementation of a water security plan to ensure sufficient
quantity of safe water for every person, even in times of emergency
such as droughts and floods. These plans will include: (i) incentives
for switching from water-intensive crops, (ii) incentives for the adoption
of water-conserving methods, such as drip irrigation and sprinklers,
(iii) setting up groundwater recharge structures, etc.
Water pricing - Pricing of water shall be based on a differential pricing
system in accordance with the fact that water is put to multiple uses.
Water use for commercial agriculture and industry may be priced on
the basis of full economic pricing. For domestic water supply, different
categories of users may be subsidized

Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill

Bill Name The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2016.
Ministry / Status Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
Objectives To utilize the fund available from the CAMPA. It facilitate make
available more than Rs. 6,000 crores per annum to the States/UTs for

conservation, protection, improvement and expansion of forest and
wildlife resources of the country.
Availability of these amounts will not only help the States/UTs and
local communities to ensure better management of their forest resources
but will also result in creation of more than 15 crores man-days of
direct employment. A major part of these amounts will be used to
restock and improve quality of degraded forests, which constitutes
more than 40 % of the total forest cover of the country.
Salient features of the Bill The Bill establishes the National Compensatory Afforestation Fund
under the Public Account of India, and a State Compensatory
Afforestation Fund under the Public Account of each state.
These Funds will receive payments for: (i) compensatory afforestation,
(ii) net present value of forest (NPV), and (iii) other project specific
payments. The National Fund will receive 10% of these funds, and
the State Funds will receive the remaining 90%.
These Funds will be primarily spent on afforestation to compensate
for loss of forest cover, regeneration of forest ecosystem, wildlife
protection and infrastructure development.

The Bill also establishes the National and State Compensatory
Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authorities to manage

the National and State Funds.