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Sunday, January 24, 2021

Parliament HIGHLIGHTS: Lok Sabha passes Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill; both Houses adjourned

Parliament Session 2019 India Today HIGHLIGHTS: Rajya Sabha passes the POCSO (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 24, 2019 8:40:29 pm
amit shah, amit shah NRC, Amit Shah Kashmir, Amit Shah home ministry, home minister amit shah, Amit shah west bengal, amit shah BJP Home Minister Amit Shah. (File)

Parliament HIGHLIGHTS: The Lok Sabha Wednesday passed the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, popularly known as the Anti-Terrorism Bill. Introducing the bill in the lower house, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the amendments to the bill will ensure anti-terror laws are not misused. “There’s a need for a provision in the UAPA bill to designate a person suspected to have terror links as a terrorist. It is necessary to root out terror,” Shah said in the Lok Sabha. As Congress MPs staged a walkout from the lower house demanding to send the bill to the Standing Committee for reconsideration, the House Speaker Om Birla directed the House to cast their vote.

Meanwhile, the Opposition also walked out of the lower house when Defence Minister Rajnath Singh denied that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had any discussion with US President over the Kashmir issue. “There was no discussion on Kashmir during the meeting between the Prime Minister and US President Trump in June. There is no question of any mediation on Kashmir issue,” Singh said.

Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha passed the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which will make stringent provisions relating to ‘aggravated penetrative sexual assault’. The bill was introduced by Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani.

Concluding the session, Lok Sabha passed the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2019, which was introduced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Live Blog

Lok Sabha passes the UAPA Bill, while the much-debated RTI Bill has been sent to the Joint Select Committee by the Rajya Sabha. Follow this space for latest updates:

20:40 (IST)24 Jul 2019
Lok Sabha adjourned for the day

Lok Sabha passes the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill and concludes the session for the day. 

18:21 (IST)24 Jul 2019
Rajya Sabha adjourns for the day

After a prolonged discussion on the POCSO Amendment bill and passing it thereof, the Rajya Sabha adjourns for the day. 

18:13 (IST)24 Jul 2019
Rajya Sabha passes POCSO Amendment Bill

Rajya Sabha passes the POCSO Amendment Bill. The bill was introduced by Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Zubin Irani on July 18. The Bill amends the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. 

Irani said, over six lakh sexual offenders have been registered under the National Sexual Offenders Registery (NSOR). Irani further asserted on the importance of defining the penetrative aggravates sexual assault under the POCSO Act.  Proposal to teach children about "good touch and bad touch" has been discussed with the HRD Minister, Irani said. 

17:50 (IST)24 Jul 2019
Centre sanctions 123 fast-track courts: Smriti Irani on POCSO Amendment bill

Speaking on the amendments to the POCSO bill, Irani says: "Around 123 fast-courts have been sanctioned by the government expecially for women. More than one lakh cases are pending across the country and 18 states have given consent to establish these courts. The government has sanctioned over Rs 700 crore for the expenditure and by 2021, we aim to form these courts."

17:42 (IST)24 Jul 2019
Smriti Irani addresses Rajya Sabha on POCSO Amendment bill

Aftre 28 MLAs spoke on the POCSO Amendment bill, Smriti Irani addresses the Rajya Sabha. Recounting O'Brien's abuse, that he faced during his teens, Irani stresses how such incidents leave an imprint on mind. "After 46 years of the incdient, O'Brien revealed to the world what happened to him. We should applaud this," Irani says. 

17:34 (IST)24 Jul 2019
What is POCSO Amendment bill?

An intense debate on the POCSO Amendmenrt bill follows in the Rajya Sabha. Opposition stresses on introducing POCSO courts in cities, along with district courts. 

* The bill increases the minimum punsihment for 'penetrative sexual assault' from seven years to ten years, adding that if a person commits penetrative sexual assault on a child below the age of 16 years, he will be punishable with imprisonment between 20 years to life, with a fine.

* Adding two more grounds to the defintion of 'aggravated penetrative sexual assault', the bill includes, assault resulting in death of child, and assault committed during a natural calamity, or in any similar situations of violence. The bill also increases minimum punishment from ten years to 20 years, and the maximum punishment to death penalty.

* The bill further adds wo more offences to the definition of aggravated sexual assault. These include — assault committed during a natural calamity, and administrating or help in administering any hormone or any chemical substance, to a child for the purpose of attaining early sexual maturity.

* The bill defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a child including photograph, video, digital or computer generated image indistinguishable from an actual child and enhances the punishment for certain offences.

17:03 (IST)24 Jul 2019
More people should talk to save more children: Cong O'Brien on POCSO Amendment bill

Urging people to speak about sexual assault or harassment, Congress leader Derek O'Brien spoke on the POCSO Amendment bill and recited an incident where as a 13-year-old, he was "sexually molested". He urged the known figures including the MPs and the actors to speak about their sexual assault or harassment. "The more people will talk about it, the more children will be save," O'Brien said. 

Congress says the Amendment talks about punishment instead of focusing on the children. Let the court decide on the punishments.

16:52 (IST)24 Jul 2019
Discussion on POCSO Amendment bill underway in Rajya Sabha

Rajya Sabha discusses the POCSO Amendment Bill. Stringent punishment for child sexual abuse and formation of committies are some of the suggestions that members discuss. 

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was introduced in Rajya Sabha by the Minister of Women and Child Development, Smriti Zubin Irani on July 18, 2019. The Bill amends the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.  The Act seeks to protect children from offences such as sexual assault, sexual harassment, and pornography.

16:34 (IST)24 Jul 2019
What does ban on unregulated deposits mean?

The Unregulated Deposit Scheme Bill, 2019 will help put a check on illicit deposit taking activities that dupe poor and the financially illiterate of their hard earned savings. It will replace the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Ordinance, 2019. 

The ban on unregulated deposits and its promotion is expected put a closure to this illicit activity. The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Scheme Ordinance has provisions which ban deposit takers from promoting, operating, issuing advertisements or accepting deposits in any unregulated deposit scheme. Many depositors have been taken for a ride by illicit entities running such scheme and duping people. An outright ban empowers the government to take action against such entities, while it strengthens the case of regulated banking activities.

16:24 (IST)24 Jul 2019
Lok Sabha resumes; discussion on Unregulated Deposit Scheme Bill underway

Resuming the House, Union Minister Anurag Singh Thakur discusses the banning of the Unregulated Deposit Scheme Bill, 2019.

16:00 (IST)24 Jul 2019
Lok Sabha adjourned till 4.15 pm; here are highlights

After receving majority votes in favour, the Lok Sabha passed the UAPA bill today. After Home Minister's introduced the bill, the Congress staged a walk out demanding that the bill should be sent to the Standing Committee for reconsideration. However, the voting on the bill was initiated by Speaker Om Birla. 

The Congress also staged a walkout when Defence Minister Rajnath Singh denied Modi having any discussion with US President Donald Trump over Kashmir. "There was no discussion on Kashmir during the meeting between the Prime Minister and US President Trump in June. There is no question of any mediation on Kashmir issue," Singh said. 

"We want ot hear from the horse's mouth," Congress demanded the House asking PM Modi to answer on the Kashmir issue. 

15:47 (IST)24 Jul 2019
What is UAPA Bill?

* Instead of designating only an organisation as a terrorist organisation, the bill additionally empowers the centre to declare an individual as a terrorist.

* The bill adds that if the investigation is conducted by an officer of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the approval of the Director General of NIA would be required for seizure of such property.

* Apart from officers of the rank of Deputy Superintendent or Assistant Commissioner of Police or above, the bill empowers officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases.

* The bill adds another treaty to the list that defines terrorist acts committed within a scope of treaties listed in a schedule to the Act. This is the International Convention for Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (2005) will be added with Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings (1997), and the Convention against Taking of Hostages (1979).

15:47 (IST)24 Jul 2019
Lok Sabha passes Unlawful Activities Amendment Bill

Lok Sabha passed the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, approving the amendments to the bill. The bill, also known as the Anti Terrorism Bill amends the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.  The Act provides special procedures to deal with terrorist activities, among other things, according to PRS Legislative Research. 

15:11 (IST)24 Jul 2019
Cong MPs walk out of Lok Sabha

While Congress MPs stage  a walk out of Lok Sabha demanding to send Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act Bill to a Standing Committee, voting on the bill begins in the lower house. 

15:06 (IST)24 Jul 2019
There's need for provision to declare terrorist: Amit Shah on UAPA Bill

Union Home Minister Amit Shah stressed on the need for a provision to declare an individual as a terrorist. "There's a need for a provision to declare an individual as a terrorist, UN has a procedure for it, US has it, Pakistan has it, China has it, Israel has it, European Union has it, everyone has done it," Shah said. 

14:46 (IST)24 Jul 2019
Primary aim is to stop terrorism: Amit Shah on UAPA Bill

Home Minister Amit Shah on Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act Bill: "When you question us you don't see who brought the law & amendments, who made it stringent. It was brought when you were in power, what you did then was right & what I'm doing now is also right."

14:14 (IST)24 Jul 2019
RTI Amendment Bill in Rajya Sabha to be sent to Joint Select Committee

The Opposition has decided to demand that seven bills out of 16 bills, including RTI amendment bill, Triple Talaq Bill and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act Bill, in Rajya Sabha be sent to Joint Select Committee.

14:04 (IST)24 Jul 2019
Congress, BJP have both brought draconian laws against Muslims and Dalits: Asaduddin Owaisi

AIMIM, Telangana, Asaduddin Owaisi opposing the UAPA Bill said, "By bringing such a bill, it will mean we are disrespecting freedom fighters, as it violates of Article 21 merely on the basis of the feeling of the government or suspect. This is social ostracisation as had happened in the Maneka Gandhi. The bill lacks judicial review and I want to know where is parliamentary sovereignty going?" He added: "We are outsourcing nationalism to the international convention- undermines dual structure of the country." He questioned Home Minister Amit Shah. "What about zero tolerance miscarriage of justice as officials don't get suspended. I blame Congress for this, they are are the culprits for bringing in this law. It allows for the seizure of property and where is judicial scrutiny? I believe IPC is good enough. Draconian laws, earlier by Congress and now by BJP have been used against Muslims and Dalits."

13:22 (IST)24 Jul 2019
UAPA is used to just detain people in jail and deny them a trial: BSP

The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 is being discussed in the Lok Sabha currently. BSP's Danish Ali says that a large percentage of those in prison are under trials. He says the UAPA is used to just detain people in jail and deny them a trial. He asks if laws are made just to target citizens. He wants to know if the government has any plans in place to prevent the misuse of this law. He urges the withdrawal of the Bill.

13:21 (IST)24 Jul 2019
Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2:00 pm

The Upper House has been adjourned till 2:00 pm after the first half of the session saw the five MPs retire today

On Friday, the government introduced in Lok Sabha the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which proposes to give the Centre the powers to set the salaries and service conditions of Information Commissioners at central as well as state levels. The government’s move triggered protests from the Opposition.

The Bill amends Sections 13 and 16 of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005. Section 13 of the original Act sets the term of the central Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners at five years (or until the age of 65, whichever is earlier). The amendment proposes that the appointment will be “for such term as may be prescribed by the Central Government”.

Why are Opposition parties protesting?

The original Act had quantified the tenures, and defined the salaries in terms of existing benchmarks. The amendments are being viewed as implying that, in effect, the terms of appointment, salaries and tenures of the Chief Information Commissioners and Information Commissioners can be decided on a case-to-case basis by the government. The Opposition has argued that this will take away the independence of the RTI authorities.

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