Bills and Acts
Summary of latest bill and acts passed or pending in 2018 in Parliament of India with their salient features and issues for Current Affairs 2018 preparation for various examinations.
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Bangladesh’s President Abdul Hamid has given his assent controversial Digital Security Bill, 2018, by enacting it as a law. This new law combines previous colonial-era Official Secrets Act with tough new provisions such as arrests without warrant. Bangladesh Government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (Bangladesh Awami League) has defended the digital law as necessary to combat cyber crime
Digital Security Bill 2018
It was passed by Bangladesh’s Parliament to deal with cybercrimes, including hurting religious sentiment, spreading negative propaganda against 1971 Liberation War and Bangabandhu (Sheikh Mujibur Rahman). It also covers illegal activities in e-transactions and spreading defamatory data under its ambit
It provides for minimum of 7 years and a maximum of 14 years’ imprisonment, as well as monetary fines of a minimum of Taka 25 lakh and maximum of Taka 1 crore, or both for illegal access and destruction of any important information related to state affairs.
Opposition to law
The law has faced widespread vocal opposition from rights groups and journalists that it could endanger freedom of speech– especially on social media. These groups are saying that this law will create atmosphere of fear and intimidation, which will make journalism and especially investigative journalism, virtually impossible. Opponents also have criticized digital law as latest authoritarian move by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The law has also drawn opposition internationally including from US ambassador to Bangladesh, Marcia Bernicat who had quoted that this law could be used to suppress and criminalise free speech which inturn could be detrimental to Bangladesh’s democracy, development and prosperity.
President Ram Nath Kovind has given assent Karnataka Good Samaritan and Medical Professional (Protection and Regulation during Emergency Situations) Bill, 2016 under Article 200 of Constitution. With this, Karnataka became first state give legal protection to good Samaritans who help accidents victims with emergency medical care within golden hour. This law will ensure that good samaritans are not harassed in any manner and face any criminal or civil liability.
Key Features of Bill
The legislation aims to give protection to good samaritans and ensure immediate medical assistance for road accident victims within golden hour. It also seeks encourage people to offer first aid to victims without fear of harassment in hands of police and investigations. Golden hour in medical term is the first hour after traumatic injury when emergency treatment is very crucial.
This law makes mandatory for all government as well as private hospitals are bound to give first aid to the accident victims. It also provides protection to medical professionals during their examination as a witness. It also mentions that after admitting accident victim to hospital, good samaritan can leave immediately.
Under this law, Karnataka government will provide financial help to good samaritans who help victims in timely manner. They will be also exempted from repeated attendance in courts and police stations, in case attendance is mandatory. Good Samaritan Fund will be used for meeting expenses of good samaritans such running around to courts and police stations.
There were 4,80,652 road accidents across the country in 2016 in which 1,50,785 people were killed. Karnataka is one of top five states which saw large number of people getting killed in road accidents in 2016 and 2015. It has been proved that number of road accident victims can be saved if medical treatment is immediately administered during golden hours after accident. There is no central law to protect good samaritans. However, Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways had issued set of guidelines in 2015 following Supreme Court order for framing guidelines to protect the good Samaritans or bystanders who reach out to aid of victims of road accidents.