Bills and Acts

Lok Sabha passes Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill 2018

The Lok Sabha has passed the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018.  The Bill provides for the prevention, rescue, and rehabilitation of trafficked persons and seeks to establish National Anti-Trafficking Bureau to investigate trafficking cases.  It also provides for the setting up of Anti-Trafficking Units (ATUs) at e district level which will deal with the investigation, prevention, rescue, and protection of victims and witnesses.

Key features of Bill

National Anti-Trafficking Bureau (NATB): The Bill proposes establishment of NATB to investigate trafficking cases and implement provisions of Bill.  NATB will comprise of police officers and any other officers as required. It will take over investigation of any offence under Bill referred to it by two or more states. Further, it may request state government to co-operate in investigation or transfer the case to state government for investigation and trial, with approval from central government.

Functions of NATB: Coordinate and monitor surveillance along known trafficking routes, facilitate surveillance, enforce and take preventive steps at source, transit and destination points, maintain coordination between law enforcement agencies and NGOs and other stakeholders and increase international cooperation with authorities abroad for intelligence sharing and mutual legal assistance.

State Anti-Trafficking Officers: The Bill mandates state government to appoint State Nodal Officer. The officer will be responsible for follow up action as per provisions of Bill and as per instructions of State Anti-Trafficking Committee and provide  relief and rehabilitation services. It also mandates state government to appoint Police Nodal Officer at state and district levels. The state government will also designate Anti-Trafficking Police Officers for each district to deal with all matters related to trafficking in the district.

Anti-Trafficking Units: The Bill provides setting up of Anti-Trafficking Units (ATUs) at district level. They will deal with prevention, rescue and protection of victims and witnesses and for investigation and prosecution of trafficking offences. In districts where ATU is not functional, this responsibility will be taken up by local police station.

Anti-Trafficking Relief and Rehabilitation Committee: The Bill provides for establishment of these committees (ATCs) at all three levels viz. national, state, and district levels. These committees will be responsible for providing compensation, repatriation and re-integration of victims in society, among others.

Search and rescue: The Bill empowers Anti-Trafficking Police Officer or ATU to rescue persons, if they are in imminent danger. They will be produced before Child Welfare Committee or Magistrate for medical examination. The district ATC will provide relief and rehabilitation services to rescued persons.

Protection and rehabilitation: The Bill mandates central and state government to set up Protection Homes to provide shelter, food, counselling, and medical services to victims. It also mandates central or state government will maintain Rehabilitation Homes in each district to provide long-term rehabilitation to victims. In all cases, rehabilitation of victims will not be dependent on criminal proceedings being initiated against accused or outcome of proceedings.  Union Government will also create Rehabilitation Fund which will be used to set up these Protection and Rehabilitation Homes.

Time-bound trial: The Bill provides for setting up designated courts in each district to complete trial within year.

Penalties: The Bill specifies penalties for various offences including for promoting trafficking, trafficking of persons, disclosing identity of victim and aggravated trafficking such as trafficking for bonded labour and begging. For trafficking it prescribes rigorous imprisonment of 10 years up to life imprisonment, along with minimum fine of Rs. 1 lakh.  For publishing of any material it prescribes imprisonment between 5 to 10 years, and fine between Rs 50,000 to Rs.1 lakh.

Month: Categories: Bills and Acts


Parliament passes Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018

Parliament has passed Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018 that aims to curb practice of evading criminal prosecution by economic offenders fleeing from country to evade clutches Indian law by remaining outside jurisdiction of Indian courts. The bill will replace an ordinance promulgated by President in April 2018.

Key Features of Bill

Fugitive economic offender (FEO): It has been as person against whom arrest warrant has been issued against him for any specified offences where value involved is over Rs. 100 crore and he has left ountry and refuses to return to face prosecution.

Special Court: The Bill empowers Special Court (designated under Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002) to declare person as FEO based on application made. The Special Court will require person to appear at specified place at least six weeks from issue notice. Proceedings will be terminated if the person appears.

Confiscation of properties: The Bill allows director or deputy director (appointed under Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002) to attach any property mentioned in application with permission of special court. Upon declaration as FEO, properties of person will be confiscated and vested in central government, free of rights and claims in property. Further it bars FEO or any company associated with him from filing or defending civil claims.

Bar on filing or defending civil claims: The Bill bars any court or tribunal may bar FEO or associated company from filing or defending civil claims before it.

Search warrant: The Bill does not require authorities to obtain search warrant or ensure presence of witnesses before search. 

Powers of director: The director or deputy director will have powers vested of civil court. These powers include entering a place on the belief that individual is FEO and directing searching of building or seizing documents.Under this law, appeals against orders of special court will lie before High Court.

Month: Categories: Bills and Acts