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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The Union Cabinet has introduction of Protection of Human Rights (Amendments) Bill, 2018 in Parliament for better protection and promotion of human rights in the country. The Bill will amend Protection of Human Rights, 1993 which was last amended in 2006.
Salient Features of Bill
It proposes to include National Commission for Protection of Child Rights as deemed Member of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). It proposes to add woman member in composition of NHRC.
It proposes to enlarge scope of eligibility and scope of selection of Chairperson, NHRC as well as State Human Rights Commission (SHRCs). It proposes to incorporate mechanism to look after cases of human rights violation in Union Territories. It proposes to amend term of office of Chairperson and Members of NHRC and SHRCs to make it in consonance with terms of Chairperson and Members of other Commissions.
The amendment will strengthen Human Rights Institutions of India further for effective discharge of their mandates, roles and responsibilities. Moreover, the amended act will be in perfect sync with agreed global standards and benchmarks towards ensuring rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of individual in the country. The amendment will make NHRC and SHRCs more compliant with Paris Principles concerning its autonomy, independence, pluralism and wide-ranging functions in order to effectively protect and promote human rights.
Union law ministry is preparing to file a review petition against the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 that puts a stop to immediate arrests in complaints filed under its provisions.
Previously, in an attempt to curb the misuse of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989) and protect honest public servants Supreme Court gave following verdict:
- An arrest is not mandatory under the SC/ST Act, and the automatic arrest has been scrapped.
- The court further directed that public servants can only be arrested with the written permission of their appointing authority. This was to protect public servants and private employees from arbitrary arrests under the Atrocities Act
- Supreme Court also ruled that before arresting a public servant under the Act, a preliminary investigation by an officer not below the rank of deputy superintendent is a must
SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act
Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act was enacted in the year 1989. It is a comprehensive law which not only defines atrocities against SCs and STs but also make several rules, regulations etc. for proper protection of these vulnerable classes. One of the provisions of the law states that public servant (non SC/ST) neglecting his duties related to SCs/STs will be punished with imprisonment for a term of 6 months to 1 year. Ministry of Social Justice is the nodal ministry to enforce the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.