Legal Current Affairs

Summary of latest bill and acts passed or pending in 2019 in Parliament of India with their salient features and issues for Current Affairs 2019 preparation for various examinations such as UPSC, SSC, State Civil Services, CLAT, Judicial Services etc.

Data Protection bill approved by the cabinet

The Cabinet on December 4, 2019 approved Data Protection bill to be tabled in Lok Sabha. The bill lays down legal framework to preserve sanctity in data sharing. The Draft of the bill was released by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in 2018.

Key features of the bill

The bill provides rules for collection, storage and handling of personal data. It regulates the processing of personal data of individuals incorporated in India and abroad. The bill makes it compulsory for the collecting authority to store the data within the territory of India.

The bill provides exemptions for processing of data that are related to legal proceedings and data that are in the interest of national security. A DPA (Data Protection Authority) is to be set up under the bill.

Data Types

The bill divides data into three types namely critical, general and sensitive. The sensitive data are the data that are related to passwords, health, finances, religion, biometric and sexual orientation. The bill allows the sensitive data to be processed outside India with the consent from the provider. Critical data are those data that the government uses once in a while and are allowed to be handled within the country alone. The rest of the data that are non-critical and non-sensitive are categorized as general data.

Citizenship (Amendment) bill, 2019 in Lok Sabha

On December 4, 2019, the Union Cabinet cleared the Citizenship (Amendment) bill, for the bill to be tabled in Lok Sabha. The bill is being tabled amidst widespread protests in the north eastern states.

Key Features

The bill aims at providing Indian citizenship to 6 minority communities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The communities are Hindu, Christian, Sikhs, Buddhist and Jain. Currently for a person to get Indian citizenship, he should have resided in the country for 11 years. The bill intends to amend this as 6 years.

Concerns

The bill has not included Muslim community. This according to the opposition is violation of Article 14 that legalizes equality before law. The article states that the government shall show no discrimination on grounds of religion, caste, race, sex or birth.

The Illegal Migrants factor

According the Citizenship Act, 1955, illegal migrants can either be sent to jail or back to their own countries. In Assam, the protest is on rights and livelihood of ethnic communities on passage of the bill. After the bill is passed, thousands of illegal migrants will be deported according to Assam Accord. According to Assam Accord that was signed in 1985, foreigners who entered Indian soil after March 24, 1971 shall be deported.

In Mizoram, the protests are by the illegal Buddhist Chakma immigrants who were displaced by the construction of Kaptai dam on the Karnaphuli river in 1962. The Nagaland Tribes Council and Naga Students Federations sees the bill as a threat to political future of their identity.

There are protests in Manipur in the fear of the state becoming a dumping ground to foreigners

In Tripura the Kokborok community has reduced to 33% of the population of the state. Initially the state was dominated by the community with 80% of the population. Tripural believes that this condition will worsen of the bill is passed.