Constitution & Law Current Affairs - 2020

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.

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Italian court convicts scientists who were not able to give earthquake warning

An Italian court sentenced six scientists and a government official 6-year imprisonment on the imagecharges  of manslaughter. The scientists were accused of not being able to give adequate warning of an earthquake that killed more than 300 people in L’Aquila in 2009.

All the convicts who were member of National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks, were accused of negligence and malpractice in assessing the danger and informing the city about the risks.

What is the case?

The scientists on National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks were accused of giving "incomplete, imprecise and contradictory" information on the danger a few days before earthquake. They were accused of negligence in evaluating the tremors that preceded L’Aquila earthquake.

As per scientific opinion given by prosecutors, the dozens of lower level tremors seen months before the quake were typical of the kind of preliminary seismic activity seen before major earthquakes. However, Defense lawyers said earthquakes could not be forecasted and even if they could, nothing could be done to prevent them.

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Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act(IRWA)

The Union Cabinet approved the introduction of Amendments to the "Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986".

Major amendments proposed are as follows:

· Broaden the scope of the law to cover the audio-visual media and material in electronic form.

· Penalties to be enhanced to a maximum of 3 years of imprisonment and fine of b/w Rs.50,000 to Rs.1,00,000 for first conviction, and imprisonment of not less than 2 years, but which may extend to 7 years, and a fine b/w Rs.1,00,000 to Rs.5,00,000 for second conviction.

· Police officers not below the rank of Inspectors authorized to carry out search and seizure, in addition to State and Central Government officers authorized by the State or Central Government.

What is "Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986" and what is the importance of current measures?

The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act (IRWA), 1986 was introduced with the specific objective of prohibiting the indecent representation of women through advertisement, publication, writing, and painting or in any other means. The existing Act, in its present form, covers the print media. However, with the advent of newer e-technologies like multimedia, internet etc it was felt that the scope of the Act may need to be amended.

The latest step bolsters the law " IRWA 1986" by enhancing its efficacy by taking into its ambit newer forms of communication like internet, multimedia messaging etc., beyond the print and audio-visual media. This measure is would help in tackling the problem of increased objectification of women thereby ensuring dignity of women.

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