Constitution & Law Current Affairs - 2019

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.

Category Wise PDF Compilations available at This Link

Lok Sabha passes The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019

Lok Sabha passed Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 that aims to ban commercial surrogacy in India by a voice vote. The bill aims to ensure effective regulation of surrogacy, prohibit commercial surrogacy, and allow ethical surrogacy. It also seeks to prohibit exploitation of surrogate mothers and children born through surrogacy

Salient Features of Bill

Bans commercial surrogacy: It completely bans commercial surrogacy, including sale and purchase of human embryos and gametes, but allows ethical altruistic surrogacy for needy couples on fulfillment of stipulated conditions.

Definition of surrogacy: It has been defined as practice in which woman gives birth to child for intending couple with the intention to hand over the child to the intending couple after the birth.

Altruistic surrogacy: It is allowed and has been defined as surrogacy wherein only medical expenses and insurance coverage is provided by couple to surrogate mother during pregnancy and no other monetary consideration.

Permits Surrogacy: It permits surrogacy for intending couples who are suffering from proven infertility. It does not permit for commercial purposes, altruistic purpose, not for producing children for sale, prostitution or other forms of exploitation etc.

Regulatory bodies: It proposes to regulate surrogacy in the country by establishing National Surrogacy Board (NSB) at the central level and state surrogacy boards and appropriate authorities in the state and Union Territories. Functions of the NSB include, (i) advice central government on policy matters related to surrogacy; (ii) lay down code of conduct of surrogacy clinics and (iii) supervise functioning of SSBs.

Eligible couples for Surrogacy: It allows surrogacy for infertile married Indian couples only (married for at least 5 years). In this case, male must be between 26-55 years and female must be between 23-50 years and they should not have any surviving child (biological, adopted or surrogate).

Surrogate Mother: It allows only close relative of eligible intended couple to be surrogate mother, having been married, having child of her own and must be between 25 and 35 years. Besides, she can be surrogate mother only once in lifetime and cannot provide her own gametes for surrogacy. She mus also possess certificate of medical and psychological fitness for surrogacy.

Exemptions: It allows surrogacy for only Indian citizens and bans foreigners, NRI and PIOs from opting for surrogacy in India. It also bans single parents and homosexuals and also couple who already have children from surrogacy.

Parentage and abortion of surrogate child: Child born out of surrogacy procedure will be deemed to be biological child of intended couple.  In case of abortion of the surrogate child, there is mandatory requirement of written consent of surrogate mother andauthorisation of the appropriate authority compliant with Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971. It gives surrogate mother option to withdraw from surrogacy before embryo is implanted in her womb.

Punishments: It has been prescribed for undertaking or advertising commercial surrogacy,  exploiting the surrogate mother, abandoning, exploiting or disowning a surrogate child and selling or importing human embryo or gametes for surrogacy. Penalty for such offences is imprisonment up to 10 years and fine up to Rs. 10 lakh rupees. It also specifies range of offences and penalties for other contraventions of the provisions of the Bill.

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J&K Reorganisation Bill 2019 passed in Rajya Sabha

After passing a statutory resolution on scrapping special status to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) by diluting Article 370, Rajya Sabha has now passed voting on J&K Reorganisation Bill 2019 which will effectively bifurcate state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir with a legislature and Ladakh without legislature. A statutory resolution on Article 370 and J&K reorganisation bill were passed by Rajya Sabha and will be put to vote in Lok Sabha next.

Jammu and Kashmir will also become largest union territory (UT) in India in terms of area once it is carved out while Ladakh, will be 2nd largest UT after it comes to force.

J&K Reorganisation Bill 2019

Assembly Seats: Bill that seeks for division of Jammu and Kashmir will lead to an increase number of seats in newly-constituted Assembly from 107 to 114 out of which 24 seats would be deemed to be vacant till time Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) comes under jurisdiction of Indian state.

State assembly currently has 111 seats, of which 46 are in Kashmir Valley, 37 in Jammu and remaining 4 are in Ladakh division. After passing of reorganisation bill in Parliament, Ladakh will be a Union territory to be administered by Centre.

Assembly Tenure: With abrogation of Article 370, tenure of J&K state Assembly will now be 5 years as in other parts of state which till now had a special status with a 6-year tenure.

SC/ST Reservation: New Assembly shall have reservation for Scheduled Caste (SC) and Schedule Tribes (ST) as in other parts of state.

Reorganisation of Constituencies: Constituencies will be re-organised through a de-limitation exercise under 2002 Act of Parliament. For purpose of delimitation, 2011 census figures will be taken as benchmark.

Unicameral Polity: Bill also seeks to scrap state’s legislative council to make J&K a unicameral polity. State will have a Chief Minister and a Lt Governor and all financial bills will need to cleared by Lt Governor.

What will Change after Scrapping of Article 370?

With abrogation of Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir will now have no separate flag or Constitution and tenure of state legislative assembly will be for a period of 5 years like any other state and 2 union territories in country.

Indian Penal Code (IPC) will replace Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) to deal with criminal matters and Article 356, under which President’s rule can be imposed in any state, will also be applicable in union territories (UTs) Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh with unprecedented decision of Centre.

With addition of two new UTs, total number of will go up to 9- J&K, Ladakh, Delhi, Puducherry, Diu and Daman, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Chandigarh, Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

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