Article 111 Current Affairs - 2019
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President Ram Nath Kovind has given assent (under Article 111) to Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018 passed by Parliament. With this assent, this Bill becomes law that will deter fugitive economic offenders to evade legal process in India and flee the country. The law aims to serve as an effective, expeditious and constitutional way to stop these offenders from running away.
Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018
The new law defines fugitive economic offender (FEO) as any individual against whom warrants for arrest is issued for his involvement in select economic offences involving amount of at least Rs 100 crore or more and has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution. It allows designated special court to declare person as fugitive economic offender and to confiscate his property, including benami ones. It vests all rights and title in confiscated property from date of the confiscation order in central government and it will be free from all encumbrances. Enforcement Directorate (under Ministry of Finance) will be investigative agency under the Act.
Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Act, 2018
President also gave assent to Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Act, 2018. It is aimed at allowing a court to try offences related to cheque bounce expeditiously and direct the drawee to pay a minimum of 20% of cheque amount as interim compensation.
State Banks (Repeal and Amendment) Act, 2018
President also gave assent to State Banks (Repeal and Amendment) Act is to repeal two other laws State Bank of India (Subsidiary Banks) Act, 1959 and State Bank of Hyderabad Act, 1956. It further amend the State Bank of India Act of 1955.
President Pranab Mukherjee has given assent to the Sugar Cess (Amendment) Bill, 2015 to raise the ceiling of a cess as an excise duty on the production of sugar.
The bill was first passed by Lok Sabha after it was declared a money bill. President gave his assent as per provisions of Article 111 of Constitution after the bill was not returned by the Rajya Sabha to the Lok Sabha within 14 days of its consideration as per constitutional provisions.
- The amendment Bill seeks to amend the The Sugar Cess Act, 1982 which provides legal provision for the imposition of a cess as an excise duty on the production of sugar.
- The Bill proposes to increase this ceiling of sugar to Rs 200 per quintal from existing Rs 25 per quintal specified in the principal Act.
- The principal Act empowers central government to fix the rate of sugar cess from time to time.
Implications of hike in sugar cess
It would lead to increase in the accruals to the Sugar Development Fund (SDF) which in turn would facilitate rehabilitation and modernisation of sugar mills and thereby helping cane growers. In present scenario, it will help in revival of stagnant sugar economy by helping cash-starved mills and sugarcane growers.