Bills and Amendements Current Affairs - 2019
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The Haryana Assembly unanimously passed Criminal Law (Haryana Amendment) Bill, 2018 providing for death penalty for convicts found guilty of raping girls aged 12 years or less. With this, Haryana became third state, after Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan to have provision of capital punishment for such sexual offenders.
Key Features of Bill
The Bill amends Indian Penal Code (IPC) 1860, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) 1973 and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
It inserts section 376-AA in IPC. It provides punishment of death or rigorous imprisonment of not less than 14 years in case of rape of girl up to 12 years of age. This punishment may extend to imprisonment for life that is for remainder period of person’s natural life.
It also inserts section 376-D in IPC. Under it, if girl upto 12 years of age is raped by one or more persons constituting group, each of those persons shall be deemed to have committed offence of rape and will be punished with death or rigorous imprisonment for term which will not be less than 20 years, but which may extend to life along with fine.
It also makes existing criminal laws related to other sexual offences more stringent. The punishment under Section 354 of IPC (Assault or criminal force against woman with intent to outrage her modesty) will not be less than 2 years (earlier not less than 1 year) but may extend up to 7 years (earlier up to 5 years).
Parliament has passed the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017 with Rajya Sabha approving it. Lok Sabha had passed it earlier.
The Bill amends the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE), 2009 by extending the deadline for teachers to acquire the prescribed minimum qualifications for appointment.
In the parent Act, provision to possess minimum qualifications by teachers was relaxed for a period not exceeding five years (till March 2015) in case state does not have adequate teacher training institutions or sufficient number of qualified teachers.
The amendment bill gives last chance to inadequately qualified teachers as on March 31, 2015, working after enactment of the RTE Act, 2009 to acquire minimum qualifications within a period of four years (till March 31, 2019) to hold their jobs as teachers.
The RTE Act, 2009 envisages free and compulsory elementary education to every child in the age group of 6-14 years. The amendments to RTE Act, 2009 will enable the in-service untrained elementary teachers to complete their training and ensure that all teachers at the elementary level have certain minimum standard of qualifications in order to maintain the standard of teaching quality.