Bills and Amendments Current Affairs - 2019

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Parliament passes Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019

Parliament passed Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019 after it was approved by Rajya Sabha. The Bill seeks to amend Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act, 1951 to change provisions related to composition of Trustees of memorial and termination of trustee. It was earlier passed in Lok Sabha in August 2019.

Features of Bill

It seeks to make trust that runs Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial apolitical by removing the clause pertaining to the President of Congress Party as a permanent member of the trust. It also amends provision related to include Leader of Opposition recognised as such in the House of the People (Lok Sabha) or where there is no such Leader of Opposition, then Leader of the single largest Opposition Party in that House as a member of the trust. It also amends provisions related to termination of nominated trustee to allow his/her termination before the expiry of the period of five years by the Central Government, without assigning any reason.

Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act, 1951

It was enacted by Parliament to provide for the erection and management of National Memoraial to prepetuate memory of those killed or wounded on the 13th day of April, 1919, in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar. It provides for Trust for erection and management of the Memorial and also provided for composition of the Trust with certain Trustees for life.

Parliament passes Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019

Parliament has passed Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 to empower Central Government to designate an individual as a “terrorist”. It was first passed by Lok Sabha on 24 July 2019 and later by Rajya Sabha on 2 August 2019.

Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019

It seeks to empower Central Government to designate an individual “terrorist” if they are found committing, preparing for, promoting, or involved in an act of terror. Earlier, Central Government was having powers only to designate organisation as terrorist organisation.

Investigation by NIA: The Bill additionally empowers officers of National Investigation Agency (NIA), of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases. Earlier, officers of the rank of Deputy Superintendent or Assistant Commissioner of Police or above were empowered to conduct investigation of cases under the Act.

Seizure of property by NIA: It will be mandatory for officer of NIA conducting investigation related to terror cases to take approval Director General of NIA for seizure of such property.

Insertion to schedule of treaties: The parent Act defines terrorist acts to include acts committed within scope of any of treaties listed in its schedule. The Bill adds another treaty to this list-International Convention for Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (2005).