Ordinances Current Affairs

Cabinet approves ordinance to amend law for speedy disposal of commercial disputes

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved promulgation of Ordinance amend a law for speedy disposal of commercial disputes. This decision aims to improve India’s ranking in World Bank’s ease of doing business index. The index takes into consideration dispute resolution environment in country, which facilitates investors in deciding for setting up of and operation of a business.

Key Facts

The ordinance will replace Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Bill which is pending in Parliament. It will bring down specified value of commercial dispute to Rs 3 lakh from the present Rs 1 crore. It also aims to bring down time taken from the present 1,445 days in resolution of commercial disputes of lesser value.

The amendments through ordinance provides for establishment of commercial courts at district judge level for territories over which High Courts Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Himachal Pradesh have ordinary original civil jurisdiction. The ordinance will be given prospective effect so that authority of the judicial forum presently adjudicating commercial disputes is not affected.

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Cabinet approves ordinance for death penalty for child rapists

The Union Cabinet has approved promulgation of Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance to provide death penalty for rapists of girls below 12 years. The ordinance amends Indian Penal Code (IPC), Criminal Procedure Code, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and Indian Evidence Act.

Key Provisions of Ordinance

It provides for stringent punishment of jail term of minimum 20 years or life imprisonment or death for rape of girl less than 12 years. It provides punishment with imprisonment for rest of life or death sentence in case of gang rape of girl below 12 years.

It increases minimum punishment from 10 years to 20 years for crime of rape of girl under 16 years, which can be extended to imprisonment for rest of life. It increases minimum punishment for rape of women from rigorous imprisonment of 7 years to 10 years, which can be extended to life imprisonment.

It provides for speedy investigation and trial, which must be completed in two months. It proposes 6 months’ time limit for disposal of appeals in rape cases. It provides dedicated manpower for investigation of rape cases in time bound manner.

It provides no provision for anticipatory bail for person accused of rape or gang rape of girl under 16 years. It has also been provided that court has to give notice of 15 days to Public Prosecutor and representative of victim before deciding bail applications in case of rape of a girl under 16 years of age.

It has provision for maintaining national database and profile of sexual offenders by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). This data will be regularly shared with States/UTs for monitoring, tracking and investigation including verification of antecedents by police.

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