IMPORTANT ACTS AND AMENDMENTS (2019-2020) - Part 3 of 3
During the year 2019-2020, the country witnessed several fresh legal enactments and amendments to the existing laws which were highly controversial in nature since the time they were enacted. Several laws such as Consumer Protection Act, 1986; Payment of Wages Act, 1936; the Minimum Wages Act, 1948; the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965; and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976; Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 are repealed. Whereas, certain new enactments include Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act; Prohibition of e-cigarettes; Code on Wages etc. are enacted for the better uniformity among laws. The list of major Acts and Amendments brought into force in last one year is provided below:
18. THE SUPREME COURT (NUMBER OF JUDGES) AMENDMENT ACT, 2019
The strength of Supreme Court Judges increased from thirty-one to thirty-three.
19. THE TRANSGENDER PERSONS (PROTECTION OF RIGHTS) ACT, 2019
The Act now prohibits the discrimination against a transgender person, including denial of service or unfair treatment in relation to: (i) education; (ii) employment; (iii) healthcare; (iv) access to, or enjoyment of goods, facilities, opportunities available to the public; (v) right to movement; (vi) right to reside, rent, or otherwise occupy the property; (vii) opportunity to hold public or private office; and (viii) access to a government or private establishment in whose care or custody a transgender person is.
20. THE PROHIBITION OF ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES (PRODUCTION, MANUFACTURE, IMPORT, EXPORT, TRANSPORT, SALE, DISTRIBUTION, STORAGE AND ADVERTISEMENT) ACT, 2019
The Act prohibits the production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution and advertisement of e-cigarettes in India. Any person who contravenes these provisions will be punishable with imprisonment of up to one year, or a fine of up to one lakh rupees, or both. For any subsequent offence, the person will be punishable with imprisonment of up to three years, along with a fine of up to five lakh rupees.
Also, no person is allowed to use any place for the storage of any stock of e-cigarettes. If a person stores any stock of e-cigarettes, he will be punishable with an imprisonment of up to six months, or a fine of up to Rs 50,000, or both.
21. DADRA AND NAGAR HAVELI AND DAMAN AND DIU MERGER OF UNION TERRITORIES ACT, 2019
The Act amends the First Schedule to merge the territories of the two UTs: (a) Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and (b) Daman and Diu. The Act seeks to amend the Schedule to allocate two Lok Sabha seats to the merged UT.
22. THE CITIZENSHIP (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2019
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act proposes to grant citizenship to the non-Muslims Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhist, Jains and Parsis -- from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh who arrived in India before December 31, 2014 and who has been exempted by the Central Government by or under clause (c) of sub-section (2) of section 3 of the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920.
Earlier, the duration of the immigrants' residency was 11 years. The amended act has reduced it to five years. This means that immigrants from the three countries and from the mentioned religions, who have entered India before December 31, 2014, would not be treated as illegal immigrants.
However, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act would not apply to tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura as included in Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and the area covered under the Inner Limit notified under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.
23. THE ARMS (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2019
Duration of Renewal of Licence unless revoked earlier, continue in force for a period of five years. A person who has in his possession more firearms than two at the commencement of the Arms (Amendment) Act, 2019, may retain with him any two of such firearms and shall deposit, within one year from such commencement, the remaining firearm with the officer in charge of the nearest police station.
24. THE CONSTITUTION (ONE HUNDRED AND FOURTH AMENDMENT) ACT, 2019
Amendment to Article 334 – Reservation of Seats and Special Representation to cease after [seventy years]. Eighty years in respect of clause (a) and seventy years in respect of clause (b) is substituted.
25. THE INSOLVENCY AND BANKRUPTCY CODE (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2020
Change in Commencement date as now the Insolvency Resolution Process commences from the date of admission of an application for initiating Corporate Insolvency Process and not when the Interim Resolution Profession is appointed. Raises the minimum threshold for certain classes of the financial creditor. Explanation to Section 11 where Corporate Debtor undergoing CIRP, shall be entitled to make an application to initiate CIRP against other Corporate Debtor. Insertion of 32A which provides that the liability of a CD for an offence committed prior to the commencement of CIRP shall cease and the CD shall not be prosecuted for such an offence from the date on which the resolution plan has been approved by the AA u/s 31 of the Code, 2016.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Priyank Kumar Saxena, is a Legal Associate at Mindspright Legal.
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