Parliament Current Affairs - 2019

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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).

Parliament passes Repealing and Amending Bill, 2019

Parliament has passed Repealing and Amending Bill, 2019 that seeks to repeal certain enactments and to amend certain other enactments. The bill provides for repealing 58 old and obsolete laws which have no relevance at present and makes minor amendments to two other laws. It was introduced in Lok Sabha on 25 July 2019 by Union Minister of Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Repealing and Amending Bill, 2019

Repealing certain laws in whole: Bill repeals 68 laws that have been listed in 1st Schedule of Bill.

These include: (1) Beedi Workers Welfare Fund Act, 1976 (2) Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2001.

Amendment of certain laws: Bill makes minor amendments to two Acts which relate to substitution of certain words. These two Acts are: (1) Income Tax Act (IT), 1961 and (2) India Institutes of Management (IIM) Act, 2017.

NOTE: Since NDA government came to power for 1st term in 2014, it started identifying obsolete laws and has so far repealed 1,428 old and archaic central Acts and about 75 laws which Centre drafted for states in view of President rule have also been repealed till date. This periodic review of old laws is part of governance.