SC/ST and Criminal Law (Amendment) Bills Passed by the Parliament

Apart from The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2018, the Parliament passed 3 other important bills for SCs and STs.

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The Parliament on Monday, 6 August, passed a stringent legislation prescribing death penalty to those convicted of raping girls below the age of 12 years and making the law against such sexual offences harsher, PTI reported.

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2018, which was passed in the Lok Sabha on 30 July, was approved by a voice vote in the Upper House.

The bill stipulates stringent punishment for perpetrators of rape. A death sentence has been provided for cases in which the girl is below 12 years. The minimum punishment in cases of rape of women has been increased from rigorous imprisonment of seven years to ten years.

Apart from the The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2018, the Parliament passed three other important bills.


SC/ST Bill Passed by the Lok Sabha

The Lok Sabha passed The Schedule Caste & The Schedule Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018 overturning the Supreme Court order concerning certain safeguards against arrest under SC/ST law. The Supreme Court ruling of 20 March was interpreted by many as a dilution of the act. The bill passed on 6 August rules out any provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of atrocities against SC/STs, notwithstanding any court order, PTI reported.

It also provides that no preliminary enquiry will be required for registering a criminal case and an arrest under this law would not be subject to any approval.

Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot asserted that the NDA government favoured reservation "and will continue to be in favour reservation for SC/ST".

The amendment, he said, will strengthen the legislative provisions to protect SC/ST.


The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Third Amendment) Bill, 2017 and NCBC (Repeal) Bill, 2017

The Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha by Gehlot on 5 April 2017. It seeks to grant the National Commission on Backward Classes (NCBC) constitutional status, at par with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.

The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Third Amendment) Bill, 2017 was passed in conjunction with the NCBC (Repeal) Bill, 2017, with the Rajya Sabha approving the measure that will give the panel full powers to safeguard the rights and interests of the Other Backward Classes(OBCs).


Several members in the Rajya Sabha urged the government to make public the findings of the caste census and implement reservation accordingly.

It was passed by the Lok Sabha on 2 August superseding the amendments earlier carried out by the Rajya Sabha.

The bill was passed after the House repealed the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993.

(Inputs from PTI)

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Topics:  Lok Sabha   Rajya Sabha   Empowerment 

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