Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2018

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The Lok Sabha has passed Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2018 to help India become hub for domestic and global arbitration for settling commercial disputes. It seeks to amend Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 which contains provisions to deal with domestic and international arbitration and defines law for conducting conciliation proceedings.

 

ias4sure.com - Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2018

Salient features of Bill

  • Arbitration Council of India (ACI): 
    • The Bill establishes ACI as an independent body for promotion of arbitration, mediation, conciliation and other alternative dispute redressal mechanisms.
    • It will frame policies for grading arbitral institutions and accrediting arbitrators, make policies for establishment, operation and maintenance of uniform professional standards for all alternate dispute redressal matters and maintain depository of arbitral judgments (awards) made in India and abroad.
  • Composition of ACI: 
    • It will consist of Chairperson who is either Judge of Supreme Court or Judge of High Court or Chief Justice of High Court or eminent person with expert knowledge in conduct of arbitration.
    • Its other members will include eminent arbitration practitioner, academician with experience in arbitration and government appointees.
  • Appointment of arbitrators: 
    • The Bill allows Supreme Court and High Courts to designate arbitral institutions, which parties can approach for appointment of arbitrators.
    • For international commercial arbitration, appointments will be made by institution designated by Supreme Court.
    • The institution designated by concerned High Court will make appointments for domestic arbitration appointments.
    • In case there are no arbitral institutions available, then concerned High Court Chief Justice can maintain panel of arbitrators to perform functions of arbitral institutions.
    • The application for appointment of arbitrator is required to be disposed of within 30 days.
  • Relaxation of time limits: 
    • The Bill proposed to remove time restriction for international commercial arbitrations.
    • Earlier under the parent Act, arbitral tribunals were required to make their award within period of 12 months for all arbitration proceedings.
  • Completion of written submissions: 
    • The Bill requires written claim and defence to claim in arbitration proceeding should be completed within six months of appointment of arbitrators.
    • Currently, there is no time limit to file written submissions before an arbitral tribunal.
  • Confidentiality of proceedings: 
    • The Bill provides that all details of arbitration proceedings will be kept confidential except for the details of the arbitral award in certain circumstances. 
    • Disclosure of the arbitral award will only be made where it is necessary for implementing or enforcing the award.

Child Adoptions : Amendment to Juvenile Justice Act

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Context:

  • The government introduced an amendment to the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act, 2015, in the Lok Sabha to empower District Magistrates with the authority to grant adoption orders.

 

Details:

  • The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2018, revises the provisions governing adoptions in the JJ Act by making changes to Section 56,58, 59, 60, 61, 63, 64 and 65, where the word “court” has been replaced by “District Magistrate.”
  • The changes are applicable for both domestic and international applications.
  • The bill also proposes the transfer of all adoption cases in various courts to the District Magistrates concerned.

 

Why was the amendment proposed?

  • The heavy workload of the courts had been resulting in “inordinate delay” in issuing adoption orders. as many as 629 cases relating to the passing of orders for adoption were pending in various courts across the country as on July 20, 2018
  • The amendment was proposed with the objective of avoiding pendency of cases.
  • The bill seeks to empower the district magistrates to issue orders for adoption in order to avert inordinate delay by the courts in doing the same.
  • It will make the adoption procedure faster for prospective parents, by avoiding delays in courts.

ias4sure.com - Child Adoptions Amendment to Juvenile Justice Act

 

Juvenile Justice Act 2015:

The Act came into effect from January 15, 2016, with comprehensive provisions for the children allegedly found to be in conflict with law as well as those in need of care and protection.

Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2018

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The Act enables creation of commercial divisions in High Courts and commercial courts at district level to adjudicate commercial disputes such as disputes related to contracts for provision of goods and services and construction contracts. The amendment is aimed at improving ease of doing business in India.
ias4sure.com - Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2018
 
Key Features of Bill
  • Reduction in pecuniary limits: Under the parent Act, commercial courts and commercial divisions in High courts can decide commercial disputes with value of at least Rs. 1 crore. The Bill reduces this limit to Rs. 3 lakh.
  • Establishment of certain commercial courts: The parent Act, empowers state governments to constitute commercial courts at district judge level, after consulting concerned High Court. It had barred such commercial courts to be constituted in cases where High Court has original jurisdiction to hear commercial cases. The Bill removes this bar and allows states to constitute commercial courts where High Courts have original jurisdiction.
  • Commercial Appellate Courts: The Bills allows state governments to notify commercial appellate courts at the district judge level in areas where High Courts do not have ordinary original civil jurisdiction. These Appellate Courts will hear appeals against order of commercial court below level of district judge.
  • Mediation: It introduces pre-institution mediation process in cases where no urgent, interim relief is contemplated. This aims to provide for opportunity to parties to resolve commercial disputes outside ambit of courts through authorities. This will also help in reinforcing investor’s confidence in the resolution of commercial disputes.
  • Counterclaims not to be transferred: The Bill removes provision of counterclaim in relation to transfer of suits in a commercial dispute of at least Rs. 1 crore in civil court.
 
 
What is the issue related to mediation?
  • Mandatory pre-litigation mediation in commercial disputes has been introduced by the recent Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, which amends the Commercial Courts Act of 2015.
  • This amendment is expected to alter parties’ sense of responsibility in resolving disputes. Mandatory pre-litigation mediation puts the ball in the court of the parties involved, rather than looking at external agencies like courts, and urges them to engage with and resolve disputes.
 
The meaning of mediation
  • Mediation is a process of resolution of disputes by the parties to them. It involves discussion of the conflicts, moving out of the loop of allegations and counter-allegations, and assessing where interests lie in resolving the disputes.
  • Options for settlement are explored and a settlement is worked out through joint evaluation. The process is managed by a neutral person called the mediator, who may evaluate the disputes and weigh in on options for settlement (a variant called conciliation) but has no authority to impose a settlement.
  • The participation of the disputants is voluntary. The terms of settlement, if the parties do settle, are decided by the parties. The discussions are confidential.
 
Background
  • Mediation, and mandatory mediation specifically, is not new in India.
  • The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, makes a settlement arrived at through conciliation enforceable like a court decree.
  • Under the Code of Civil Procedure, judges can refer cases to mediation.
  • The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Development Act, 2006, mandates conciliation when disputes arise on payments to MSMEs.
 
The Italian case
  • Italy, which faces a high rate of pendency of cases, has adopted what is referred to as ‘opt out’ mandatory mediation.
  • In 2010 and 2013, it introduced a law for pre-litigation mediation. Attempts to mediate were made mandatory for certain disputes (like partition and joint ownership of property) before a case was filed in court.
 
What lies ahead?
  • Pre-litigation mediation is an important step to improve the ease of doing business
  • The ordinance is an important step in mainstreaming mediation, but it is not enough.
  • Most disputes seek urgent orders for preservation of status quo or restraint orders on filing. With such an application, pre-litigation mediation could effectively be given a go-by.
  • There is a need for a comprehensive policy on mediation, rather than the abbreviated and disconnected steps so far.
  • This policy would encapsulate the process, the role and professional responsibilities of mediators, the rights and obligations of parties in the process, and the outcome of the mediation agreement.
  • When seen in the context of a deliberate and well-considered law, mediation as a process would be more credible to disputants, as has happened in the case of arbitration.

Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2017

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Bill is passed  to reduce the number of cheque dishonour cases pending in courts. The bill amends Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 to primarily address issues of dishonour of cheques and deal with unnecessary delay in disposal of such cases.
 
What is a Negotiable Instrument?
  • It refers to any legal documents like cheques, promissory notes, bill of exchange etc which promises to pay bearer or holder of instrument or person whose name is written on instrument specific amount of money either on demand or after specified time i.e. on some future date.
  • The Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 defines promissory notes, bills of exchange and cheques.
  • It also specifies penalties for bouncing of cheques and other violations with respect to such negotiable instruments.
 
Key Features of Bill
  • Interim compensation: 
    • The Bill inserts new Section 143 A in parent Act to allow court trying offence related to cheque bouncing to direct drawer (person who writes cheque) to pay interim compensation to complainant.
    • This compensation may be paid under certain circumstances, including where drawer pleads not guilty of accusation.
    • It will not exceed 20% of cheque amount and will be paid by drawer within 60 days of trial court’s order to pay such compensation.
  • Deposit in case of appeal: 
    • The Bill inserts another new Section 148-A in the parent act specifying that if drawer convicted in cheque bouncing case files appeal, appellate court may direct him to deposit minimum of 20% of fine or compensation awarded by trial court during conviction.
    • This amount will be in addition to any interim compensation paid by drawer during earlier trial proceedings.
  • Returning interim compensation: 
    • In case drawer is acquitted during trial or by appellate court, then court will direct complainant to return interim compensation (or deposit in case of an appeal case), along with interest.
    • This amount will be repaid within 60 days of court’s order.

ias4sure.com - Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2017

Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2018

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Parliament has passed Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013 to amend various provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), 1988. The amendment to PCA, 1988 was necessitated to review existing provisions to bring it in line with United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) as agreed by India.
 
Background
The amendments to PCA, 1988 were first brought by UPA government in 2013. The Bill was then referred to Parliamentary Standing Committee, Law Commission of India (LCI) and then in December 2015 to select committee. The report of select committee was submitted in 2016 and again it was moved in August 2017, but was not be taken up.
 
Key Features of Bill
  • Giving bribe made punishable offence: 
    • The Bill introduces offence of ‘giving a bribe’ as direct offence.
    • Person who is compelled to give bribe who reports matter to law enforcement authorities within seven days will not be charged with this offence.
  • Redefines Criminal misconduct: 
    • The bill redefines provisions related to criminal misconduct to only cover two types of offences viz. illicit enrichment (such as amassing of assets disproportionate to one’s known income sources) and fraudulent misappropriation of property.
  • Prior approval for investigation:
    • Prior approval of relevant Government or competent authority to conduct any investigation into offence alleged to have been committed by a public servant is made mandatory.
    • Such approval will be not necessary in cases that involve arrest of person on spot on charge of taking a bribe.
  • Trial Time limit: 
    • The bill set trail time period limit of two months if it is handled by special judge.
    • In case of delays, reasons for it must be recorded for every extension of six months obtained.
    • However, total period for completion of trial may not exceed four years.

 

PCA-features

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2018

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Parliament has passed Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2018 to bring relief to the home buyers and MSMEs. The Bill replaces ordinance promulgated in this regard and amends the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.

ias4sure.com - Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2018

 

Background

  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016 provides time-bound process to resolution of insolvency among companies and individuals.
  • Insolvency is situation where individual or company is unable to repay their outstanding debt.
  • Government in November 2017 had set up Insolvency Law Committee to review IBC and identify issues in its implementation and suggest changes.
  • The Committee had made several recommendations such as exempting MSMEs from certain provisions of IBC, treating allottees under real estate project as financial creditors, reducing voting thresholds of committee of creditors (CoC), among others. Subsequently, President had promulgated Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 in June 2018 after approval of Central Government.

 

Key Features of Bill

  • Status of allottees: The Bill clarifies that allottee under real estate project i.e. buyer of under-construction residential or commercial property will be considered as financial creditor, as amount raised from allottees for financing real estate project has commercial effect of a borrowing.
  • Representative of financial creditors: It specifies that in certain cases, such as when debt is owed to a class of creditors, the financial creditors will be represented on committee of creditors by authorised representative. These representatives will vote on behalf of financial creditors as per prior instructions received from them.
  • Voting threshold of committee of creditors: The voting threshold for decisions of committee of creditors has been lowered from 75% to 51%. For certain key decisions of committee like appointment of resolution professional, approval of the resolution plan and increasing time limit for insolvency resolution process threshold has been reduced from 75% to 66%.
  • Ineligibility to be resolution applicant: Bill amends criteria which prohibits certain persons from submitting resolution plan. It provides that this criterion will not apply if such applicant is financial entity and not related party to debtor with certain exceptions. It specifies that such bar will apply if such guarantee has been invoked by creditor and remains unpaid.
  • Applicability of Code to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs): The Bill specifies that ineligibility criteria for resolution applicants regarding Non Performing Assets (NPAs) and guarantors will not be applicable to persons applying for resolution of MSMEs. It empowers Central government in public interest to modify or remove other provisions of IBC while applying them to MSMEs.
  • Withdrawal of submitted applications: The Bill increases vote required for withdrawal resolution application from National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) after such process has been initiated by 90% vote of committee of creditors.

Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018

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Lok Sabha has passed Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018 to provide death penalty to those convicted of raping girls below the age of 12 years. The Bill 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.

 

ias4sure.com - Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance

Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018

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Context:
  • Lok Sabha has passed the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018.
  • Human Trafficking is third largest organized crime violating basic human rights.
  • At present there is no specific law to deal with this crime.
  • It will make India leader among South Asian countries to combat trafficking
  • The Bill provides for the prevention, rescue, and rehabilitation of trafficked persons and seeks to establish National Anti-Trafficking Bureau to investigate trafficking cases.  
  • It also provides for the setting up of Anti-Trafficking Units (ATUs) at district level which will deal with the investigation, prevention, rescue, and protection of victims and witnesses.

 

ias4sure.com - Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018

Features of Bill

  • It takes into consideration aggravated forms of trafficking. It includes trafficking for purpose of forced labour, begging, trafficking of a woman or child for the purpose of marriage or under the pretext of marriage or after marriage, trafficking by administering chemical substance or hormones on a person for the purpose of early sexual maturity etc
  • It prescribes punishment for promoting and facilitating trafficking of person. It includes producing, printing, issuing or distributing unissued, tampered or fake certificates, registration or stickers as proof of compliance with Government requirements, or commits fraud for procuring or facilitating acquisition of clearances and necessary documents from Government agencies.
  • It deals with confidentiality of victims and witnesses and complainants by not disclosing their identity. It will be maintained by recording their statement through video conferencing (it will help trans-border and inter-State crimes).
  • It has provision for time bound trial and repatriation of the victims. It will be within a period of 1 year from taking into cognizance. It provides immediate protection of rescued victims and their rehabilitation. The victims will be entitled to interim relief immediately within 30 days to address their physical, mental trauma etc. and further appropriate relief within 60 days from the date of filing of charge sheet.
  • It creates Rehabilitation Fund for the first time. It will be used for physical, psychological and social well-being of victim including education, skill development, health care and psychological support, legal aid, safe accommodation etc.  It mandates designation of courts in each district for the speedy trial of the cases.
  • It creates dedicated institutional mechanisms at District, State and Central level. They will be responsible for prevention, protection, investigation and rehabilitation work related to trafficking. The tasks of Anti-Trafficking Bureau at the national level will be performed by National Investigation Agency (NIA).
  • The punishment prescribed under it ranges from rigorous minimum 10 years to life and fine not less than Rs. 1 lakh. In order to break the organized nexus, both at national and international level, it mandates for attachment & forfeiture of property and also proceeds for crime.
  • It comprehensively addresses transnational nature of the crime. It entrusts National Anti-Trafficking Bureau (NATB) to perform functions of international coordination with authorities in foreign countries and international organizations.
  • State Anti-Trafficking Officers: The Bill mandates state government to appoint State Nodal Officer. The officer will be responsible for follow up action as per provisions of Bill and as per instructions of State Anti-Trafficking Committee and provide  relief and rehabilitation services. It also mandates state government to appoint Police Nodal Officer at state and district levels. The state government will also designate Anti-Trafficking Police Officers for each district to deal with all matters related to trafficking in the district.
  • Anti-Trafficking Units: The Bill provides setting up of Anti-Trafficking Units (ATUs) at district level. They will deal with prevention, rescue and protection of victims and witnesses and for investigation and prosecution of trafficking offences. In districts where ATU is not functional, this responsibility will be taken up by local police station.
  • Anti-Trafficking Relief and Rehabilitation Committee: The Bill provides for establishment of these committees (ATCs) at all three levels viz. national, state, and district levels. These committees will be responsible for providing compensation, repatriation and re-integration of victims in society, among others.
  • Search and rescue: The Bill empowers Anti-Trafficking Police Officer or ATU to rescue persons, if they are in imminent danger. They will be produced before Child Welfare Committee or Magistrate for medical examination. The district ATC will provide relief and rehabilitation services to rescued persons.
  • Penalties: The Bill specifies penalties for various offences including for promoting trafficking, trafficking of persons, disclosing identity of victim and aggravated trafficking such as trafficking for bonded labour and begging. For trafficking it prescribes rigorous imprisonment of 10 years up to life imprisonment, along with minimum fine of Rs. 1 lakh.  For publishing of any material it prescribes imprisonment between 5 to 10 years, and fine between Rs 50,000 to Rs.1 lakh.

 

Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment) Bill, 2017

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Context:

  • Lok Sabha has passed The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment) Bill, 2017 to allow government to take up infrastructure projects within prohibited areas around protected monuments.
  • The Bill amends the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act, 1958.

 

Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958

  • The AMASR Act provides for preservation of ancient and historical monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance.
  • It provides for the regulation of archaeological excavations and for protection of sculptures, carvings and other like objects.
  • It was passed in 1958.
  • The Archaeological Survey of India functions under the provisions of this act.
  • The Act prohibits construction in ‘prohibited area’, an area of 100 meters around protected monument.
  • It does not permit construction in such prohibited areas even if it is for public purposes, except under certain conditions.
  • The central government can extend the prohibited area beyond 100 meters.
  • The iconic monuments in India, Taj Mahal, Ajanta Caves, The Great Stupa at Sanchi and the Sun Temple of Konark, among others are designated as “ancient monuments of national importance” and protected under the AMASR Act.
  • The Archaeological Survey of India is the custodian of these monuments.

 

Key Features of Bill

  • The Bill amends provision related to construction in ‘prohibited areas’ in the parent bill to permit construction of public works in ‘prohibited areas’ for public purposes.
  • It introduces definition for ‘public works’, which includes construction of any infrastructure that is financed and carried out by central government for public purposes.
  • The Bill empowers central government to allow public works based on recommendation of National Monuments Authority (NMA) on application forwarded by relevant central government department, that seeks to carry out construction for public purposes in a prohibited area.
  • The Bill empowers NMA to consider an impact assessment of proposed public works in prohibited area, including its archaeological impact, visual impact and heritage impact.
  • NMA will make a recommendation, for construction of public works to the central government, only if it is satisfied that there is no reasonable possibility of moving the construction outside the prohibited area.

 

Analysis

  • Proposed Amendment to the act would remove the security net that exists around our nationally protected monuments.
  • Our protected monuments, from the Taj Mahal to the monuments of Mamallapuram, have a designated prohibited area — at least a 100-m radius — to protect them, where no new construction is allowed.
  • It is similar to the zoning around tiger reserves where the core area is set apart for the animals to live in, and where human disturbance is not permitted.

 

Advantages of amendments

  • Prohibition of new construction within prohibited area is adversely impacting various public works and developmental projects of the Central Government.
  • It will pave way for certain constructions limited strictly to public works and projects essential to public within the prohibited area and benefit the public at large.

 

Comments of Historians and archaeologists

  • Historians and archaeologists have expressed concern over amendments proposed to the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act (1958).
  • The pressures of urban development have meant that more and more historical monuments are coming under threat due to development activities around them.
  • Rapid urbanization also threatened many sites of historical importance, for example megalithic sites (Iron Age burials) en route Chengalpattu from Chennai.
  • Even a Neolithic site near the Murugan temple in a hillock in Kundrathur is now missing due to urban settlements springing up there.
  • In 2013, after a CAG report raised an alarm that 92 historical monuments had gone missing due to development activities around them, the ASI started a ground survey to verify them, and found that 21 had indeed become untraceable.
  • Citing a Cabinet note, Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor informed Parliament recently that plans were afoot to construct a railway line next to Rani ki Vaw, an ancient step well in Patan, Gujarat, which had been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014.
  • Allowing an exception for “public works” will open a Pandora’s Box, and it will be all but impossible for the National Monuments Authority or the Archaeological Survey of India to ensure that such construction do not pose a threat to a monument.
  • Public works are more often than not very large infrastructure projects. Allowing these in the immediate vicinity of a protected monument will defeat the very purpose of the AMASR Act and will be a violation of Article 49 of the Constitution.

 

ias4sure.com - Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment) Bill, 2017

 

 

HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2017

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The Act safeguards rights of people living with HIV and affected by HIV. It also addresses HIV-related discrimination, strengthen existing programme by bringing in legal accountability and establish formal mechanisms for inquiring into complaints and redressing grievances.

 

Facts:

  • There are approximately 21 lakh persons estimated to be living with HIV in India. 
  • The prevalence of HIV is decreasing over the last decade but percentage of PLHIV receiving Anti-Retroviral therapy (ART) treatment are merely 25.82% against global percentage of 41%
  • It is the first national HIV law in South Asia

 

Key Features of Act

  • Prevent and control the spread of HIV and AIDS.
  • It prohibits discrimination against persons with HIV and AIDS.
  • It lists various grounds on which discrimination against HIV positive persons and those living with them is prohibited.
  • These discrimination grounds include denial, termination, discontinuation or unfair treatment with regard to
    1. employment
    2. educational establishments
    3. health care services,
    4. standing for public or private office,
    5. residing or renting property and
    6. provision of insurance.
  • It also prohibits requirement for HIV testing as pre-requisite for obtaining employment or accessing health care or education.
  • It mentions that every HIV infected or affected person below age of 18 years has right to reside in shared household and enjoy facilities of household.
  • No person will be compelled to disclose his HIV status except with his informed consent, and if required by a court order
  • Establishments keeping records of information of PLHIV must adopt data protection measures.
  • Obligations on establishments to safeguard rights of persons living with HIV and create mechanisms for redressing complaints.
  • Prohibits any individual from publishing information or advocating feelings of hatred against HIV positive persons and PLHIV.
  • It mentions that person between 12 to 18 years of age having sufficient maturity in understanding and managing affairs of his HIV or AIDS affected family will be competent to act as guardian of another sibling below 18 years of age.

 

Importance of Act

The Act would provide essential support to National AIDS Control Programme in arresting new spread of HIV infections and thereby achieving the target of “Ending the epidemic by 2030” to meet goal Sustainable Development Goals

 

What is missing in the Act?

  • The Act brings a rights-based approach to AIDS treatment, making it imperative for both the central and state governments to provide treatment “as far as possible”.
  • Though the Act lays down that treatment is the right of the patient, it stops short of making it a legal right — and therefore, a patient who is denied ART treatment cannot ordinarily drag any government to court.
  • Provisions only protect infected individuals from prejudiced behaviour and attitudes. Communities that are vulnerable to infection, individuals who are yet to be tested and kin of those infected are still subjected to stigma and biased perspectives.
  • The need is to adopt a holistic approach to successfully combat discrimination against the infected and the vulnerable, and create safe spaces for them.