The new Law in India for 2020Image Courtesy - Lloyd Law College

COVID-19 Quarantine related Laws: -
Quarantine is a state of isolation in which people who are more likely to get an infection are placed for a fixed time, to reduce further spread of such disease.

Existing Legal Framework: In our country, the criminal justice system talks about offenses relating to public health under Chapter XIV of /Indian Penal Code, 1860. 
Sections 269 and 270 of IPC deals with punishment for the offense of negligent and malignant acts resulting in the spread of infection of a deadly disease. The former provision prescribes punishment for up to six months or fine or both. In the case of the latter offense, the prescribed punishment is up to 2 years or fine or both. Additionally, Section 271 is an express provision about the prescription of punishment for disobedience to quarantine rule. The sentence can be of the term up to six months or with fine or with both.

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Contemporary Developments:  During the ongoing pandemic, we have seen an unfortunate rise in violence against health workers. Indian Government came up with an amendment in Epidemic Disease Act, 1897. This temporary ordinance (The Epidemic Disease (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020) is intended to curb violence against health care workers working to combat the epidemic by adding a protection clause. It also expands the contours of executive discretion to prevent the spread of such diseases.  

Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019
This law replaced the earlier Citizenship Act, 1955. CAA enables Indian citizenship for Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian minorities from the neighbouring Muslim majority countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan because of "religious persecution or fear of religious persecution. This law allows religious minorities to take citizenship of India if they faced any kind of exploitation or fear. The new CAA also moderate in respect of the residence requirement for naturalization of refugees from 11yrs.to 5yrs.

However, CAA faced too much protest in its initial stages due to lack of support from Indian Communities as they find it unconstitutional and violates the Article 14 ‘Right to equality’.

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Prohibition on E-cigarettes
The Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Act, 2019, banned the import, export, distribution, manufacturing, and all aspects of e-cigarettes. Since these products came into notice of the government as they cause the same ill effects as tobacco cause, due to these cigarettes, multiple flavours and brands people get attracted to these products.

Special protection group Amendment Bill, 2019
This new Law of SPG would cease the old Law, which was offered to Sonia Gandhi and her family since 1991. According to this new SPG bill, Prime Minister and his family get security at their official residential home. This Bill also safeguards the former PM and his household members for five years from the date he terminates to hold the office.

The Arms Amendment Bill, 2019
This Lawreduces the number of firearms from three to one at a time. It also reduces the term period of licensing from five to three years. It also put strict punishment for offenders from earlier, now they can be jailed for a term of seven years and more with fine.

Transgender’s identity
This law allows transgender people to change their identity from the earlier one assigned by the hospital at the time of their birth. The new legislation aims to reduce discrimination against the when it comes to their health care services and other basic needs.

However, transgender people protest against this Lawbecause it does not allow them to declare their own identity recognized by authorities to be identified.

The NCT of Delhi (Recognition of property Rights in unauthorized colonies) Bill, 2019
This Law allows the residents of unauthorized colonies in Delhi to register themselves and get ownership rights with valid documents like power attorney and sale agreement. It also allows the development authority of Delhi to regularize a colony.

Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019
This Law makes ship owners responsible for the use of hazardous material used in ships and instructs to reuse them. The authority also checks on recycling and surveys. It also levied a fine of 5-10 lakhs in case of oil splitting anywhere.

Author
Nidhi Singh