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LAW REWIND - 2020: Major Highlights From Law Affairs Of The Year 2020

  • On January 19, 2020, the Group of Ministers headed by the Home Minister finalized its report to change the legal framework that will help prevent sexual harassment of women at workplaces.

  • The Citizenship (Amendment) Act was legislated by the Parliament during the winter session. However, several states were agitating over the non-inclusion of Muslims in the law. Kerala was the first state to pass a resolution against the act.

  • On January 28, 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that African Cheetah shall be permitted to be introduced in India. The cat is being introduced on an experimental basis.

  • On January 29, 2020, the Union Cabinet approved National Commission for homeopathy bill, 2019.

  • The Union Cabinet on January 29, 2020, approved the official amendments to the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine bill, 2019.

  • On January 29, 2020, the Union Cabinet approved the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020. The bill aims to amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.

  • The Veteran Feminist, Social Activist, and writer, Vidya Bal, passed away in a private nursing home on January 30, 2020.

  • The Vivad se Vishwas Scheme was announced by Finance Minister during the Budget 2020-21. On February 12, 2020, the Union Cabinet approved to make required changes in the Vivad Se Vishwas Bill, 2020 in order to widen its cover over litigation pending in debt recovery tribunal.

  • On February 18, 2020, the Union Cabinet approved the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation), Bill. The bill proposes to establish a national registry.

  • On February 19, 2020, the Union Cabinet approved the 22nd Law Commission of India. The commission has been approved for a period of three years.

  • On March 2, 2020, the HRD Minister introduced the Central Sanskrit Universities Bill, 2019 in Rajya Sabha. It was introduced in Lok Sabha in December 2019 and was passed.The bill aims to convert deemed Sanskrit universities to central Sanskrit universities.

  • On March 4, 2020, the Union Cabinet approved 72 changes to the Companies Act, 2013. The main aim of the amendment is to decriminalize the provisions in the act.

  • On March 14, 2020, Parliament passed the Direct Tax Vivad Se Viswas Bill, 2020. The bill aims to reduce the number of litigation that are associated with direct tax payments.

  • On March 18, 2020, for the first time in its history, the Supreme Court removed the Manipur Minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar Singh from the state cabinet. The apex court has also been restrained him from entering the Legislative assembly.

  • On March 20, 2020, four convicts of the Nirbhaya Gang Rape were hanged to death in Tihar Jail.

  • On March 23, 2020, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman introduced the Finance Bill, 2020. The bill was introduced and passed in Lok Sabha without any discussion.

  • Project 39A was conducted by a team of National Law University, Delhi. According to the project, the Indian Courts invoke “Collective Conscience” of the society in most of the death penalty cases.

  • The National Green Tribunal passed an order regarding the Vizag Gas Tragedy. Under the order, the LG Polymers, where the gas leak occurred was held liable according to the Principle of “Strict Liability” of 19th century English law.

  • On May 26, 2020, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court took suo moto cognizance of migrant workers' issue and noted that there have been “inadequacies and certain lapses” on the part of the Central and State governments in dealing with the migrant workers' crisis during the lockdown.

  • On June 3, 2020, the Union Cabinet chaired by PM Modi has made historic amendments to the Essential Commodities Act. Under the amendment, the regulatory environment has been liberalized for farmers.

  • On June 16, 2020, the Supreme Court of India issued notice to the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) and the Union Government on providing Health Insurance for mental illness.

  • India’s First State-Level ‘E-Lok Adalat’ conducted by Chhattisgarh High Court. Despite the cancellation of the 3rd National Lok Adalat of the year 2020 scheduled to be held on 11th July 2020, the first State Level ‘E-Lok Adalat’.

  • India celebrates 1st August as Muslim Women’s Rights Day - On the occasion of the first anniversary of law-making Triple Talaq a criminal offence which got Presidential nod last year after getting approval from the Parliament, the day is declared as the Muslim Women’s Rights Day across the country.

  • On August 5, 2020, the day when the Union Territories (UTs) Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh celebrated their one year of formation.

  • On August 11, 2020, a three-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra of the Supreme Court ruled that daughters have equal rights like that to sons on parental property. They shall remain coparcener throughout their life. The judgment said that the daughters have equal rights in the parental property as that of the son. This includes cases where the father died before the enactment of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005. The Judgement also said that according to Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, the status of coparcener on the daughter born before or after amendment in the same manner as that of the son.

  • The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 was introduced by the Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar in Lok Sabha on September 14, 2020. The bill is aimed at transforming agriculture in the country and raising farmers’ income.

  • Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar introduced – The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Shri Raosaheb Patil Danve introduced The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 in the Lok Sabha on September 14, 2020. The bills are aimed at transforming agriculture besides raising farmers’ income.

  • On September 17, 2020, the Union Food Processing Industries Minister Shrimati Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned over the protest against the three farm sector bills. The President of India Ramnath Govind accepted the resignation under the advice of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

  • On September 17, 2020, Lok Sabha passed two farm bills amidst protests from the opposition. The bills were on agriculture market reforms and contract farming provisions. The bill to amend the essential commodities Act, yet another farm bill was passed on September 15, 2020.

  • On September 21, 2020, Lok Sabha passed Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill 2020. It was first introduced in Rajya Sabha. The bill amends the Epidemic Diseases act 1897.

  • On October 21, 2020, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the adoption of the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj act.

  • On November 16, 2020, the President of Janata Dal, Nitish Kumar, was appointed as the Chief Minister of Bihar for the fourth consecutive term.

  • “Child-friendly” police station was established in Pune as per the guidelines provided by the National Commissioner for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).

  • The Assam Government recently tabled a bill that will abolish all the state-run Madrassas and will convert them into schools from April 1, 2021. The bill is called Assam Repealing Bill, 2020.

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