Thursday, August 5, 2021

Important Legislations protecting the rights of citizens Passed by the Parliament in the last year : A brief

The government has taken various legislative measures for protecting the rights of citizens. Some of the legislations in brief:

1)The government has introduced the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Bill, 2020 in the Lok Sabha on 3rd of this month. It provides for an outer limit of 24 weeks for medical termination of pregnancy. The limit is in sync with the advancements in medical technology that allow for the removal of foetus at a relatively advanced state of pregnancy. The bill aims to ensure the confidentiality of the process and respects the privacy of women.

2) The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 was introduced in the Lok Sabha in July last year. The Select Committee examined the bill and its report was tabled in the Rajya Sabha on 5th of last month. The bill aims to control the unethical practices in surrogacy, prevent commercialization of surrogacy and prohibit potential exploitation of surrogate mothers and children born through surrogacy. It allows for altrusitic surrogacy but not commercial surrogacy.

3)Union Cabinet had also approved the Assisted Reproductive Technologies Regulation Bill, 2020 last month. The bill intends to make genetic testing of the embryo mandatory before implantation for the benefit of the child born through Assisted Reproductive Technologies-ART. The Regulation of ART services in the country leads to the infertile couples being more ensured and confident of the ethical practices in ART clinics.

4)The Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Act, 2019 was enacted on 5th December last year to prohibit the production, manufacture, import, export, sale, distribution, storage and advertisement of electronic cigarettes to protect the people from harm. The government wants to save the large youth population of the country that would have been targeted by e- cigarette companies.

5)The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2019 as enacted on 5th December last year provides for greater accountability on the part of the Central and State governments for issues concerning Transgender persons. It prohibits discrimination in educational institutions, employment and related matters such as termination, access to public services, healthcare, acquisition of property and so on.

6)Besides, the government had enacted HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017 on 20th of April, 2017. The Act states that the Central and State governments have to provide anti-retroviral therapy for persons with HIV or AIDS. The Act lists various grounds on which discrimination against HIV positive persons and those living with them is prohibited.

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