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Rajya Sabha passes Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019 while Lok Sabha clears Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 and Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2019; Home Minister Amit Shah says, Amendments to UAPA will keep anti-terror agencies two steps ahead of terrorists.

Both Houses of Parliament have seen heavy legislative business being transacted in this session.  The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, popularly known as the Anti-Terrorism Bill. Congress walked out of the House demanding the bill be sent to a standing committee .

The Act provides special procedures to deal with terrorist activities, among other things. The existing Bill allows for organizations to be designated terrorist groups. The provisions in the amended bill allow for terror suspects to also be designated. It also empowers the NIA to seize properties and conduct investigations.

After this Unregulated deposits scheme bill was also discussed in Lok Sabha. It provides for a comprehensive mechanism to ban ponzi schemes and to protect the interest of depositors duped by such unregulated deposit schemes.

In Rajya Sabha, the POCSO Amendment Bill was passed.  The Act seeks to protect children from offences such as sexual assault, sexual harassment, and pornography. It provides for stricter punishment for culprits who commit sexual offenses against children including rape. Simultaneously, there is a provision for jail and heavy penalties for child pornography as well.

Earlier in the Rajya Sabha, in response to a question during Question Hour, Union Minister of State for Home, G. Kishan Reddy said instances of communal clashes have decreased over the last five years.

The term of the five members of the Rajya Sabha ended on Wednesday. All of them are from Tamil Nadu including CPI’s D Raja and AIADMK’s Dr. Maitreyyan.

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