The year 2019 saw three full sessions of Parliament - Interim Budget Session from January 31 to February 13, Budget Session from June 17 to August 7 and Winter Session from November 18 to December 13. It also witnessed proceedings during the last nine days of Winter Session which commenced on December 11, 2018, and ended on January 9, 2019. During the Interim Budget Session, four legislations were passed by Parliament. Year Ender 2019: From Bifurcation of Jammu & Kashmir to Devendra Fadnavis's Early Morning Swearing-In, News That Stunned The Nation.
During the Budget Session, Parliament approved 28 Bills, including the one that bifurcates Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories and another that criminalises triple talaq. The Winter Session of Parliament saw the passage of 45 Bills. As 2019 draws to a close, LatestLY complies a list of key legislation passed in this year. Year Ender 2019: From Manohar Parrikar to Sushma Swaraj And Sheila Dikshit, Politicians That India Lost This Year.
The 124th Constitutional Amendment Bill 2019: Parliament in January approved the 124th Constitutional Amendment Bill which provides 10 percent reservation in jobs and educational institutions to economically backward section in the general category.
The Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018: Both Houses of Parliament cleared the Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018 during the Interim Budget Session. The legislation removes leprosy as a ground for seeking divorce or separation of Hindu and Muslim couples.
The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019: Parliament passed this legislation to amend the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. The Bill allows voluntary use of Aadhaar as proof of identity for opening a bank account and procuring a mobile phone.
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019: This Bill was passed by Parliament to make punishment more stringent for committing sexual crimes against children including the death penalty. The amendments also provide for levy of fines and imprisonment to curb child pornography.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019: Parliament passed this legislation which criminalises instant triple talaq among Muslims and fixes a jail term of three years for the husband.
The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019: This Bill allows the government to decide salaries and tenures of the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and Information Commissioners.
The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019: Parliament approved amendments made to provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The changes empower the government to designate individuals as terrorists and seize their properties.
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019: In a bid to impose strict penalties on violation of traffic rules and address the dire state of road safety in the country, Parliament approved amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019: With the passage of this Bill, Jammu and Kashmir lost its statehood. Moreover, the Bill bifurcates Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories - Jammu and Kashmir with a legislature and Ladakh without one.
The Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Bill, 2019: This legislation replaced the ordinance promulgated in September last year. The Bill criminalises the production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution and advertisement of e-cigarettes in India.
The Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019: This legislation was cleared to amend the Special Protections Group Act, 1988. Under this Bill, SPG cover will be provided to the Prime Minister, and members of his immediate family residing with him at his official residence. Former Prime Ministers, and his immediate family members residing with him at the residence allotted to him will also get the SPG cover for a period of five years from the date on which he ceases to hold the office of Prime Minister.
The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth Amendment) Bill, 2019: This legislation was passed to extend the reservation for SCs and STs in the Lower House and the state assemblies by ten years.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019: This Bill, which has now become an Act, provides Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who arrived in India on or before December 31, 2014, due to religious persecution.
A presidential order scrapping special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 was also issued during the extended Budget Session. Another historic decision taken by the government in 2019 was approval to the Kartarpur Corridor which connects the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India's Gurdaspur district.