THROWBACK 2019: 4 Acts that shook up India’s legal landscape

Pranita Roy
Sunday, 29 December 2019

Four major Acts that created a lot of buzz in India this year were: the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2019, Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act 2019, Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019 and the latest burning issue of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019.

PUNE: Four major Acts that created a lot of buzz in India this year were: the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2019, Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act 2019, Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019 and the latest burning issue of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019. 

These four Acts earned both bouquets and brickbats and brought about mass participation from 
the citizens.

Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 
December 5  

The Act was introduced to protect the rights of transgender persons and their welfare.

The Act got President’s assent amidst repeated protests by the transgender community against it.

Community members have been opposing the provision which demands gender certificate of a transgender person.  Transgenders and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer persons have questioned the requirement of identity certificate for binary or cisgender persons. 

Another provision in the act which provides punishment of minimum six months to two years with a fine for sexual assault of a transgender has received criticism from the community. Transgenders and activists feel this is ‘discriminatory’ -- punishment for rape or sexual assault on a cisgender person is of minimum seven years to maximum life imprisonment.

Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019
July 31

The Act criminalises triple talaq (also known as Talaq-e-Biddat) -- which had attracted both support and criticism from several Muslim women and activists. Several women have welcomed the act that puts a man behind the bars for three years for pronouncing triple talaq to his wife.The Supreme Court had made instant divorce unconstitutional in August 2017.

“Now that triple talaq issue has been addressed by the government, we will aim to create a mass movement related to other issues as well. Because ultimately they are linked to each other somehow,” Benazir Tamboli, Chief of Mahila Manch of Muslim Satyashodak Mandal had told Sakal Times.

Social activist Tamanna Inamdar had also highlighted that the act doesn’t reveal any specification on how the husband will pay the alimony or take care of his wife and children after the talaq.

Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 
August 9

The Act received President’s assent after the abrogation of Article 370 that gave Jammu and Kashmir a special status. This Act came into effect from October 31, 2019. Under this, the state has been divided into Jammu and Kashmir union territory and Ladakh union territory. 

Soon after this development, it opened doors for many industries and educational institutions many educational institutions from across the country to establish centres at the valley. Among them was Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) which has proposed to start an educational centre in Kashmir. A team will soon be visiting the state to carry out a recce for the requirements over there. 

Fearing violence, the government had suspended phone, internet services from August 5, when the Bill was introduced in the Parliament. 

Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019
December 12

CAA has been one of the most controversial Acts in the history of India. It states to provide Indian citizenship to migrants of six religions including Hindu, Christian, Parsi, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The top ministers have stated that it will grant citizenship only to persecuted minorities in these three countries.
The President signed it on December 12.

Lakhs of citizens from across the country have protested against the act for being religiously discriminatory as it excludes granting citizenship to Muslims from the above-mentioned countries. Pune too witnessed several protests and rallies by students, activists and citizens, both for and against the act, in the past couple of weeks. The act is currently being heard in the Supreme Court.

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