President Ram Nath Kovind approves narcotics and election amendment bills passed in Parliament
President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill of 2021 and the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill of 2021 which were passed during the winter session of Parliament which has just ended amid an unprecedented outcry.
With the approval of the President, the two bills were transformed into laws. The president gave his assent to both bills on Wednesday.
In accordance with a notice in the gazette, the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Act 2021 and the Election Laws (Amendment) Act 2021 received the President’s assent.
The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Act 2021 amends the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985 and corrects a drafting “anomaly” created by a 2014 amendment to parent legislation. It replaces the 2021 Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Ordinance. The law regulates certain operations (such as manufacture, transport and consumption) related to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
The 2021 amendment contains a legislative statement on what an article refers to. It indicates that clause (viii a) of section 2 corresponds to clause (viii b) of section 27, since 2014, when the provision was first introduced. Section 27A of the NDPS Act of 1985 prescribes the sanction for the financing of illicit traffic and the accommodation of offenders.
Under the Act, it is an offense to fund certain illicit activities (such as growing cannabis or manufacturing narcotics) or harboring people who engage in them. Those found guilty of this offense will be punished with a rigorous imprisonment of at least ten years (extendable up to 20 years) and a fine of at least one lakh rupee.
However, the Election Laws (Amendment) Act 2021 allows voter registration officers to research the Aadhaar number of people who wish to register as voters for the purpose of establishing their identity. it allows voter registration officers to request Aadhaar numbers from “persons already registered on the voters list for the purpose of authenticating voter registration entries, and to identify the entry of the same person’s name on the list. electoral list from more than one constituency or several times in the same constituency.
The amendment specifies that “no request for the entry of a name on the electoral list will be refused and no entry on the electoral list will be deleted for the inability of an individual to provide or indicate the Aadhaar number for sufficient reason that may be prescribed. ”Such persons will be authorized to provide other prescribed alternative documents.
In the draft law, it was notified that various articles of the Law on the Representation of the People will be amended. The statement of the objects and reasons for the bill indicates that article 23 of the PR law will be amended to allow the linking of electoral roll data with the Aadhaar ecosystem “in order to curb the threat of multiple registrations of the same person in different places “.
In accordance with the amendment to article 14 of the PR law, it will make it possible to have four “qualification” dates for those eligible to register as voters. As of now, January 1 of each year is the only qualifying date. People who are 18 or before January 1 can register as voters. Those who turn 18 after that have to wait a full year to register on the electoral roll.
From now on, “January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 of a calendar year” will be the qualifying dates with regard to the preparation or revision of the electoral lists.
The amendment of article 20 of the PR law of 1950 and article 60 of the PR law of 1951 will allow elections to become gender-neutral for military voters. The amendment will also help to replace the word “wife” with the word “spouse” making the statutes “gender neutral”. Whereas the wife of a soldier has the right to be registered as a service voter, but not the husband of an army officer, in accordance with the provisions of the electoral law. The term “wife” being replaced by the term “spouse”, that will change.