If you’re preparing for CLAT, Current Affairs play a significant role in securing a good score. So, you need to be updated with the daily current affairs and current happenings across the globe. Here is a list of some legal current affairs that took place this week.
Ⅰ. U.S.: USD 52 Billion Chips Bill
The U.S. Senate gave its approval to a bill for providing USD 52 billion in the U.S. as subsidies for the manufacturing of semiconductor chips. The procedural vote of 68-28 returns the legislation to the House of Representatives, starting a lengthy process that will eventually lead to a formal process known as a “conference,” in which politicians from both chambers will be seeking an agreement on a compromised version.
- The industry-wide chips shortage has disrupted the production in the electronics and automotive industries.
- Due to this shortage, certain firms have scaled back production
- There is a growing call in the US to decrease the reliance on other countries for semiconductor chips.
About the bill
In June, the Senate had first passed the chips legislation and also authorized USD 190 billion for strengthening the research and technical facility of the country so that it can compete with China. In February, the house had passed its version of this bill. The bills propose various ways of addressing the United States’ competitiveness with China on a wide range of topics, including trade and certain climate policies. The decision of the senate was another step that was taken to fortify the country’s supply chains, increase production in the United States, and outperform China as well as the rest of the globe.
Ⅱ. US-EU Agreement on Data Transfer Pact
The United States and the European Union have announced that they have an “in principle” agreement in place to create a new framework for the purpose of cross-border data transfers.
- This announcement has come as a much-needed relief for various tech giants like Google and Meta.
- For more than a year, officials have been planning out a deal with the aim to replace the invalidated Privacy Shield, an arrangement that allows firms to share Europeans’ data with the U.S.
Invalidation of Privacy Shield
In July 2020, the Privacy Shield was invalidated. This struck a blow to the tech companies that were relying on this mechanism for the US-EU data flow. The top court of the EU sided with privacy activist Max Schrems who had argued that the existing framework did not protect the people living in Europe from surveillance of the United States.
About the new agreement
This newly announced framework highlights the commitment toward data protection, privacy, and its related rules. A smooth flow of data between the EU and the US will help in facilitating economic relationships amounting to USD 7.1 trillion. This agreement will also help in enabling the trustworthiness and predictability of data flows across the Atlantic, thus safeguarding the privacy of all individuals.
Respite to the tech companies
This newly announced agreement will offer some respite for the tech companies that were facing legal uncertainty on moving data across the borders after the decision to do away with Privacy Shield was announced. Meta had announced that it might even have to shut down Instagram and Facebook in Europe over the issue of Privacy Shield.
Ⅲ. Power of States to Tax Lotteries
On 23rd March 2022, the Supreme Court announced that states are eligible to tax lottery schemes that are operating within the territories of the state as it falls under the activity of betting and gambling, which comes under taxation covered under the State List.
- This judgment was received under separate appeals that were filed by the states of Kerala and Karnataka.
- After losing before their respective high courts, the two states appealed to the Supreme Court to determine whether the states had legislative competence to frame lotteries tax law.
- The Supreme Court bench said that the states legislatures of Kerala and Karnataka were fully competent to enact a law for taxing lotteries and receive taxes under the activity of ‘betting and gambling’, which are being organized in the respective States. This also includes the lotteries conducted by state or central governments.
Which are the two laws that are being talked about?
The two laws were the Kerala Tax on Paper Lotteries Act, 2005, and the Karnataka Tax on Lotteries Act, 2004.
Judgement of the respective High Courts of the states
In 2010 and 2011, the Karnataka HC passed orders stating that the legislature of Karnataka had no such competence to pass the lottery related law and directed the state to refund the amounts that were deposited by the states (Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Meghalaya) which had organized various lottery schemes.
In 2020 and 2021, the High Court of Kerala had passed orders stating that the 2005 Act on tax was invalid and unconstitutional.
Ⅳ. Amendments to IPC, CrPC
The government has initiated the process of amendment to laws such as the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Indian Penal Code, and the Indian Evidence Act with the aim of making comprehensive changes in the criminal laws of the country.
- Suggestions have been asked by the Ministry of Home Affairs from the Chief Ministers, Governors, Union Territory Administrators, Lieutenant Governors, Chief Justices of the various High Courts, Chief Justice of India, Bar Council of the various States, Bar Council of India, law institutes, various universities, and all MPs regarding the comprehensive amendments that are to be made in criminal laws.
- In its 146th report, the department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs recommended a comprehensive review of the country’s criminal justice system.
- Previously, in its 111th and 128th reports, the Parliamentary Standing Committee emphasized the need to rationalize and reform the country’s criminal law by introducing comprehensive legislation in the Parliament instead of bringing about irregular amendments in the respective acts.
Why are the amendments being done?
The amendments are being done to make comprehensive changes in India’s criminal laws so as to provide speedy and affordable justice to the people of the nation. It will also look to create a legal structure that is people-centric.
About the constituted committee
Under the chairpersonship of Ranbir Singh, the Vice-chancellor of National Law University, Delhi, a committee has been constituted to suggest criminal law reforms.
Ⅴ. Haryana Anti-Conversion Bill – Update (March, 2022)
The Assembly of Haryana has passed the “Haryana Prevention of Unlawful Conversion of Religious Bill, 2022.” According to the government of Haryana, this Bill is aimed to prevent religious conversions through force.
- This bill looks to prevent the conversion of a person’s religion through force, fraudulent methods, allurement or under the guise of marriage.
- Similar Bills have also been passed in Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.
- The Bill was first tabled on 4th March.
- The state government has said that a person changing the religion of their free will not be penalized under this new bill, but it will look out to protect a person from forceful conversions.
Provisions under this bill
According to this Bill, if the conversion is done by force, allurement, or fraudulent methods, then the person responsible for such acts can be imprisoned for one to five years, and a minimum fine of Rs 1 lakh will be made applicable.
The Bill states that whoever attempts to convert a woman, a minor, or a person from the Scheduled Tribes or Scheduled Castes will be handed out a punishment that includes imprisonment for a term period of a minimum of four years and that can extend to 10 years. The person will also be liable to pay a fine of a minimum of Rs 3 lakh.
Stay tuned for more legal current affairs and other law related articles.
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