Current News - News Crux - Bill/Act/Amendment

Amendment to the IT Rules, 2021

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has released an amendment to the IT Rules, 2021, to regulate "online real money games”.

  • The I&B Ministry objected to recent instances of mainstream English and Hindi newspapers carrying such advertisements and warned of legal action for non-compliance.
  • MeitY's amendment to the IT Rules requires real money gaming platforms to register with a self-regulatory body (SRB) to determine whether the game is "permissible."
  • Three SRBs will be recognized soon.
  • Games that are not deemed "permissible" may not get protection under the amendment, and states may take action against them for being gambling or betting platforms.

Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2023

Recently, the Lok Sabha has passed the Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which seeks to amend the Competition Act, 2022,

  • The bill allows the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to penalize entities engaging in anti-competitive behavior based on their global turnover, not just their annual domestic turnover.
  • While the provision is not exclusively applicable to tech companies, they are likely to be the most affected due to their global reach.
  • Tech companies typically earn smaller revenue from their India operations compared to their income in other regions such as the US and Europe.
  • The new provision may lead to unfair and punitive outcomes, according to head of competition at law firm.
  • The CCI will have greater say in mergers and acquisitions, and entities will have to seek its approval if the deal value is worth more than Rs 2,000 crore and both parties have substantial business operations in India.
  • This move could pose new challenges for global technology companies, particularly Big Tech firms.

Big Tech firms refer to large, multinational technology companies that dominate their respective industries through their size, market share, and influence. These companies typically have a significant impact on the global economy and play a major role in shaping technological innovation, digital communication, and online platforms. Some examples of Big Tech firms include Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft.

Free Healthcare Services to All Residents in Rajasthan

On March 21, 2023, the Rajasthan Assembly passed the Right to Health Bill, becoming the first state in India to provide every resident with the right to access free outpatient and inpatient services at all public health facilities.

Features of the Bill include:

  • Access to free healthcare services for state residents, obligations on the state government to ensure right to health and maintain public health, and establishment of Health Authorities at state and district levels
  • Emergency care, stabilization, and referral provided without prepayment of fees or charges by any public health institution or designated health care center
  • Government will reimburse healthcare providers if patients do not pay charges after emergency care
  • Patients cannot be denied or delayed treatment due to police clearances or reports
  • Any establishment violating the Bill or its rules will be fined up to ₹10,000 for first instance and up to ₹20,000 for subsequent contraventions

Overhaul of the IT Act, 2000

On March 10, 2023, the Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology informed that the proposed Digital India Act, 2023, will involve a comprehensive overhaul of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

  • The Act will cover aspects such as AI, deepfakes, cybercrime, competition issues among internet platforms, and data protection.(Deepfakes are digital media, including video, audio, and images, that have been manipulated using Artificial Intelligence to create hyper-realistic falsifications).
  • The 'safe harbour' principle, which allows intermediaries on the internet to avoid liability for posts made by third parties, will be reconsidered.
  • The Act will seek to address new complex forms of user harms such as catfishing, doxxing, trolling, and phishing.
  • Catfishing: Pretending to be someone else online in order to deceive others.
  • Doxxing: Publishing or revealing someone's private information online without their consent.
  • Trolling: Deliberately posting inflammatory or offensive messages online with the aim of provoking others.
  • Phishing: Attempting to trick people into giving away sensitive information or money through fraudulent emails, messages or websites.

Virtual Digital Asset Regulation

On March 9, 2023, the Finance Ministryhas bought a range of virtual digital asset (VDA) transactions under the ambit of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002, to curb money laundering and illegal activities involving virtual digital assets.

  • Virtual digital assets were defined as any code or number or token generated through cryptographic means with the promise or representation of having inherent value.
  • Any exchange between virtual digital assets and fiat currencies, exchange between one or more forms of virtual digital assets, and transfer of virtual digital assets.
  • Safekeeping or administration of virtual digital assets, instruments enabling control over virtual digital assets, and participation in and provision of financial services related to an issuer’s offer and sale of a virtual digital asset.
  • As a result, VDA entities such as exchanges, custodians, or administrators handling customer funds will have to comply with PMLA laws and report suspicious transactions to the Financial Intelligence Unit India (FIU-IND) like banks do.

Amendment to SC Judges Rules

On 23rd August 2022, the Union Government amended the Supreme Court Judges Rules of 1959 in exercise of powers conferred to it under the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1958.

  • The amended Rules are called the Supreme Court Judges (Amendment) Rules, 2022.

Changes

  • Accommodation: The Supreme Court Judges Rules has been amended to entitle a retired Chief Justice rent-free Type-VII accommodation in Delhi for six months from the date of superannuation. The accommodation would be other than the designated official residence.
  • Security Cover: A retired Chief Justice and judges of the Supreme Court shall be entitled to a chauffeur, secretarial assistant and a round-the-clock security cover in addition to his or her personal security guard for a period of a year from the date of retirement.
  • Other Facilities: A retired Chief Justice and judges should be extended, as per protocol, courtesies at ceremonial lounges at airports.

General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill 2021

On 11th August 2021, the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021 was passed by the Parliament.

Major Features of the Bill

  • It will allow the government to cut its share in public sector insurance companies, paving the way for more private sector participation.
  • The Bill has proposed amendments to the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act, 1972.
  • The Bill removes the mandatory provision of 51 percent shareholding of the central government in General Insurance Corporation of India, National Insurance, New India Assurance, Oriental Insurance and United India Insurance companies.

National Commission for Homoeopathy (Amendment) Bill 2021

  • On 11th August 2021, the Parliament passed National Commission for Homoeopathy (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
  • The Bill amends the National Commission for Homoeopathy Act, 2020.
  • The 2020 Act replaced the Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973.The 1973 Act set up the Central Council of Homeopathy for regulating homoeopathic education and practice.The 2020 Act replaced the Council with a national commission for regulating homoeopathic education and practice.
  • The National Commission for Homoeopathy (Amendment) Bill, 2021 proposes to save the actions done, decisions made, liability incurred by the Board of Governors constituted as per the provisions of the Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 till the constitution of National Commission under National Commission for Homoeopathy Act, 2020.

National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (Amendment) Bill, 2021

On 11th August 2021, the Parliament passed and National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

Major Features of the Bill

  • The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (Amendment) Bill, 2021 has proposed amendments to save the actions done, decisions made, liability incurred by the Board of Governors constituted as per the provisions of the Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 till the constitution of National Commission under National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Act, 2020.

Parliament passes Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill 2021

  • On 9th August 2021, the Parliament has passed the Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
  • The Bill seeks to amend the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008.
  • The Bill converts certain offences into civil defaults and changes the nature of punishment for these offences.
  • It also defines small LLP, provides for appointment of certain adjudicating officers and establishment of special courts.
  • It will help start-ups, LLP professionals and Chartered Accountants.
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