Sextortion Now Offence, Non-bailable, Jail Up To 5 Yrs

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JAMMU — Jammu and Kashmir has become the first state in the country to have a law banning sexual exploitation of women by those in positions of authority, having a fiduciary relationship or a public servant.

The State Administrative Council (SAC) under the chairmanship of Governor Satya Pal Malik Friday approved the ‘Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2018’ and the ‘Jammu and Kashmir Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018’, an official spokesman said.

The Jammu and Kashmir Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018 seeks to amend the Ranbir Penal Code, whereby specific offence under section 354 E is being inserted to provide for the offence of ‘Sextortion’, he said.

Amendments are being made in section 154, 161 and Schedule of Criminal Procedure Code and section 53 A of the Evidence Act so as to bring sextortion at par with similar offences prescribed under Ranbir Penal Code, and amendment is being made in the Prevention of Corruption Act to amend the definition of misconduct and provide that demand for sexual favours would also constitute misconduct within the meaning of section 5, the spokesman added.

Trial Via Videoconferencing Approved 

The Jammu and Kashmir government Friday approved an amendment to the Code of Civil Procedure Bill, 2018, making videoconferencing an admissible method for presence of accused during trial.

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The State Administrative Council (SAC) under the chairmanship of Governor Satya Pal Malik approved the ‘Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2018’ Friday, an official spokesman said.

The Bill seeks to introduce the use of videoconferencing as an admissible method for the presence of accused in criminal trials, he said.

This will ensure speedy trial and remand, the spokesman said, adding it would also reduce security requirement for taking the accused from jails to courts.

RERA Established 

The State Administrative Council (SAC) under the chairmanship of Governor, Satya Pal Malik has approved establishment of first ever Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) to promote regulated and planned growth of real estate sector in the state.

 ‘Jammu and Kashmir Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill-2018’ approved by SAC provides for establishment of the maiden Real Estate Regulatory Authority, the State Advisory Council and the Real Estate Appellate Tribunal in the State to effectively and efficiently regulate this sector.

The move is aimed at promotingplanned development of real estate and to ensure sale of plots, apartments, buildings and other real estate projects, in an efficient and transparent manner and to protect the interests of consumers.

RERA would ensure a fair and just treatment of the buyers and protect them from any unscrupulous builders.

Pellet Injury Included: Human Organ Amendment Bill Approved 

The State Administrative Council (SAC) under the chairmanship of Governor, Satya Pal Malik approved the ‘Jammu and Kashmir Transplantation of Human Organ (Amendment) Bill, 2018’.

The Bill seeks to amend the various provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Transplantation of Human Organ Act 1997, to remove the difficulties faced by the State and bring the provisions of the State Act at par with the Central Act.

Some of the salient features of the bill include establishment of human organ retrieval centre, establishment of state human organs and tissues removal and storage network, maintaining of registry of the donors and recipients of the human organs and tissues, inclusion of grandfather, grandmother, grandson, granddaughter, as near relative in the definition clause, definition of “minor” and “transplant coordinator”, authorization of foreign national relative for transplantation, transplantation of tissue which would cover pellet injury, constitution of Authorization Committee, Hospitals engaged in removal, storage or transplantation of any human organ and tissue bank engaged in recovery, screening, testing, processing, storage, and distribution of tissues, inspection of tissue bank periodically, constitution of Advisory Committee to advise appropriate authority, powers of appropriate authority, registration of tissue bank, punishment for removal of human organ or tissues or both without permission from the authority, enhancement of punishment for contravention / violating of any of the provisions of the instant act and punishment for illegal dealing in human tissues.

Payment Date For Power Dues By Businesses Extended 

The State Administrative Council (SAC) headed by Governor Satya Pal Malik has approved extension of payment date for outstanding power dues for businesses under Amnesty Scheme for one month from the date of issuance of notification in this regard.

According to the SAC decision, the extension is, however, applicable with the modification that outstanding dues shall be paid in one instalment instead of three equal installments with reference to the Govt Order No: 273-FD of 2018 dated: 05-06-2018 for implementation of the Amnesty Scheme for industrialists, hoteliers, tourist resort owners, small scale industries and sick industries – waiving off interest, penalty and surcharge on power dues.

The SAC also approved making Govt Order No: 267-FD of 2018 dated: 30-05-2018 (treating hotels and resorts at par with the industries in so far as power tariff is concerned) valid from 1-4-2018 upto 31-03-2019 (financial year 2018-19) only.

It was also decided by SAC that the matter shall be referred to J&K State Electricity Regulatory Commission (JKSERC) for seeking comments regarding future financial years (2019-20 and thereafter), before a final decision could be arrived at in this regard.

Pertinently, the Government vide Order No: 271 of 2018 dated: 05.06.2018 issued by Finance Department accorded sanction to waiver off 100% interest and penalty on all power arrears payable upto 31.12.2017 owed by the Industrialists, Hoteliers and Tourist Resort Owners provided that the payment is made by or before 30.09.2018 in a maximum of 3 equal installments.

By virtue of another Govt Order No: 267-FD of 2018, dated: 30.05.2018 issued by Finance Department sanction was accorded by treating Hoteliers & resorts registered with J&K Tourism department at par with Industries, so far as power tariff is concerned.

Due to poor response from the consumers the government felt it appropriate to extend the payment of outstanding dues for a period of one month from the date of issuance of notification in this behalf with the change that outstanding dues shall be paid in one installment instead of three equal installments as per Govt order No: 273-FD of 2018 dated: 05.06.2018 and also extended the validity of Govt order No: 267-FD of 2018 dated: 30.05.2018, treating Hoteliers & Resorts at par with Industries for payment of power tariff upto 31.03.2019.

By giving the extension, the Government is providing consumers further time to avail the benefits of the Amnesty Scheme.

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