President Ram Nath Kovind approves of narcotics, elections

Both the Bills have been converted into Acts with the assent of the President. (file)

New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which were passed during the recently concluded winter session of Parliament amid unprecedented uproar. Were.

Both the Bills have been converted into Acts with the assent of the President. The President gave his assent to both the bills on Wednesday.

According to a gazette notification, the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Act, 2021 and the Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021 have received the assent of the President.

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Act, 2021 amends the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 and drafts an “anomaly” created by the 2014 amendment to the principal law. It replaces the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021. The Act regulates certain actions (such as manufacture, transportation and consumption) related to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

The 2021 amendment includes a legislative declaration on what a clause refers to. It says that section 2 clause (viii a) corresponds to clause (viii b) in section 27, ever since the provision was first introduced in 2014. Section 27A of the NDPS Act, 1985, prescribes punishment for financing illegal traffic and harboring criminals.

Under the Act, it is an offense to harbor certain illegal activities (such as cultivation of cannabis or manufacture of narcotic drugs) or persons engaged in them. Persons found guilty of this offense shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment of not less than ten years (for up to 20 years) and with fine which shall not be less than one lakh rupees.

However, the Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021 allows the Electoral Registration Officers to obtain the Aadhaar number of those who wish to register as a voter for the purpose of establishing identity. It allows the Electoral Registration Officers to ask for Aadhaar numbers from persons already included in the electoral rolls for the purpose of authentication of entries in the electoral rolls, and identification of the same person’s name registered in the electoral rolls of the maximum number of voters. in one constituency or more than once in the same constituency.”

The amendment makes it clear that “no application for the inclusion of a name in the electoral roll shall be rejected and no entry in the electoral roll shall be deleted for reason of sufficient reason such as the inability to furnish Aadhaar number or notify , as may be prescribed.” Such persons will be allowed to produce such other optional documents as may be prescribed.

It was notified in the Bill that various sections of the Representation of the People Act would be amended. The Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill said that Section 23 of the RP Act would be amended to allow linking of voter list data to the Aadhaar ecosystem “to prevent the menace of multiple enrollments of the same person at different locations”. For.”

As per the amendment to Section 14 of the RP Act, it will allow eligible people to have four “eligible” dates to register as voters. As of now, January 1 of each year is the only qualifying date. Those who turn 18 on or before January 1 can register as a voter. After this, those who turn 18 have to wait for a full year to register as a voter.

Now, “the first day of January, the first day of April, the first day of July and the first day of October in a calendar year” shall be the qualifying dates in respect of the preparation or revision of electoral rolls.

Amendments to Section 20 of the RP Act, 1950 and Section 60 of the RP Act, 1951 will make the election gender-neutral for service voters. The amendment would help replace the word “wife” with the word “spouse”, making the statute “gender-neutral”. As per the provisions of the electoral law, the wife of an armyman is entitled to be enrolled as a service voter, but the husband of a woman army officer is not. With the word “spouse” in place of the word “wife”, it will change.

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