The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Friday adopted a Bill that enhances punishment for offences against women and children including causing deaths by demanding dowry, stalking and selling minors for prostitution. The maximum punishment for selling and buying minors (IPC, 372, 373) for prostitution would be life imprisonment from 10 years now and a minimum sentence of seven years has been inserted.
The Bill, piloted by Minister for Law, Courts and Prisons, C Ve Shanmugam amended the Indian Penal Code in its applicability to Tamil Nadu. On September 16 last year, Chief Minister K Palaniswami had announced in the Assembly that the punishment for crimes against women and children would be made more stringent.
With the amendment to the IPC, the minimum punishment for dowry deaths (IPC 304-B) shall be 10 years from the present seven and for disrobing (IPC 354-B) the minimum sentence is enhanced to five years from three now and the maximum punishment, ten years from seven. Similarly, stalking (IPC 354-D), on a second or subsequent conviction would see a maximum of seven years imprisonment from the present five.
A Bill, moved by Higher Education Minister K P Anbalagan providing for establishment of a varsity, “Dr J Jayalalithaa University” headquartered in Villupuram was adopted. Mr Palaniswami had last year announced setting up of the varsity by bifurcating Thiruvalluvar University. A Bill to amend the Annamalai University Act 2013 and the TN Dr MGR Medical University Chennai Act, 1987 was also adopted.
It was to give effect to a decision on recognising the Chidambaram based Rajah Muthiah Medical College and Hospital and dental and nursing colleges and hospitals there as government institutions. Orders were issued recently for vesting the colleges and hospitals attached to Annamalai University with the government health department. TN Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 was amended to repeal a provision relating to levy of cess on sugarcane under section 14 of the TN Sugar Factories Control Act, 1949 since cess has been subsumed with the implementation of the GST regime.
All these four Bills were introduced, considered and passed on Friday. An amendment Bill, which was introduced on Thursday to replace an ordinance banning cyberspace gambling was passed. Online games like rummy and poker involving betting shall invite imprisonment up to two years or fine not exceeding ₹ 10,000 or both, according to the Bill.
Bills to amend municipal laws and TN Panchayats Act to extend the term of office of the special officers of civic bodies for a further period of six months, up to 30 June 2021 was adopted. A Bill amending TN Co-operative Societies Act, to bring in a shorter time limit on inquiry and related aspects over fraud or misappropriation in societies was passed.