SAC nod to Criminal Law, Human Organ Amendment Bills

Approves upgradation of 5 SDHs

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Dec 14: State Administrative Council (SAC) which met under the chairmanship of Governor Satya Pal Malik has given nod for enactment of law to ban ‘Sextortion’, amendment in J&K Transplantation of Human Organ Act, 1997 and up-gradation of five Sub-District Hospitals as District Hospitals.
An official spokesman said that the SAC approved the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2018 and the Jammu and Kashmir Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018 as a result of which J&K has become first State in the country to have a law explicitly banning sexual exploitation of women by those in positions of authority, having a fiduciary relationship or a public servant.
The Bill seeks to amend the Ranbir Penal Code whereby specific offence under Section 354 E is being inserted to provide for the offence of ‘Sextortion’. Amendments are being made in Sections 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.
Amendment is also being made in Prevention of Corruption Act to amend the definition of misconduct and to provide that demand for sexual favors would also constitute misconduct within the meaning of Section 5.
It is pertinent to mention here that EXCELSIOR in its edition dated November 30, 2018 had exclusively reported that keeping in view rise in occurrences and instances of women being victimised by the persons in authority or in fiduciary relationship, the Governor’s Administration has decided to amend Prevention of Corruption Act, Ranbir Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act in order to tighten noose around those indulging in ‘Sextortion’.
It was also mentioned in the news that SAC would give nod to these amendments anytime after December 5, 2018.
The Jammu and Kashmir Transplantation of Human Organ (Amendment) Bill, 2018 seeks to amend various provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Transplantation of Human Organ Act 1997, to remove the difficulties being 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.
The issue of organ transplant was also exclusively highlighted by EXCELSIOR in its edition dated November 18, 2018. It was mentioned in the report that there is no focus on implementation of Jammu and Kashmir Transplantation of Human Organs Act, which was enacted 21 years back with the objective of regulation of removal, storage and transplantation of human organs and to ensure prevention of commercial dealings of human organs.
Meanwhile, SAC accorded sanction to the creation of 158 posts of various categories for the up-gradation of five Sub District Hospitals (SDHs) to the level of District Hospitals.
Out of the 158 posts, 27 posts have been created for SDH Ganderbal, 23 for SDH Bandipora, 34 for SDH Samba, 35 for SDH Reasi and 39 for SDH Shopian.
With up-gradation of these Sub-District Hospitals to the level of District Hospitals, healthcare facilities at Samba, Reasi, Bandipora, Ganderbal and Shopian will be further strengthened.
The SAC has also approved the ‘Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2018’, which seeks to introduce use of video-conferencing as an admissible method for presence of accused in criminal trials.
This will ensure speedy trial and remand. It also reduces the requirement of security for taking accused from jail to courts.