The Ministry of Women and Child Development placed the Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021, in the public and sought stakeholders' comments.
Key features of Draft anti-trafficking bill
- Applicability: All citizens of India, within and outside the country, persons on any ship or aircraft registered in India.
- It shall apply to every offense of trafficking in persons with cross-border implications.
- Widened scope: It also widens the definition of the “victim” by including transgenders, besides women and children.
- Punishment: The bill proposes that any offense of trafficking “shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven years but which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine which shall not be less than one lakh rupees”.
- It proposes more severe penalties for “aggravated offenses” and seeks to crackdown on organized crime syndicates.
- Investigation: The bill also says that the investigation needs to be completed within 90 days from the date of the arrest of the accused.
- Authority: The draft Bill empowers the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to carry out an investigation, prosecution, and coordination in cases of trafficking.
- It will set up a National Anti Trafficking Committee, state, and district levels committees.
- The worker-centric Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976, along with CrPC and IPC.
- Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act, 2015, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, along with the IPC and CrPC.