CHANDIGARH: The Punjab Cabinet on Tuesday approved amendments to the CrPC and the IPC to make sacrilege of all religious texts punishable with life imprisonment.
The Cabinet also approved a series of other Bills to be tabled before the Assembly in the forthcoming session.
It has approved insertion of Section 295AA to the IPC to provide that “whoever causes injury, damage or sacrilege to Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Srimad Bhagwad Geeta, Holy Quran and Holy Bible with the intention to hurt the religious feelings of the people, shall be punished with imprisonment for life.”
The meeting okayed the withdrawal of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2016 (Bill No.7-PLA-2016) and the Indian Penal Code (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2016 (Bill No.6-PLA-2016), passed in the 12th session of 14th Vidhan Sabha, 2016. It has given nod to the introduction of ‘The Code of Criminal Procedure (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2018 and the Indian Penal Code (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2018, in the ensuing session of the Vidhan Sabha.
Reservation in promotions for SC employees
In order to safeguard the interests of Scheduled Castes, the Cabinet okayed the introduction of a Bill in the Vidhan Sabha for ensuring restoration of 14 per cent reservation in Group A and B and 20 per cent reservation in Group C and D to the ST members in promotions.
The enactment of the legislation would pave the way for implementation of the benefit of reservation.
In its judgment on February 20, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had struck down sections 4 (3), 4(4) and 4 (8) of “The Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes (Reservation in Services) Act, 2006” following which the state government had decided to restore 14 per cent reservation in Group A and B and 20 percent reservation in Group C and D to SC employees.
New Higher Education Council for state
In another move, the Cabinet approved the constitution of Punjab State Higher Education Council by bringing a Bill in Vidhan Sabha. The move is aimed at ensuring planned and coordinated development of Higher Education. The Higher Education Council headed by the Punjab Chief Minister will have the Higher Education Minister as its Vice-Chairman and the Administrative Secretary, Higher Education as Member Secretary.