NEW DELHI: The Union cabinet, on Wednesday, cleared the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 that advocates a time-bound trial and repatriation of the victims and prescribes stringent penalties---life imprisonment for grave cases-- for the perpetrators.
The bill that aims to tackle trafficking through the raid, rescue and rehabilitation model mandates a time-bound trial and repatriation of the victims within a period of one year from taking into cognisance.
The bill also creates dedicated institutional mechanisms at district, state and Central Level. Under the bill, National Investigation Agency, under the Ministry of Home Affairs will double up as an Anti-Trafficking Bureau at the national level.
Moreover, rehabilitation fund which has been created for the first time, will be used for the physical, psychological and social well-being of the victim including education, skill development, health care/psychological support, legal aid and safe accommodation, the bill suggests.
It also prescribes punishment ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment and fine of up to Rs 1 lakh for those convicted of trafficking others and says that in order to break the organized nexus, both at the national and international level, their properties will also be attached.
“The bill addresses one of the most pervasive yet invisible crimes affecting the most vulnerable persons especially women and children,” a government statement said.
“It has been prepared in consultation with line Ministries, Departments, State Governments, NGOs and domain experts. A large number of suggestions received by the Ministry of women and child development in hundreds of petitions have been incorporated.”