Rajya Sabha passes 3 bills without debate
Economic Times, December 23, 2015
Three bills were
passed in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday within minutes and one was
introduced, as Congress and BJP came together to complete the
pending legislative business but Left parties staged a walkout
alleging that "A- Team and B-Team" have come together with an
"understanding" to pass the measures without any debate.
The bills were passed within a few minutes without debate amid
noisy scenes in the House. The bills passed were the Commercial
Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of
High Courts Bill, 2015, the Arbitration and Conciliation Act
(Amendment) Bill, 2015 and the Atomic Energy (Amendment) Bill,
While the first two
bills are aimed at creating commercial benches in select high
courts and amending a law on arbitration for speedy settlement
of high value business disputes, the Atomic Energy Bill will
allow state-run NPCIL to have collaboration with other PSUs in
the nuclear field.
The Atomic Energy
Bill that was passed in Lok Sabha on December 14, proposes to
amend the 1962 Atomic Energy Act to change the definition of
"government company" with a view to expand its scope by
including such joint venture companies which may be formed
between NPCIL and other PSUs.
Radha Mohan Singh also introduced the Rajendra Central
Agriculture University Bill, 2015 that seeks to convert the
existing agriculture university of Bihar in Pusa to a central
university for the development of agriculture and agricultural
Opposing the passage
of bills without discussion, D Raja (CPI) said it was not a good
precedent to pass bills in such a manner. K N Balagopal (CPI-M)
said the Congress and BJP were acting as A-Team and B-Team and
not allowing the House to discuss the bills.
member Sukhendu Sekhar Roy also agreed with Raja. They felt that
there were some "fundamental issues" with the Atomic Energy Bill
Raja, who was a
member in the Parliamentary panel that examined the Commercial
Courts Bill, said there was "no consensus" on the measure and it
will have "serious repurcussions" for justice delivery to the
with him, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien cited "compulsion" in
allowing the passage of some bills without discussion due to the
House not functioning earlier.
Hitting out at
Congress for allowing the passage of the bills without debate,
CPI(M)'s Balagopal said the Congress and BJP were acting as
A-Team and B-Team. "This is what Congress and BJP are doing.
A-Team and B-Team are playing and not allowing the House to
discuss the bills," he said.
Backing his party
colleague, Sitaram Yechury said it is "not fair" if both
Congress and BJP have come to such an "understanding".
"If you are going to
do this, even our presence is not required," Yechury said and
led the walkout of all the Left members from the House.
also joined ranks to oppose the taking up of the Sugar Cess
(Amendment Bill) 2015, that seeks to raise the sugar cess
ceiling from Rs 25 to Rs 200 per quintal.
The Bill was passed
by Lok Sabha earlier this month but the government's plea that
it will help canegrowers who are in a crisis and it facilitated
rehabilitation and modernisation of sugar factories, was not
accepted by Opposition members.
Congress, AIADMK, DMK, Left and JD(U) opposed taking up the bill
even after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tried to convince them.
The bill will automatically become a law after 14 days even if
not returned by Rajya Sabha to Lok Sabha as the Speaker has
declared it a money bill.
Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said the bill will ensure an amount of
Rs 3000 crore for the benefit of farmers and not hurt common man
as they are already being given subsidy on sugar through the
Public Distribution Sysem.
Opposition members did not allow the bill to be taken up, with
Kurien telling the concerned minister that since there was "no
consensus", he was not taking it up.
The issue also led
to an exchange of words between Kurien and Yechury, who said the
Chair should not be blamed for not discussing the bill.
Buoyed by the
passage of three bills, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M
Venkaiah Naidu urged the members to pass the long-pending Real
Estate Bill too, which the Congress objected to. Congress Chief
Whip in Rajya Sabha Satyavrat Chaturvedi told Naidu, "let us not
end the session in sparring. Do not come with any new bill".
Naresh Gujaral (SAD) said the Congress was blocking all bills
which could promote the economy.
resented that the government was bringing items which were not
listed in the day's agenda.
"Aankhon Hi Aankhon
Me Ishara Ho Gaya," said Yechury in a tongue-and-cheek remark
suggesting an understanding between BJP and Congress.Earlier in
the day, as protesting Congress members forced repeated
adjournments, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said since Question Hour cannot be taken up
in the din, the House should take up the bills for passage on
which an agreement was arrived at an all party meeting on
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