Current Session of Parliament may be extended to clear pending legislation

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Indian Express, July 16, 2019

Modi, according to sources, told the Parliamentary Party meeting that the government has pending legislative agenda so the session may be extended.

With the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament set to end on July 26, and with disruptions interrupting proceedings in the Rajya Sabha, the government may look to extend the current term. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing BJP MPs during the Parliamentary party meeting on Tuesday, has hinted at this possibility.

Modi, according to sources, told the Parliamentary Party meeting that the government has pending legislative agenda so the session may be extended.

Some, like the NIA Bill, have been cleared by the Lok Sabha but others, like the triple talaq Bill, for which the Business Advisory Committee has not even allocated time yet, the urgency is more. There is currently an ordinance in force which criminalises instant triple talaq, which will lapse once the current session is over. The government, though, also has the option of renewing the ordinance.

Parliament sources said extending the session is a “possibility”, and the government may take up only those Bills in the extra days for which there are currently ordinances in force.

Apart from the triple talaq ordinance, these include ones on Jammu and Kashmir reservation, Aadhaar laws, Companies Act and Indian Medical Council Act.

A government source said: “There is pending business, it is true, but overall there has been much business including legislative business, completed during the session. The government obviously retains the option of extending it if they feel the need, but there is much consensus building that needs to be done before that decision is finally taken…”

There has been no formal or informal communication to Opposition parties on extending the session. “This is a rumour they float every session. This is serious business. The real issue here is how they are passing Bills without scrutiny. That cannot be allowed,” said Trinamool MP Derek O’Brien.

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