Opposition parties write to Naidu, say bills being passed without any scrutiny

Live Mint, July 27, 2019

Seventeen political parties have written to Rajya Sabha chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu expressing concern over the number of bills that are being voted through without any legislative scrutiny.

The move came a day after the Opposition staged a walkout over the passage of the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019, in the Rajya Sabha.

On Thursday, the Congress and the CPI(M), protested in the upper House after a motion to send the RTI Bill for scrutiny by a select committee was turned down. The Opposition members have now asked Naidu to step in and look into the “hurried” passage of crucial bills in the upper House.

“In the 14th Lok Sabha, 60% of bills were sent for scrutiny to parliamentary committees. In the 15th Lok Sabha, 71% of bills were sent for scrutiny. In the 16th Lok Sabha, only 26% of bills were sent for scrutiny. Now, in the 17th Lok Sabha, 14 bills have already been passed in the first session. None of these bills have been referred to a standing committee or select committee for legislative scrutiny,” the letter by the MPs said.

Crucial bills, such as the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment (UAPA) Bill, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Bill and the RTI Bill have been passed by both Houses.

“We wish to register our serious concern over the manner in which the government is hurriedly passing legislations without any scrutiny by parliamentary standing or select committees,” the letter said.

Signatories include Derek O’Brien (Trinamool), Ram Gopal Yadav (SP), Tiruchi Siva (DMK) and Manoj Kumar Jha (RJD).

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