The Cabinet on Thursday cleared the long-pending Women's Reservation Bill that provides for setting aside 33 per cent of seats in Parliament and the state legislatures for women and it is likely to be tabled in the current session of Parliament, informed sources said.
"The cabinet today cleared the Women's Reservation Bill and it is likely to be introduced in the current session of Parliament," the sources said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh presided over the cabinet meeting.
The standing committee report on the bill was tabled in both houses of Parliament on Dec 17, 2009 amid protests by the Samajwadi Party (SP), Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
Parliamentarians of the three parties, which have been opposing the measure, were up on their feet as soon as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Shahnawaz Hussain tabled the report in the Lok Sabha.
There were similar scenes in the Rajya Sabha when Congress MP Jayanti Natrajan tabled the report.
The standing committee had strongly recommended that "reservation for seats for women is a valid and necessary strategy to enhance women's participation in the decision/policy making process".
"The department related standing committee on personnel, public grievances, law and justice headed by Jayanti Natrajan MP, Rajya Sabha has presented its 36th report on the Constitution (108th Amendment) Bill, 2008 popularly known as the Women's Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Dec 17, 2009," a release issued by the Rajya Sabha secretariat said.
"The report has also been laid on the table of the Lok Sabha on the same day," it added.