HRD minister Kapil Sibal was today prevented from moving an amendment bill in the Rajya Sabha on Copyright Act by the Opposition, which saw in it "conflict of interest". Even before Sibal could move the Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2010, for consideration, members from BJP, JD-U, AIADMK, BSP and TDP rose on their feet saying the minister cannot introduce it since his lawyer son represented Super Cassette Industries, a market leader in the music industry.
"According to Rule 294 of Parliament's ethics committee, a member having direct or indirect interest in a matter cannot move a bill... He has conflict of interest," Shivanand Tiwari (JD-U) said. He was supported by BJP members including S S Ahluwalia and Prakash Javadekar besides members from other parties including AIADMK. Though parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal came in support of Sibal, the Opposition did not allow him (Bansal) to speak despite deputy chairman K Rahman Khan's repeated pleas. "His (Sibal's) son is independent as a lawyer.
This is not in good taste. This is rather unparliamentary," Bansal said. Amid the ruckus, Khan adjourned the House for 15 minutes.
When the House re-assembled, he adjourned it for the day as the protesting members did not relent. Khan said there was no logic behind their protest as the minister has not even stood up to move the Bill. The bill seeks to amend the Copyright Act, 1957 to fine-tune it with relevant international treaties and to introduce a system of statutory licensing to protect the owners of literary or musical works.