Govt red-faced as JAC bill copies marked with error

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 12, 2014 00:17 IST

The Centre’s rush to push bills met with two major embarrassments in the Lok Sabha on Monday. Firstly, the law department goofed up in printing copies of the much-awaited Judicial Appointments Commission bill and then NDA’s own MPs derailed the passing of the railways (amendment) bill.

Officials involved in the printing of the copies of the judicial commission bill and the related constitutional amendment bill mixed up the two legislations. As a result, the “statements of objects and reasons” of one bill got printed on the other and vice-versa.

Last-ditch efforts from senior BJP ministers saved the day for the judicial commission bill but not before the government issued a corrigendum on the printing errors and spelling mistakes on the copies of the bill.

Till late afternoon, the government was unsure if a new set of bills was required to be printed, resulting in delay in introduction of the legislation in the Lower House even after the Upper House allowed the withdrawal of an earlier pending bill on judicial appointments.

The Centre also failed to hurriedly push the Railways (amendment) Bill, 2014 as MPs from BJP and Shiv Sena joined the Opposition chorus. Finally, the bill was referred to a parliamentary standing committee.

After the House finished the discussion and railway minister Sadananda Gowda replied on the Bill, parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu announced the government has agreed to send the bill for review.

“Usually a bill is never sent to standing committee after discussion and reply by the minister but we are doing it keeping the sense of the house in mind,” Naidu said.

The bill seeks to amend the Railways Act by providing clarity “on accidental falling” from trains to curb misuse of existing provisions and also prevent false claims.

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