Uproar in Rajya Sabha over Sayeed remark, disruptions in Lok Sabha too

  • Agencies, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 03, 2015 18:40 IST

The Lok Sabha was adjourned twice on Tuesday following protests by the Opposition over controversial comments made by Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. The Rajya Sabha, meanwhile, witnessed an uproar over the introduction of certain bills in the Lok Sabha which are identical to the ones pending in the Upper House.

The Lok Sabha met at 11am but was soon adjourned twice during the Question Hour as the Opposition leaders demanded an answer from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sayeed's statement giving credit to militants and Pakistan for the smooth conduct of assembly elections in the state.

Some PDP leaders have also demanded the return of the mortal remains of Afzal Guru to the Valley. Guru, sentenced to death in the 2001 Parliament attack case, was hanged on February 9, 2013.

Sayeed's Peoples Democratic Party has an alliance government with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state.

The objections in the Rajya Sabha were raised by Opposition members as The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2015, and Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2015 were listed for introduction in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

While the government, as well as deputy chairman PJ Kurien, said the business of the other house cannot be discussed in the house, opposition members asked for a ruling, which Kurien reserved as he said the Rajya Sabha rule book was not enough to decide upon the subject.

"If a bill is pending in this house, unless it is passed or rejected by this house can it be brought in Lok Sabha," Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal questioned in the upper house.

He was joined by Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury, who said government is trying to bypass the Rajya Sabha.

Is it permissible to move a bill, which has not been decided upon in this house, in the other house. They are practising tyranny of majority and bypassing this house, Yechury said.

Congress leader Anand Sharma added: "In the parliamentary history of India this would be the first time... let us not set this precedent. This house had made a select committee which has given the report. If after that the government has to make any change, the past practice has been to bring amendment".

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, however, said that Rajya Sabha cannot discuss the business of the other house.

"Can we discuss the business of the other house," Naqvi questioned.

"When the bill comes here, we will seriously follow rules," he said.

Opposition members asked the chair for a ruling.

"This is not a simple issue; we needs more consideration. Certain things have to be made clear. We don't have jurisdiction over the other house and there is no rule regarding preventing something in the other house. Even if there is a rule, it is not binding on them," Kurien said.

"The question is whether it is the same bill or a different bill. If it is different, the point of order does not stand. If it is the same bill I will have to see the constitutional provisions. Only after that I can give a ruling," the chair said reserving the ruling.

Last week, government tried to withdraw three bills from the upper house on which it has brought ordinances. The bills were - The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2008; The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2014, and The Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill, 2014.

However, with the opposition not agreeing to it, the withdrawal was deferred even as Leader of House Arun Jaitley said the bills were "infructuous".

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