Centre to push key bills, likely to replace 10 ordinances with laws
The government plans to push the passage of crucial bills, including the one that seeks to criminalise the practice of instant divorce among a section of Muslims, during the session.Updated: Jun 16, 2019 10:21 IST
Parliament’s first session since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government returned to power last month will begin on Monday. The session will continue until July 26. Union Budget will be presented on July 5.
The government plans to push the passage of crucial bills, including the one that seeks to criminalise the practice of instant divorce among a section of Muslims, during the session. It has a majority of 353 members in a 543-member lower House or Lok Sabha. But the government is dependent on the Opposition for legislative support in Rajya Sabha or the upper House, where it lacks a majority.
The government reached out to the Opposition in the run-up to the session as the Union cabinet cleared as many as eight bills that it will table in Parliament.
Union parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi, on Friday called on Congress leader, Sonia Gandhi, and sought cooperation for Parliament’s smooth functioning.
A fresh bill banning the practice of instant divorce or triple talaq was among the bills the Cabinet approved on Wednesday ahead of the session. But there has no word on whether the government will table the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill or CAB.
People aware of the developments said there has been no discussion so far on whether the CAB will be tabled. The CAB seeks to make it easier for non-Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan to get Indian citizenship. It triggered protests in the northeast ahead of the April-May national polls. Indigenous groups say the CAB will encourage more migrations from Bangladesh while an exercise is underway to identify and deport undocumented Bangladeshi immigrants from the region.
The CAB was passed in Lok Sabha in January, but it lapsed as the government was unable to have Rajya Sabha clear it. Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred to the bill during campaigning in the region and said the BJP was committed to passing it once the NDA returns to power.
The fresh bill to ban the instant triple talaq would be introduced in Parliament to replace an ordinance issued in February. Under the proposed law, instant triple talaq will be illegal and attract a jail term of three years. The previous bill lapsed as it was passed in the lower House but could not be cleared in Rajya Sabha.
The other legislations to be tabled include the Aadhaar Bill, which seeks to allow the voluntary use the 12-digit unique identity numbers as identity proof for opening bank accounts and procuring mobile phone connections.
The Indian Medical Council (Amendment Bill), 2019, and the Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment Bill), 2019, too, have been cleared. The first bill aims to bring transparency, accountability, and quality in the governance of medical education and to provide for supersession of the Medical Council of India for two years from August 26, 2018. The second proposed law seeks to extend the period for reconstitution of the Central Council from an existing period of one year to two years so that the tenure of the Board of Governors may be extended for a further period of one year with effect from May 17, 2019.
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill is also expected to be tabled. It proposes to set up a National Road Safety Board, increase penalties for several offences, protection of Good Samaritans and a uniform licencing system.
The government is expected to replace as many as 10 ordinances or executive orders with laws.
The session will begin with President Ramnath Kovind’s address to a joint sitting of both houses of Parliament.
First Published: Jun 16, 2019 09:33 IST