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Land Acquisition amendment bill introduced in Lok Sabha

  • The Union government on 24th February 2015 used its majority in the Lok Sabha to introduce the controversial Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill and the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill to replace two ordinances despite statutory resolutions moved against them by the Opposition.
  • Rural Development Minister Birender Singh sought Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s permission to introduce the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill 2015,  when virtually the entire opposition was on its feet and members of Congress, SP, TMC, AAP, RJD and Left, among others, trooped into the Well.
  • Almost the entire opposition staged a walk-out calling the bill anti-farmer and anti-poor.
  • The allies of the BJP like the Sena and the Akali Dal also disagree on this Land bill.

Rajya Sabha Scenario :

  • Also in Rajya Sabha, the Opposition collectively opposed the government’s efforts to defer its motion for withdrawal of three Bills viz., Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill and the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill. A Bill can be withdrawn only with the consent of the House.
  • The government had brought motion for withdrawal of the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2008, the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill, 2014 and the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2014.
  • As the NDA is in minority in Rajya Sabha, its plan was to get the Bill passed in the Lok Sabha and then try for a joint session.
  • Now, the government agreed to consult leaders of all parties to find a solution.

What is mean by Statutory Resolution?

  • A resolution is one of the most important procedural devices to raise discussion in the House on a matter of general public interest. Members can move resolutions to draw attention of the house on the matters of public interest.
  • A member who has moved the resolution or amendment to the resolution cannot withdraw the same except by the leave of the house.
  • One such type of resolution is statutory resolution:
    • It can be moved either by the private member or by the minister. It is so called because it is always tabled in pursuance of a provision or related in the constitution or an Act of Parliament.
    • All resolutions come in the category of substantive motion.

What is withdrawal of Bills?

The Minister-in-charge of a Bill, who has introduced the Bill in Lok Sabha, may at any stage of the Bill move for leave to withdraw the Bill on the ground that:

  1. The legislative proposal contained in the Bill is to be dropped; or
  2. The Bill is to be replaced subsequently by a new Bill which substantially alters the provisions contained therein; or
  3. A Bill is to be replaced subsequently by another Bill which includes all or any of its provisions in addition to other provisions.

And if such leave is granted, no further motion is made with reference to the Bill.

If a Bill passed by Rajya Sabha is pending in Lok Sabha, a motion recommending withdrawal of the Bill, on being adopted by the House, is transmitted to Rajya Sabha for concurrence (agreement).

If Rajya Sabha agrees the motion, the motion for withdrawal of the Bill is moved in Lok Sabha and proceeded with in the usual manner and when the motion is adopted, a message to that affect is sent to Rajya Sabha.

Similar procedure is followed in Rajya Sabha in the case of a Bill passed by Lok Sabha and pending in Rajya Sabha.

Stand of opposition parties:

  • Raju Shetty, whose party Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathana is an NDA ally, also opposed the measure, saying it would be disastrous for the farming community.
  • Then, Congress Deputy Leader Anand Sharma pointed out that four parties, including his own, had given notice under Rule 267 for suspension of business to discuss it as, he maintained, the government had bypassed Parliament to amend a law that had been passed in 2013 with the support of all parties, including the BJP.
  • Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge said the bill, which seeks to replace an land ordinance, was anti-farmer and in fact anti-people.
    • If government had consulted all parties instead of bringing in the ordinance, then it would have been a different matter.
    • But it wants to bulldoze its way, he said as party President Sonia Gandhi was heard telling treasury benches to let him speak.
  • Sougata Roy of TMC opposed the bill with all the force at my command, while BJD’s Bhratruhari Mahtab said his party was opposed to certain major clauses of the measure.
  • Opposition members staged a walk-out as soon as Speaker Sumitra Mahajan allowed Singh to introduce the bill following a voice vote.
  • Uddhav Thackeray, chief of the Shiv Sena said that there was no question of supporting any law that goes against the interest of farmers, reminding BJP that farmers had brought it to power by placing their trust in the party.

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