Thursday, March 19, 2015

Jaitley outflanked in Rajya Sabha on the question whether a bill can be sent to the House Select Committee a second time. Deputy Chairman P.J.Kurien to give ruling on Friday morning

New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha witnessed a tussle over procedure as well as validity of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation)Amendment Act, 2015 being sent to the Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha a second time.
Minister for Finance Arun Jaitley tried to browbeat the amendment moved by CPI-M’s P.Rajeev asking for the bill to be sent to the Select Committee. Jaitley argued that a bill can be sent to the Select Committee only if it originates in the Upper House, and not when it is transmitted by the Lok Sabha.
Congress deputy leader Anand Sharma and CPI-M leader in the Rajya Sabha, Sitaram Yechury and then K.T.Tulsi, a nominated member, argued that there is no such norm, and that asking for re-commitment to a Select Committee was absolutely in order.
Congress’Digvijay Singh intervened to say that the Union does not have the right to legislate on a state subject without consulting the states. Mines and minerals come under the state list. Jaitley said that the Union has the right to make laws and the states have to abide by it because mines and minerals are part of the Concurrent List, and the central laws prevail over that of the states. Deputy Chairman P.J.Kurien said that the objection should have been made at the time of introduction of the bill.
When Kurien was about to give the ruling on the motion moved by P.Rajeev, Congress members moved into the Well of the Rajya Sabha and chanted the slogan, “BJP ki tanashahi nahin chalegi” Anand Sharma went over to Kurien and whispered something. Kurien adjourned the House fo 10 minutes at 8.09 pm. It was adjourned for 10 more minutes at 8.20 and then for another 10 minutes.
The House met at 8.45 pm and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs M.Venkaiah Naidu announced that the two bills, the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015 and Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill, 2015 will be discussed and passed on Friday, the last day of the session. He said that if the two bills are not passed on Friday, then he would be forced to extend the sitting of the two Houses. The government has the prerogative to push its legislative business.

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