Sacrilege committed, parliament adjourned: what happens to the bills lined up?

After speculations in the media and discussions within the ruling alliance, 26 bills are shortlisted for introduction in the current Winter Session of the parliament.

The Parliament’s winter session began on November 29 and is to continue till December 23. Countless speculations finally led to the shortlisting of 26 bills that are to be introduced in the session.

Prominent bills to be tabled

The winter session: what’s in store?

The session  has been in full swing with quite a few stormy subjects on the table. Bills like those concerning the farm laws being repealed and cryptocurrency have already led to major socio-economic consequences. 

Agitating Farmers belonging mostly to Punjab, haryana and UPcould finally take a breather ever since the protests began more than a   year ago. On the other hand, markets went for a whirlwind, with several troughs being formed in the crypto markets as investors are still trying to speculate the consequences of the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill. However, those are just two out of the 26 that are to be discussed in the winter session. Even the NCB has been in the news for the last month and a half now, the bill involving Narcotics merely needs a correction in a drafting error. 

The Constitution bill on the other hand is going to be one to keep a lookout for since it aims to revise UP’s SC and ST lists, right ahead of their elections. The government has plans to do the same for Tripura as well, eventually. 

The migrant population has created quite some chaos in the country, with their population steadily increasing in the border states. Thus, the Emigration bill plans on setting a better and more resourceful framework within which migrants can operate in the country. 

There are certain subjects from the Budget session of the year which need further discussion. Privatization of the banking sector, along with the revision in the salaries of the judges in the High Courts and the Supreme Court are some of the major topics that fall under the category.

2021 has seen a steady rise in the number of criminal cases being registered. This is true especially for crimes against women, particularly for the trafficking of humans. Under such circumstances, the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection, and Rehabilitation) Bill is important. 

What has happened so far?

Here are the highlights of the winter session of Parliament 2021:

The winter session of Parliament began on 29th November and will go on till 23rd December.

The first bill that was passed was the Farm Laws Repeal Bill 2021.

The protesting and sloganeering by the opposition which sought to debate the Farm Laws Repeal Bill in an attempt to guarantee some of the demands of farmers that go beyond the repeal of only three Farm Laws.

Just hours after Parliament passed a bill to repeal three agricultural laws, Gujarat Congress in-charge Raghu Sharma on Monday demanded that the government guarantee farmers a minimum support price (MSP) for their produce.

Hoping to have 26 bills in the 25-day session, the Lok Sabha passed the Farm Laws Repeal Bill immediately after convening the winter session without discussing it with the opposition.

On 30th November, 12 Rajya Sabha members were suspended due to “unruly and violent behaviour”

The Lok Sabha on 1st December passed the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill and the session was adjourned early due to the ruckus created by the opposition.

In the 19 sittings, the other bills to be passed include the main cryptocurrency and regulation of official digital currency bills, the Bankruptcy and Insolvency (Second Amendment) Bill, and the Electricity (Amendment) Bill. In addition to the 26 legislative bills, a finance bill is also expected to be introduced at the meeting.

Do you think our government should pay more heed to our voices? Tell us your opinions about the latest bills by visiting our ACJ’s political poll- #TheCitizen’sVerdict-

During the 25-day meeting, the opposition will surround the government on other issues, including the Pegasus controversy and rising prices.

What preceded the suspension?

The suspension which triggered the protests is based on a provision that entrusts the Chairman with the authority to name a member to b e suspended on certain specific grounds. Why does the opposition then, say that the suspension is against the rules of the Rajya Sabha? To know more about this, tune in to our explainer podcast ACJ Explains by Vedanta Agarwal. (followed by audio)

They don’t want us to have a voice, say suspended MPs

Catch MP Rajmani Patel-one of the 12 MPs suspended from Rajya Sabha speaking exclusively to ACJ News on what he calls the Rajya Sabha’s undemocratic decision.

The opposition and its grievance

The controversial and much-discussed report of the Joint committee of Parliament on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, will be tabled in the two Houses during the session.

The opposition leaders extend solidarity to the the suspended MPs

The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 provides for the protection of personal data of individuals and establishes a Data Protection Authority. 

It treats the government and its agencies as a privileged class whose operations are always in public interest and individual privacy concerns are secondary, former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh has said in his dissent note against a parliamentary committee report on the legislation.

Keeping in mind the last Parliament session, which ended in a ruckus and expulsions, opposition parties are expected to raise issues pertaining from the farm bills to the data protection bill. But the only question remains is whether the government will allow a detailed discussion or snub it.

“We wanted to raise the [farm laws] repealing issue in the last Parliament session, but they did not allow us. Though this time we have many things on hand, such as MSP, compensation for the family of farmers who died during the year long protest.”

Pradeep Bhatacharaya, Congress Rajya Sabha MP

The Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Bill and the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill propose to extend the tenure of directors of the CVC and CBI. The main objection of the opposition was the bill granting powers to the union government to exempt any of its probe agencies, including the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI, from the purview of the entire act.

Aditi Phadnis, political editor, The Business Standard, thinks that there will be a lot of acrimony when this bill will come up for discussion. “As you know the retirement age was extended by an ordinance literally days before the ED Chief was to retire. This is a very controversial decision and as it was brought in the form of an ordinance, the bill will have to be ratified by the Parliament and I think that will not be easy. ”