Representational Image. Image Courtesy: PTI
In the ongoing first parliamentary session after the constitution of the 17th Lok Sabha, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party government has a set of controversial bills for introduction, consideration and passage.
The union budget is scheduled to be presented on July 5 and the session will continue till July 26.
Amid contentions raised by the opposition parties, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad introduced the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, that makes declaration of triple talaq, including in written or electronic form, to be illegal - which replaces an ordinance.
The session will also see the introduction of the Code on Wages Bill, 2019, that consolidates the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, Payment of Wages Act, 1936, Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, and Equal Remuneration Act, 1976, under one law. Trade unions have been opposing the code as it is anti-worker and pro-industrialist, and termed it as highly detrimental to the interests of the workers.
Also read: Amid Opposition Protest, Govt Tables Fresh Triple Talaq Bill In Lok Sabha
While the central government has a majority in the lower house (353 members out of 543), it is dependent on the opposition for legislative support in the Rajya Sabha. Twenty two out of the 55 bills pending consideration of the Rajya Sabha lapsed with the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha.
The Lok Sabha is also likely to see re-introduction of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019. While the government claims that the bill protects the rights of transgender persons and provides for their welfare, activists argue that the proposed law doesn’t address key issues such as violence, employment, education and reservations.
As per bulletins of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, two Bills -- the Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2018, that seeks to regulate and standardise the education and practice of allied and healthcare professionals, and the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2019, makes unauthorised recording of a film illegal, are listed for consideration and passage in Rajya Sabha during the session, while 40 new Bills are listed for introduction, consideration, and passage in the Parliament.
Among other bills introduced (or yet to be introduced) in the Lok Sabha that replaces ordinances are the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019, the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019, the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill, 2019 – which replaces an Ordinance, the Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2019, the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Bill, 2019.
Rajya Sabha MPs on June 21 have introduced several private bills including the Visually Impaired Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019; the Holy City of Kashi (Preservation of Cultural Heritage) Bill, 2019; the Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2019; the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (amendment of article 85); the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (amendment of article 15); and the Foreign Investment in Financial Services, Critical Infrastructure and Technology Affecting National Security (Regulation) Bill, 2018.
(With inputs from PRS legislative research.)