Govt passing bills ‘hurriedly’, 17 parties tell RS Chairman

New Delhi: Raising concern over the government “hurriedly” passing the bills without Parliamentary scrutiny, 17 opposition parties have, in a letter to the Rajya Sabha Chairman, said that it is a departure from the established practice and healthy traditions of enacting legislations.

The members have stated that as many as 14 bills have already been passed in the first session since the Lok Sabha elections and none of them have been referred to a Standing Committee or Select Committee for legislative scrutiny.

They have noted that 11 more bills have been listed for introduction, consideration and passing in coming days.

The joint letter, signed by the leaders of the Congress, the Samajwadi Party, the Trinamool Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Telugu Desam Party, the CPI, the CPI-M , and others, said that 60 per cent of bills were sent for scrutiny to Parliamentary Committees in the 14th Lok Sabha.

In the 15th Lok Sabha, 71 per cent of Bills were sent for scrutiny. This, however, fell sharply in the 16th Lok Sabha with only 26 per cent of bills being sent for scrutiny, they said.

“While we understand our responsibility and the need to enact legislation, any attempt by the Government to undermine the privileges of members, the Rules and established conventions will diminish the role of the Council of States as envisaged by our founding fathers,” the members have stressed.

The members have complained that they were not given sufficient time to file notices of amendments to the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

The issue of short duration discussions has also been raised. The joint letter has said that in the four weeks of the Budget session, only two Short Duration Discussions have been allowed.

“We urge you to ensure that the voice of the opposition is not smothered in the Rajya Sabha,” the members have urged the Chairman.

Meanwhile, the session of the Rajya Sabha too has been extended to August 7 to take up more legislative business.