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Ians

The Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which seeks to replace the Ordinance, was passed by Parliament on Monday with the Rajya Sabha approving the measure amid uproarious scenes in the upper house.

The bill was already passed by the Lok Sabha last week.

Moving the Bill for discussion and passage, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that this Bill was to amend the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 to correct a drafting error made during the UPA's time.

After the Tripura High Court's observations in June this year, the government had to bring this amendment through the Ordinance as the Parliament was not in session, she said, adding that other High Courts had asked for corrections in 2014, and 2017.

Sitharaman also said that some opposition members raised the drugs seizure at Mundra Port, and the Narcotics Control Bureau was investigating the case and arrests were also made but later, the Union Home Ministry had ordered the transfer of the case to te National Investigation Agency for further probe

The DRI has done exemplary work and stopped the consignment, she added.

During the debate, the houses witnessed heated arguments and continuous raising of point of order by both sides.

Congress member Digvijaya Singh, intervening in the debate, said that 12 members are outside the house and said that the government is not following rules as the "culprit minister is inside and our MPs are suspended violating the rules".

The opposition members raised the issue of Lakhimpur Kheri violence and suspension of the MPs which prompted the treasury benches to raise a point of order on the taking of the names of two ministers - Minister of State for Home Ajay Misra Teni and Home Minister Amit Shah - and demanded that the references be expunged from the record. At this, the chair said that he will see the records.

SP member Jaya Bachchan said that she will not thank the Chair as when the Chair was in the opposition, he used to run to the well himself to protest. BJP's Bhubhneshawar Kalita, who was earlier in the Congress, was in the Chair at that time and the BJP raised a point of order. Bachchan also said that the government is wasting time to rectify a clerical error, and had heated exchanges with BJP members.

As Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge said that the person who is directly indirectly involved in murder should be sacked, he was not allowed to speak further by the Chair. At this, he said that the attitude towards the post he holds is condemnable.
 

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