New Delhi, Jul 25: Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday introduced in Lok Sabha a key bill to repeal 58 old laws amid opposition charge that the government did not give adequate time to them to scrutinise the draft law properly.
Prasad said the Narendra Modi government has already repealed 1,458 archaic Acts and his remarks got a virtual endorsement from Speaker Om Birla, who said some of those were enacted during the British regime. Prasad rejected the opposition's claim and said that a two-day notice was given and that there is already a consensus in the country and among members on repealing the old Acts.
Members can, however, debate on its merits and otherwise when the House takes it up for consideration and passing, he said. Congress member Shashi Tharoor alleged: "...This government has very bad habit of rushing Bills".
Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said the bill was discussed in detail in business advisory committee of the House and the panel has members from all major parties.
Kalyan Banerjee of Trinamool Congress said some members were heard saying that the Indian Penal Code is also a British era law. BJD Bhartruhari Mahtab though opposed introduction of The Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019 when it was being introduced saying states have not been consulted, but he came to the defence of the government's floor managers and said earlier Bills were distributed among members as a supplementary agenda -- something which has not happened yet in this House.
The Law Minister also said that the Centre has conveyed to states the need to repeal 225 old laws which are in their realm. The Law Minister also said that the Centre has conveyed to states the need to repeal 225 old laws which are in their realm. The Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was opposed at the introductory stage Congress floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Biju Janata Dal member Bhartruhari Mahtab and DMK floor leader T R Baalu.
The ruling BJP member Nishikant Dubey supported the draft law on water disputes saying the Bill will help his state of Jharkhand. "I had opposed the Bill in 2017 also," Mr Mahtab said.
DMK member T R Baalu shared the same sentiment raised by Congress and BJD members and said it was improper to bring the Bill without consulting states.
"Bills are being overnight, we do not know anything," he said alleging that things are being "bulldozed". "This is the Parliament of India.....how come they are bulldozing?," he said. The Opposition members also opposed introduction of The Companies Amendment Bill piloted by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Speaker Mr Birla assured that from the next session, the concern raised by members will be addressed and they will be provided advance notice before bringing the Bills.
On her ministry's The Companies Amendment Bill, Finance Minister Sitharaman said it will not be proper to say that the draft was brought without any background. BJP member Nishikant Dubey defended government's decision to bring the The Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill saying Jharkhand state will be immensely by this. "We have three dams in our state, but the entire water from these is being used by West Bengal government. This despite a pact between Jyoti Basu and Korpuri Thakur (CMs of Bengal and Bihar) signed in 1978," he said.
"Bihar government is also not giving us water, so if this Bill does not come and get approval of the House, our state will continue to suffer....from where we will get water," he said. Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Shekhawat said it is not correct to say the states have not been consulted. He said in the last Lok Sabha, the Bill was referred to the Standing Committee. (UNI)