RS passes Human Rights Bill amid Opposition call to refer it to select panel

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 22, 2019 Published on July 22, 2019

Parliament   -  V_V_Krishnan



The Rajya Sabha on Monday passed the Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019, amid Opposition call to refer the Bill to a select committee.

The Bill, which facilitates appointments of the members and chairpersons of national and States human rights commissions, was passed in the Upper House, where the BJP is in minority, as the Chair ruled against the Opposition’s demand that the Bill should go to a select panel. The Lok Sabha had passed the Bill last week.

The opposition MPs argued that the Bill was introduced just a day ahead and they were not given enough time to move the amendments. They also questioned the provisions of the Bill.

Congress MP Vivek K Tankha said the proposed amendments will empower the government to hand pick members. He asked the Centre to check the human rights track record of experts appointed on such commissions.

Elmaram Kareem of the CPI(M) and K Ravindra Kumar of the Telugu Desam Party moved a resolution demanding that the Bill must go to a select committee. The motion was defeated through a voice vote. Sukhendu Sekhar Roy of the Trinamool Congress said the members should have given at least two working days to move the amendments.

“In the case of the current bill, the House was informed about the passage only after 5 pm on Friday,” he said.

The Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad also supported the argument that ‘procedures’ were also not followed. “Members of Parliament should be given time to move amendments,” he added. The BJP and the Chair, however, said there was enough time for the members to move amendments.

Earlier, the House witnessed repeated disruptions over a range of issues including the political crisis in Karnataka where the majority strength of the government is in question, killings in Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh and mob lynching in Bihar.

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Published on July 22, 2019
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