Parliament Special Session: What other bills apart from Women’s Reservation to be introduced? | EXPLAINED

Image Source : PTI (FILE) Lok Sabha

Special Session bills A day after the Women’s Reservation Bill was passed with 454 members voting in favour of the legislation, several other such historic Bills are likely to be introduced during the special session of Parliament. 

The ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam’ is the first bill passed by Lok Sabha during the special session after it shifted to the new Parliament building on Tuesday (September 19).

The ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam’ is a “historic legislation” that will further boost women’s empowerment and will enable “greater participation of women in our political process,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday after the passage of the bill in Lok Sabha.

Earlier, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said that a total of eight bills have been listed for consideration and passage during the special session of Parliament. The Special Session of the Parliament began on September 18 (Monday) and it will continue till September 22 (Friday). 

The two Houses of Parliament, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, have discussed the Parliamentary Journey of 75 years starting from Samvidhan Sabha- achievements, experiences, memories and learnings, and take up some Bills for consideration under a special session.

Usually, the Parliament is in session for 3 periods in a year in India:

  1. The Budget session
  2. The Monsoon session
  3. The Winter session

This year the Monsoon session ended on August 11.

Here is the list of bills: READ

1. The Advocates (Amendment) Bill, 2023

It was introduced by the Ministry of Law and Justice on August 1. According to the current status, this Bill was introduced and passed in the Rajya Sabha but it is still pending in Lok Sabha.

This Bill mainly talks about repealing certain sections under the Legal Practitioners Act, 1879 and amending the Advocates Act, 1961. It also seeks to make the offence of ‘Touting’ punishable by giving judges to publish a list of people who enage in such acts.

The Bill provides that every High Court, district judge, sessions judge, district magistrate, and revenue officer (not below the rank of a district collector) may frame and publish lists of touts.

A Tout is a person who tries to procure the employment of a legal practitioner in return of any payment. The Court can exclude from its premises any person whose name is included in the list of touts.

Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal today (September 21) will move the Advocates Amendment Bill, 2023 in the Lok Sabha to be taken into consideration.

2. The Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill, 2023

It was introduced by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) in August 2023. As per its current status, this Bill was introduced and passed by the Rajya Sabha last month and is still pending in the lower house of the Parliament.

According to the government, the Bill aims to repeal and reenact the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867. 

This is proposed for introducing a new Bill that can provide for:

  • Ease of doing business
  • Removing unnecessary procedural obstacles for publishers
  • Unburdening the owners of printing presses and publishers from the onerous task of furnishing declaration before the District Magistrate
  • Filing of revised declaration every time there were any changes in its particulars

The Act provides for the appointment of a Press Registrar who maintains a register of newspapers. The Bill provides for the Press Registrar General of India, who will issue registration certificates for all periodicals.

The Bill allows the publisher of a periodical to obtain a registration certificate by filling an online application with the Press Registrar General and specified local authority. The Act requires a printing press to be declared before the District Magistrate.

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Image Source : PTI (FILE)Old and new Parliament House during special session in New Delhi

3. The Post Office Bill, 2023

This Bill was introduced by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on August 10, 2023. It was introduced in the Rajya Sabha and is pending in both Houses of the Parliament.

It seeks to consolidate and amend the law relating to Post Offices in India. The Post Office Bill aims to replace the Indian Post Office Act (1898) in the changing role of post offices.  

The Bill provides for matters related to the functioning of the Post Office, an undertaking of the central government which is also known as India Post.

4. The Repealing and Amending Bill, 2023

It was introduced by the Ministry of Law and Justice. This Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in July and it is now pending in the Rajya Sabha.

This Bill repeals certain enactments that are now considered obsolete and also makes an amendment to the Factoring Regulation Act, 2011. It also repeals Appropriation Acts from 2013 to 2017 that related to the withdrawal of funds from the Consolidated Fund of India.

The Repealing and Amending Bill, 2022 was first introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 19, 2022.  The bill seeks to repeal 65 laws that are obsolete or have been made redundant by the passing of other laws. It also corrects a minor drafting error in the Factoring Regulation Act, 2011.

The First Schedule of the Bill lists 24 laws that would be repealed. Of these, 16 are amending Acts, and two are from before 1947.

5. Senior Citizens Welfare Bill, 2023

The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 11, 2019. The Lok Sabha Standing Committee’s recommendations were incorporated in consultation with the Legislative Department, according to a release by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.

6. The Constitution (SC/ST) Order, 2023

The Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2022 was introduced last year in the Rajya Sabha on February 7, 2022 by the Minister of Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda.

The Bill amends the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 and the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950. The SC order specifies the castes, races, and tribes deemed to be Scheduled Castes (SCs) in various states and union territories (UTs). The ST order specifies the tribes and tribal communities which are deemed to be Scheduled Tribes (STs) in various states and UTs.

Other Bills or topics likely to be covered during special session are as follows:

Appointment of chief election commissioner, election commissioners

The bills listed also include the one on the appointment of chief election commissioner and election commissioners. The bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha during the last Monsoon session and has drawn protests from the opposition as it seeks to put service conditions of the chief election commissioner and two election commissioners on par with the cabinet secretary and not a Supreme Court judge, as is the case now.

Two issues which were rumoured to be taken up in the special session of Parliament include the ‘One Nation, One Election’ bill and a potential resolution to rename India as Bharat. These issues have been a point of discussion between the opposition parties and the central government for several weeks now.

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