Parliament’s Winter Session was adjourned sine die on Thursday, a day ahead of schedule ending three frenetic weeks that saw a security breach in Lok Sabha, suspension of 146 MPs and the expulsion of Trinamool Congress member Mahua Moitra in the “bribe-for-query” case.
The session, which began on December 4, saw both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha running largely peacefully for the first week but the scenario changed after December 13.
On the anniversary of the 2001 Parliament attack, two people jumped into the chamber of the Lower House of Parliament from the public gallery during the Zero Hour, released yellow gas from canisters and shouted slogans before being overpowered by MPs.
During the session, both the Houses approved some key bills such as those to replace colonial-era laws Indian Penal Code (IPC), Indian Evidence Act, Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), Telegraph Act and Press and Registration of Books Act.
These bills were passed by voice vote with almost empty opposition benches in the House. While 100 MPs were suspended from Lok Sabha, another 46 from Rajya Sabha for unruly behaviour, disrupting proceedings and showing placards and raising slogans over the breach issue.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said the House recorded 74 per cent productivity, and 18 draft legislations, including the new criminal justice bills, were passed.
Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar said the Upper House was able to transact business for 65 hours during the 14 sittings.
“I am pained to state that nearly 22 hours were lost due to avoidable disruptions adversely impacting our overall productivity that finally stood at 79 per cent,” Dhankhar said in his valedictory remarks.
Rajya Sabha passed a total of 17 Bills including legislations related to Jammu & Kashmir, Appointment of Election Commissioners, the Post Office Bill, The Telecommunications Bill and the three Bills namely Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita were passed during this session.
The Winter session also marked the first full-fledged session to be held in the new Parliament building.
In the “bribe-for-query” case, on December 8, a report of the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee was tabled in the House. It recommended the expulsion of Moitra. Subsequently, a resolution for her expulsion was passed by Lok Sabha.
Moitra was not allowed to speak in the House, and the move saw a united walkout by opposition MPs in solidarity.
The opposition further upped its ante after the December 13 incident. It demanded a discussion on the security breach issue and a statement from Union Home Minister Amit Shah on it. Some opposition members demanded his resignation.
Chaotic scenes were witnessed in both Houses, leading to disruption of proceedings and the suspensions.
In Lok Sabha, the first set of suspension of 13 members came on December 14. On December 18, 33 MPs were suspended, on December 19, 49 MPs and on December 20, two MPs. Three members were suspended on Thursday.
While the opposition accused the government of stifling its voice, Speaker Birla wrote to MPs saying the suspensions were not for raising the security breach issue in the Lok Sabha, but for “carrying placards and creating ruckus”.
In his concluding remarks ahead of the adjournment, he said 14 sittings were held and the House worked for 61 hours and 50 minutes.
As many as 18 bills were passed in the session, including bills like the Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita, and the Bharatiya Sakshya (Second), which will replace the IPC, the CrPC, and the Evidence Act.
A bill to regulate the appointment of Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners was also passed.
The Post Office Bill that seeks to repeal the 125-year-old Indian Post Office Act, the Telecommunication Bill which lays provisions that the central government will provide authorisation for telecom-related activities and the Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill were also approved. PTI AO SKU.
(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by Odishatv.in staff)