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Parliament LIVE updates: Lok Sabha passes Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) bill after Opposition lodges strong protests

Parliament LIVE updates: The Lok Sabha on Friday passed the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019 with the 'aye's having the majority.

FP Staff July 19, 2019 15:41:27 IST
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Parliament LIVE updates: Lok Sabha passes Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) bill after Opposition lodges strong protests

Highlights

14:53 (ist)

Rajya Sabha | MPs voice concern over incidents of building collapses

Rajya Sabha members voiced concern over incidents of buildings collapse and the resultant casualties and suggested cheaper loans to people for the repair of their old buildings.

Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, senior Congress member Viplove Thakur cited several incidents of building collapse including the recent one in Mumbai which led to several fatalities.

13:20 (ist)

Lok Sabha | House takes up the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019 

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor spoke in the debate on the Human Rights bill on Friday. He picked six faults with the amendments suggested in the bill. "The entire logic of this bill is to assure the international community that we will strengthen the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), and live up to the Paris principles.

"I'm afraid that the bill fails on both counts because of six reasons:

1) There is a lack of autonomy. Our Supreme Court has recognised that the NHRC is a "toothless tiger", because the government doesn't heed its suggestions. Several cases are pending before it. The amendment bill also completely ignores the recommendations of the NHRC itself. The bill has nothing to assure the UN that the government is doing as much possible to safeguard the rights of our citizens.

2) The reduction of tenure. A quick change in the leadership of the NHRC will cause inconsistency throughout the process of the commission.

3) The independence and autonomy of the NHRC must be taken seriously, especially after the government tried to appoint a vice president of the ruling party as a member of the NHRC. We need to expressly keep politicians out of the NHRC, and the bill doesn't do that.

4) Vacancies: The post of the DG of the NHRC was vacant for three years from 2014, until the Supreme Court pulled up the government over the lapse. A hostile government can cripple the Constitution by not appointing people in office.

5) Failure to provide clarity to the NHRC, the act is completely unclear about the jurisdiction of the NHRC courts.

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

July 19, 2019 - 15:31 (IST)

Lok Sabha passes Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019

The Lok Sabha on Friday passed the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019 with the 'aye's having the majority. Several Opposition MPs spoke against the bill and urged the Centre to withdraw it and apply modifications suggested.

However, none of the amendments suggested by the Opposition members like TMC MP Sougata Roy, were accepted by the House.

July 19, 2019 - 15:30 (IST)

Lok Sabha | MPs place amendments to human rights bill on floor of House

July 19, 2019 - 15:21 (IST)

Lok Sabha | Nityanand Rai defends amendment bill on human rights

Union minister of state for home affairs Nityanand Rai defended the proposed amendment to the protection of human rights in the Lok Sabha on Friday. He lauded the Narendra Modi government on its "policies" on human rights. The minister answered the points raised by the Opposition one by one and also jested on some arguments raised by the Opposition MPs in his speech.

July 19, 2019 - 14:53 (IST)

Rajya Sabha | MPs voice concern over incidents of building collapses

Rajya Sabha members voiced concern over incidents of buildings collapse and the resultant casualties and suggested cheaper loans to people for the repair of their old buildings.

Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, senior Congress member Viplove Thakur cited several incidents of building collapse including the recent one in Mumbai which led to several fatalities.

July 19, 2019 - 14:51 (IST)

Lok Sabha | Asaduddin Owaisi says chairperson of NHRC should be from minorities commission

AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi said that the chairperson of the NHRC should be from the national commission for minorities. Owaisi spoke about encounter killings, custodial deaths, and mob lynchings.

"The Supreme Court has said that the Centre has to make a law on mob lynchings, but why hasn't the government done so? Why are the police officers who are accused for mob lynchings not punished?" he questioned.

July 19, 2019 - 14:00 (IST)

Lok Sabha | Kanimozhi slams Centre over human rights bill

DMK MP Kanimozhi spoke after Union minister Satya Pal Singh defended the human rights bill in the Lower House. Singh questioned Darwin's theory of evolution and slammed NGOs for being "financed by foreign organisations" and for supporting "terrorists, anti-nationals, and rapists".

He also said that the Centre is "committed" to protecting human rights.

Kanimozhi began her speech by saying that preserving "scientific temper" was important for upholding human rights. She said, "I oppose the bill because it tries to include the membership of several chairpersons of other national commissions like for backward classes, child rights and we cannot ignore the fact that they are 'political appointees', so how can the NHRC work independently if there are 'political appointees' who have been included in the commission?"

"In spite of the government being against the NGOs in the country, we cannot ignore the work that social activists have done to uphold the rights of marginalised communities.

"A reduced tenure will result in the chairperson not having the time to understand and resolve the issues that come before it. Per day there are at least one lakh cases that come to the commission, how can only one more additional member help? Now, the whole power rests with the chairperson, which is definitely not democratic."

TMC MP Sougata Roy also raised points in support of Kanimozhi's arguments.

July 19, 2019 - 13:42 (IST)

Lok Sabha | Shashi Tharoor calls Human Rights Amendment bill 'cosmetic'

In the debate on the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill 2019, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor called the bill "piecemeal and cosmetic". He referred to the recent raids on advocates Indira Jaising and Anand Grover, and also spoke about the arrests of human rights activists like Sudha Bharadwaj.

He said, "The bill doesn't even scratch the surface, I recommend the minister to withdraw it and fix it, and bring it back for consideration in the House. It's a damp squib, there is a real fear that we might face an international embarrassment when the United Nations picks faults with the bill.

"57 people in Assam have committed suicide because the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has excluded them, ironically, the majority of these people are Hindus."

July 19, 2019 - 13:20 (IST)

Lok Sabha | House takes up the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019 

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor spoke in the debate on the Human Rights bill on Friday. He picked six faults with the amendments suggested in the bill. "The entire logic of this bill is to assure the international community that we will strengthen the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), and live up to the Paris principles.

"I'm afraid that the bill fails on both counts because of six reasons:

1) There is a lack of autonomy. Our Supreme Court has recognised that the NHRC is a "toothless tiger", because the government doesn't heed its suggestions. Several cases are pending before it. The amendment bill also completely ignores the recommendations of the NHRC itself. The bill has nothing to assure the UN that the government is doing as much possible to safeguard the rights of our citizens.

2) The reduction of tenure. A quick change in the leadership of the NHRC will cause inconsistency throughout the process of the commission.

3) The independence and autonomy of the NHRC must be taken seriously, especially after the government tried to appoint a vice president of the ruling party as a member of the NHRC. We need to expressly keep politicians out of the NHRC, and the bill doesn't do that.

4) Vacancies: The post of the DG of the NHRC was vacant for three years from 2014, until the Supreme Court pulled up the government over the lapse. A hostile government can cripple the Constitution by not appointing people in office.

5) Failure to provide clarity to the NHRC, the act is completely unclear about the jurisdiction of the NHRC courts.

July 19, 2019 - 13:03 (IST)

Lok Sabha | RTI Amendment bill passed

Amid objections from several Opposition MPs — Congress, AIMIM, TMC — the Lower House on Friday passed the Right to Information (Amendment) Bil, 2019. The bill was supported by 224 MPs, while nine MPs objected the bill.

July 19, 2019 - 12:51 (IST)

Lok Sabha | MPs vote on RTI Amendment bill, 2019

Parliament LATEST updates: The Lok Sabha on Friday passed the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019 with the 'aye's having the majority. Several Opposition MPs spoke against the bill and urged the Centre to withdraw it and apply modifications suggested.

However, none of the amendments suggested by the Opposition members like TMC MP Sougata Roy, were accepted by the House.

AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi said that the chairperson of the NHRC should be from the national commission for minorities. Owaisi spoke about encounter killings, custodial deaths, and mob lynchings.

"The Supreme Court has said that the Centre has to make a law on mob lynchings, but why hasn't the government done so? Why are the police officers who are accused for mob lynchings not punished?" he questioned.

DMK MP Kanimozhi spoke after Union minister Satya Pal Singh defended the human rights bill in the Lower House. Singh questioned Darwin's theory of evolution and slammed NGOs for being "financed by foreign organisations" and for supporting "terrorists, anti-nationals, and rapists".

He also said that the Centre is "committed" to protecting human rights.

Kanimozhi began her speech by saying that preserving "scientific temper" was important for upholding human rights. She said, "I oppose the bill because it tries to include the membership of several chairpersons of other national commissions like for backward classes, child rights and we cannot ignore the fact that they are 'political appointees', so how can the NHRC work independently if there are 'political appointees' who have been included in the commission?"

"In spite of the government being against the NGOs in the country, we cannot ignore the work that social activists have done to uphold the rights of marginalised communities.

"A reduced tenure will result in the chairperson not having the time to understand and resolve the issues that come before it. Per day there are at least one lakh cases that come to the commission, how can only one more additional member help? Now, the whole power rests with the chairperson, which is definitely not democratic."

TMC MP Sougata Roy also raised points in support of Kanimozhi's arguments.

Amid objections from several Opposition MPs — Congress, AIMIM, TMC — the Lower House on Friday passed the Right to Information (Amendment) Bil, 2019. The bill was supported by 224 MPs, while nine MPs objected the bill.

 Congress MP Shashi Tharoor called the Amendment bill the "RTI elmination bill". He said that the amendment would take the power away from the Information Commission. AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi said that the amendment bill lacks "legislative competence" because a clause in the amendment takes away the powers of the state.

However, Speaker Om Birla cut off Tharoor, Owaisi, and TMC MP Sougata Roy and asked the Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Public Grievances and Pensions to counter the arguments. "Let us allow the bill to be introduced and then debate," he said, while countering the Opposition MPs' objections.

AIMIM MP from Hyderabad Asaduddin Owaisi raised the Centre's vaccination drive to curb dengue and said that the government was taking advantage of the locals that were being tested for the vaccine to "benefit big pharmaceutical companies". He said that members of the Parliament should volunteer as testers instead.

Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Health and Family Welfare said it was unfortunate that an "educated" member of the House was casting doubts on a universally benefited and accepted thing like vaccines.

 The ongoing session of the 17th Lok Sabha has been the most productive in the last 20 years, with the Lower House registering 128 percent productivity till Tuesday, according to think tank PRS Legislative Research.

Lok Sabha members discussed the General Budget for 17 hours, demands for grants for Ministry of Railways for 13 hours and for Ministry of Road and Transport for 7.44 hours, Speaker Om Birla informed the House on Thursday.

He said members discussed demands for grants for Rural Development and Agriculture Ministry for 10.36 hours, and issues related to Sports and Youth Affairs Ministry for 4.14 hours. Since Zero Hour in Lok Sabha could not take place for the past few days, Birla allowed members to raise issues of urgent public importance around 6 pm.

A total of 162 members raised issues during the extended Zero Hour on Thursday, which went on for 4 hours and 50 minutes before the House was adjourned at 10.50 pm. The Lok Sabha has been working for more than its scheduled time and has sat till midnight on two occasions to complete its legislative business.

"This session, the Lok Sabha has been working for more than its scheduled time. Till 16 July, 2019, the Lok Sabha's productivity is at 128 percent which is the highest for any session in the past 20 years," the PRS Legislative Research said.

Similarly, the productivity of Rajya Sabha, where the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led dispensation lacks majority, unlike Lok Sabha, is also relatively high. The productivity of the Upper House was 98 percent till Tuesday, according to the non-profit organisation.

Productivity means the number of hours the House actually functioned compared to the number of hours officially earmarked for it to work. The session started on 17 June and will conclude on 26 July.

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