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Parliament Monsoon Session updates: LS passes amendments to Commercial Courts Act; both Houses adjourned for the day

In Lok Sabha, while debating the Commercial Division Bill, Ravi Shankar Prasad says, 'We want to showcase the world that even small dispute, the legal system is available to fast-track the cases.'

FP Staff August 01, 2018 17:25:13 IST
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Parliament Monsoon Session updates: LS passes amendments to Commercial Courts Act; both Houses adjourned for the day

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Aug 01, 2018 - 17:19 (IST)

No border dispute with Myanmar, says Kiren Rijiju

The government today said there was no border dispute between India and Myanmar and the demarcation of nine pillars was being worked out in a complete understanding with the neighbouring country.

 
Rejecting reports about border dispute and destroying of pillars in the Manipur region as false, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said a high-level central team has already visited the spot and reported that there is no dispute on the issue. Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha, he said the Indo-Myanmar boundary was 1,472 km long, out of which 171 km is to be demarcated through a boundary mechanism which both the countries have established.
 
 
He said there were some nine border pillars which are to be identified and put on the ground. 

Aug 01, 2018 - 17:16 (IST)

No change in status quo at Doklam, issue resolved with maturity: Sushma

There has been no change in the status quo at the site of the military face-off with China in Doklam and the issue was resolved with diplomatic maturity, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Wednesday.

Replying to queries of Trinamool Congress member Sugata Bose in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj said the informal Wuhan summit in April between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping had led to "solid achievements". 

She said India had a clear policy on South China Sea that there should be freedom of navigation. "As far as Doklam issue is concerned, I am saying with full responsibility it has been solved with diplomatic maturity. There is status quo at the face-off site and there is not an inch of change," she said. 

Aug 01, 2018 - 17:02 (IST)

Lok Sabha takes up the National Sports University Bill, 2018 for consideration and pasage 

Aug 01, 2018 - 17:01 (IST)

Armed forces facing shortage of over 9,000 officers, Lok Sabha told

The three armed forces face a shortage of over 9,096 officers, with the Army topping the list, the Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday. In a written response to a question in the Lower House,   Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre said as on 1 January, 2018, the authorised strength of officers in Army was 49,933, but it has 42,635 officers, which is 7,298 short of the sanctioned strength. 

 
 
The authorised strength for the Navy is 11,352 officers as against the existing number of 9,746 officers, which is 1,606 less than the sanctioned number.
 
 
The Air Force has a shortage of 192 officers, Bhamre said, adding that it has 12,392 officers as against the sanctioned strength of 12,584 officers.
In response to another question on whether the government has received any proposal from China for a border defence cooperation pact, the minister replied in negative.

Aug 01, 2018 - 16:55 (IST)

Lok Sabha passes the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2018

Aug 01, 2018 - 16:54 (IST)

Lok Sabha takes up the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2018 for voting 

Aug 01, 2018 - 16:53 (IST)

Judicial academies will come up to train judges, says law minister 

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that judicial academies are being set up to facilitate training of judicial staff and judges to help them take up commercial cases as well under the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2018. 

Aug 01, 2018 - 16:40 (IST)

Govt working to improve judicial infrastructure, says Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad 

Responding to questions on overburdening the already congested judicial infrastructure, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the overall number of courts will be increased to 21,153 by the next year. He also claimed that 2819 new court halls were built under the BJP rule. "We are doing our best for judicial infrastructure," he added.

On judicial appointments, Prasad said that the NDA government increased the number of posts in high courts and lower judiciary. He said that in high courts alone, the government has introduced 173 new posts. He also rued about the failure to introduce NJAC in appointment of judges. 

"We wanted to bring a National Judicial Commission, but the Supreme Court quashed it. What is the remedy for that," he asked the Chair.

"We can simply put everything on Supreme Court. We are the lawmakers, judges are intepreters. We have to find a solution," he said.

Aug 01, 2018 - 16:32 (IST)

Want to make judiciary accessible to small businessmen, says Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad 

Union Law Minister in his reply said that the limit of Rs 3 lakh to qualify to be admitted into a fast-track court was a conscious decision. He said that he did not want that only the rich and mighty have access to prompt justice. He said that was not the kind of India the government wanted to build. 

Aug 01, 2018 - 16:19 (IST)

BJP MP Pinaki Mishra calls for raising the bar for 'high-value litigations' 

BJD MP Pinaki Mishra said that while the Law Commission and Standing Committees recommended Rs. 1 crore, why did this government choose to bring it down to an alarming Rs 3 lakh. He said that this virtually brought down the limit to $5700 for a lawsuit to qualify as high-value litigation. 

He said that this will make virtually any and every litigation qualifies under this norm. 

Monsoon Session Parliament Latest Updates: Union Law Minister in his reply said that the limit of Rs 3 lakh to qualify to be admitted into a fast-track court was a conscious decision. He said that he did not want that only the rich and mighty have access to prompt justice. He said that was not the kind of India the government wanted to build.

AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi said that the bill may be passed here but the issue won't be resolved until judicial capacity is strengthened. Accusing the government of taking only reactionary steps to improve its political TRP, Owaisi said that the current government has not done its homework. 

In Lok Sabha, while debating the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2018, several MPs raised the issue of a large number of vacancies in the lower court and the immense workload on the judiciary.

While debating the Commercial Division Bill, Ravi Shankar Prasad says, "Around 34 high court judges were appointed in 2017. We will cross the highest this year if we appoint. If we need access to justice, we need good judges. We want to showcase the world that even small dispute, the legal system is available to fast-track the cases."

Visibly annoyed with MPs who stormed the Well and raised slogan demanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi's presence in the Rajya Sabha, Venkaiah Naidu adjourned the House to re-assemble at 11 am on Thursday. The protesting MPs would not allow Rajnath Singh to address Rajya Sabha. The home minister was going to speak on the NRC issue in Assam.

Extremely critical of the NRC issue in Assam, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee arrived at the Parliament House and met many senior leaders and politician. Mamata met with senior BJP leader LK Advani and Trinamool Congress members. Mamata also met the floor leaders of various political parties.

Rajya Sabha resumes. Venkaiah Naidu says the Chair wants to proceed with Question Hour. Prasanna Acharya (BJD) suggests the home minister may make a statement on the NRC issue. BJP's Bhupendra Yadav also agrees with Acharya. But BJP members want Amit Shah to complete his speech. The Chair proceeds with Question Hour.

BJP president Amit Shah will soon address the Rajya Sabha on NRC issue.

As Rajya Sabha reconvened at 11 am today, Chairman Venkaiah Naidu got up from his chair as Congress' Anand Sharma raised objection to Amit Shah's speech on NRC draft. Naidu said, "It is ironic that I have to give away the best parliamentarian award function today. I was so upset yesterday, when MPs menacingly approached the Well. Many of you raised slogans, but I don't want to name anyone. The Chair has power to adjourn the House as per the situation because it is responsible to run the House in a dignified manner."

Naidu, further added, that if they didn't want to discuss issues properly, the House will be adjourned any time. Opposition leaders continued to raise slogans, as Amit Shah rose to re-start his speech and the Upper House was immediately adjourned till 12 pm.

Parliament is all set for a disruptive session today as the NRC issue is going to be blown up by the Opposition parties. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee will speak in Lok Sabha today, reports have claimed. Congress has given zero hour notice to discuss the NRC issue in Lok Sabha, ANI reports.

The Monsoon Session of Parliament, which began on 18 July, witnessed a stormy session on Tuesday with BJP chief Amit Shah accusing the Congress of not showing courage to identify illegal migrants in Assam. The opposition asked the government to tread cautiously and not play politics on the issue of NRC.

While the Congress asked the government to adopt a humanitarian approach and not leave out any Indian from the Assam's National Register of Citizens (NRC), TMC demanded its complete withdrawal claiming that Indians were left out of it.

As the Rajya Sabha debated the NRC issue after Congress and TMC members created an uproar, Shah countered them by asking whether the Congress wanted to save he "illegal Bangladeshis".

Participating in a discussion which was taken up by doing away with the Question Hour, Shah said the NRC was an exercise which was to be conducted as part of the Assam Accord signed by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhion August 14, 1985 after the movement in the state went out of control leading to death of some protesters.

Noting that the NRC was the spirit of the accord which sought to identify illegal migrants and prepare a list of Indian citizens, he said the exercise was now being conducted under the supervision of the Supreme Court.

"NRC is being conducted on the SC order. There are 40 lakh people (missing in the list) ... Whom do you want to save? You want to save illegal Bangaldesis," he posed. He said "this was the Congress PM's initiative. He (Rajiv Gandhi) did not have the courage. We have courage and we are doing it."

Shah's remarks provoked noisy protests by the Opposition members led by those from the Congress and the TMC. The House was first adjourned by Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu for about 10 minutes during the debate and then for the day.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh was present in the House but could not reply due to the noisy protests. Earlier, Naidu, while allowing the Question Hour to be dispensed with today, termed NRC as a "serious and sensitive" matter.

Initiating the debate, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said it was a humanitarian issue and not a matter of any particular caste, religion or region. "We don't want any person to be driven out of the country. This is not only about 40 lakh people, if you consider their children, families, it comes to 1-1.5 crore people," Azad said, adding the issue may have international ramifications, especially on India's close friend Bangladesh.

He observed that the onus of proving identity as a citizen of India should lie upon not just an individual but the government as well.

Azad said the government should make legal provisions for the affected persons and there should be no harassment. The Leader of Opposition further said even if one document is there out of the 16 documents required to prove identity, it should suffice, adding that no political party should make it a political or vote issue.

Ram Gopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party claimed that the persons not included in the NRC include those of Hindus as well as Muslims, and even those from states like Bihar and UP.

He said there is a need to exercise a lot of caution on the issue as if the name of an Indian citizen in Assam is not included in the NRC, where will the person go.

Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (TMC) said his party chief Mamata Banerjee has said it should be withdrawn and the legal citizens of India should not be thrown out.

He said that 40 lakh people have been rendered "nationless which is unique in the history of the world." He claimed that Indian citizens as well as governnent officials have been left out of the draft NRC list.

Roy said a misconception was being spread among the people that the exercise was being conducted in accordance with the Supreme Court's directive and asserted that the right of the people to reside in any state as per the Constitution is being violated.

BJD's Prasanna Acharya said no one should read politics on the issue because it is very sensitive. He urged Home Minister Rajnath Singh to provide an assurance that all irregularities in the NRC will be taken care of.

"In the Heat of the argument, let us not forget that this is an issue where national security is involved, humanitarian angle is also involved," Acharya said.

Y S Chowdary (TDP) claimed that proper procedure was not followed in the exercise of compiling the NRC and as a result, 40 lakh people have been declared refugees.

CPI(M)'s T K Rangarajan alleged that it was an illegal report and does not take into account several people from other parts of India who moved to Assam earlier.

Manoj Kumar Jha (RJD) said it cannot solely be a "heartless bureaucratic exercise" but should have a humanitarian approach, while Veer Singh of the BSP said an informed decision should be taken in this regard.

Majeed Memon (NCP) said it was not an issue of people from one religion alone, but the constitutional values with regard to the rights of an Indian citizen are involved. He said India will become the "laughing stock of the world if the people living in Assam since 50 years were dumped somewhere else. Biswajit Daimary (BPF), who belongs to Assam, said the names were not included in the NRC list due to lack of documentary proof. Such people have been given time to submit the documents.

"There won't be any action taken on over 40 lakh people (whose names are in the NRC list). They can submit the documents and proof. There should not be any confusion on this," he said. Swapan Dasgupta (Nom) said "my only appeal is that let there be a rigorous and fair scrutiny. Let us not be in denial that there is a real problem in Assam."

"This NRC did not come out of thin air. It was preceded by a susained agitation in which 100s of people lost lives and in which there was huge emotional outpouring in Assam and in other parts of north east," he said. "There is a perception which is not quantified that there is a large foreigner population living in Assam. We can only deny this at our own peril," he said.

Jose K Mani (KCM) said the Assam issue is a national issue, besides being a constitutional and humanitarian issue. The stakeholders have not been consulted and the government should have a road map to address the problem.

D Raja (CPI) said the issue has become sensitive and has the potential to disturb relations with neighbouring countries and even harmony among the states. He also said the government should take Parliament and political parties into confidence while dealing with such issues.

V Vijaysai Reddy (YSRCP) said Indian citizens who are not in the list should be restored without harassment, while Sanjay Singh (AAP) said "We should not give religious colour. We should look from humanitarian point of view." Tiruchi Siva (DMK) suggested that the government to tackle the issue in an amicable way, while Dharmapuri Srinivas (TRS) said that the government should reconsider and revaluate the list. Sukhdev Singh Dhinsa (SAD) also spoke about minorities.

Later, the sources said the Chairman discussed the issue with Leader of Opposition Azad and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs during the adjournment.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date:

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