Parliament updates: Lok Sabha passes UAPA Amendment Bill as Sonia Gandhi walksout; Rajya Sabha unanimously passes POCSO Amendment Bill

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Parliament updates: Lok Sabha passes UAPA Amendment Bill as Sonia Gandhi walksout; Rajya Sabha unanimously passes POCSO Amendment Bill
  • 18:23 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day

    Special Mentions end. The House is adjourned for the day.

  • 18:09 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha passes POCSO Amendment Bill

  • 18:06 (IST)

    What is POCSO Amendment bill?

    An intense debate on the POCSO Amendment Bill follows in the Rajya Sabha. Opposition stresses on introducing POCSO courts in cities, along with district courts. 

    • The bill increases the minimum punsihment for 'penetrative sexual assault' from seven years to ten years, adding that if a person commits penetrative sexual assault on a child below the age of 16 years, he will be punishable with imprisonment between 20 years to life, with a fine.
    • Adding two more grounds to the defintion of 'aggravated penetrative sexual assault', the bill includes, assault resulting in death of child, and assault committed during a natural calamity, or in any similar situations of violence. The bill also increases minimum punishment from ten years to 20 years, and the maximum punishment to death penalty.
    • The bill further adds wo more offences to the definition of aggravated sexual assault. These include — assault committed during a natural calamity, and administrating or help in administering any hormone or any chemical substance, to a child for the purpose of attaining early sexual maturity.
    • The bill defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a child including photograph, video, digital or computer generated image indistinguishable from an actual child and enhances the punishment for certain offences.

  • 18:01 (IST)

    Centre sanctions 123 fast-track courts: Smriti Irani tells Rajya Sabha

    Speaking on amendments to the POCSO bill, Smriti Irani says: "At least 123 fast-courts have been sanctioned by the government especially for women. More than one lakh cases are pending across the country and 18 states have given consent to establish these courts. The government has sanctioned over Rs 700 crore for the expenditure and by 2021, we aim to form these courts."

  • 17:58 (IST)

    We should applaud Derek O'Brien: Smriti Irani

    At least twenty-eight MLAs have spoken on the POCSO Amendment bill in Rajya Sabha. Smriti Irani addresses the Rajya Sabha. Recounting Derek O'Brien's abuse that he faced during his teens, Irani stresses how such incidents leave an imprint on mind. "After 46 years of the incdient, Derek revealed to the world what happened to him. We should applaud this," Irani says. 

  • 17:55 (IST)

    Lok Sabha: As banks become stricter, the poor have no choice but to invest in such schemes, says DMK MP

    Lok Sabha discusses The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes. DNV Senthilkumar S of DMK said that the government must understand why people are being pushed towards these schemes. He said if you look at the demographic that takes part in such schemes, it is always the labourers and the daily-wage earners. As banks become stricter, the poor have no choice but to invest in such schemes.

    Banks impose a high fee on all transactions, including a fine when a person is not able to keep a minimum balance. Corporations are given huge loan waivers, but the poor are not even looked at, he says. 

  • 17:52 (IST)

    Courts must maintain a child-friendly atmosphere: NCP's Vandana Chavan tells Rajya Sabha 

    NCP's Vandana Chavan said that session courts are given the status of the special courts. Because of the same, such courts continue with their day-to-day work and only once in a while undertake cases that come under the POCSO Act. Hence, courts only dedicated to cases under the Act must come into being, she says.

    She says that such courts must maintain a child-friendly atmosphere. At present, even the questions asked to the child are not child-friendly and instead tend to add to the trauma, she says. Chavan also said that the government must take strict action to ensure that the identity of the child is protected. Moreover, the government must also look into the question of rehabilitation.

  • 17:51 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha: NCP questions Smriti Irani over extremely low conviction rates under POCSO Act 

    NCP member in Rajya Sabha Vandana Chavan says conviction rates under the POCSO Act are extremely low. On the other hand, the pendency or the waiting period for a settlement is extremely high, she says. Although there is a clause in the Act that enables the constitution of special courts to deal with such cases and that such cases have to completed within a period of one year, pendency rates are high.

  • 17:49 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha discusses POCSO

     

    Mere legislation is not enough, govt should ensure it's implemented: TDP

    TDP's Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar says mere legislation is not effective in such cases. The government should make sure it is implemented as well. He says sexual offences against children should be made the rarest of rare cases. In the cases of the possession of pornography, minimum punishment should be meted out instead of just a mere fine.

    Kumar said a number offences against children go unreported. Moreover, thousands of cases are registered but no chargesheet is made by the police, he says. In the absence of a chargesheet, the courts cannot proceed. The government should ensure that the chargesheet is created by the respective police station when such cases come up. He also says special courts or fast-track court should be implemented under the POCSO Act. Apart from the investigation and the court proceedings that take place, the government must also concern itself with the rehabilitation of the victim, he says.

  • 17:46 (IST)

    When a girl child is raped and murdered, it should be considered a case of double murder: PDP in Rajya Sabha

    As the discussion and consideration of the the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019 continues in Rajya Sabha, PDP's Nazir Ahmed Laway says when the girl child is raped and murdered, it should be considered a case of double murder because not only the child, but her family and the nation is also murdered. Hence, the strictest punishment should be meted out to the perpetrator of such offences. Laway says he is standing here for all the mothers of the nation. 

  • 17:39 (IST)

    Punishment for offences for using child for pornographic purposes

    Offence POCSO Act, 2012 2018 Bill
    Use of child for pornographic purposes · Maximum: 5 years · Minimum: 5 years
    Use of child for pornographic purposes resulting in penetrative sexual assault · Minimum: 10 years
    · Maximum: life imprisonment
    · No change
    Use of child for pornographic purposes resulting in aggravated penetrative sexual assault · Life imprisonment · Minimum: 20 years
    · Maximum: life imprisonment, or death
    Use of child for pornographic purposes resulting in sexual assault · Minimum: Six years
    · Maximum: Eight years
    · Minimum: Three years
    · Maximum: Five years
    Use of child for pornographic purposes resulting in aggravated sexual assault · Minimum: Eight years
    · Maximum: 10 years
    · Minimum: Five years
    · Maximum: Seven years​

  • 17:16 (IST)

    Derek O'Brien gives own example while discussion POCSO in Rajya Sabha

    Urging people to speak out about sexual assault and harassment, Congress leader Derek O'Brien recited an incident when as a 13-year-old he was "sexually molested". He says it took him many years to tell others about the experience. He urged Members of Parliament, including actors, to speak about incidents of sexual assault or harassment. "The more people will talk about it, the more children will be safe," Derek said. 

    Congress says the Amendment talks about punishment instead of focusing on the children. Let the court decide on the punishments.

  • 17:10 (IST)

    Discussion on POCSO Amendment bill underway in Rajya Sabha

     

    Rajya Sabha discusses the POCSO Amendment Bill. Members suggested stringent punishment for child sexual abuse and formation of committees. 

    The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was introduced in Rajya Sabha by the Minister of Women and Child Development, Smriti Irani on 18 July, 2019. The Bill amends the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.  The Act seeks to protect children from offences such as sexual assault, sexual harassment, and pornography.

  • 16:56 (IST)

    Ban on unregulated deposits — What does it mean

    The Unregulated Deposit Scheme Bill, 2019 will help put a check on illicit deposit-taking activities that decieve poor and the financially illiterate of their hard earned savings. It will replace the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Ordinance, 2019.

    The ban on unregulated deposits and its promotion is expected to put a closure to this illicit activity. The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Scheme Ordinance has provisions which ban deposit takers from promoting, operating, issuing advertisements or accepting deposits in any unregulated deposit scheme. Many depositors have been taken for a ride by illicit entities running such scheme and duping people. An outright ban empowers the government to take action against such entities, while it strengthens the case of regulated banking activities.

  • 16:39 (IST)

    Lok Sabha. Rajya Sabha are in session

    Lok Sabha discusses Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes. Rajya Sabha discusses The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill. 

  • 16:13 (IST)

    UAPA Amendment Bill: Insertion to schedule of treaties

     

    The UAPA Amendment Bill defines terrorist acts to include acts committed within the scope of any of the treaties listed in a schedule to the Act.  The Schedule lists nine treaties, including the Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings (1997), and the Convention against Taking of Hostages (1979).  The Bill adds another treaty to the list.  This is the International Convention for Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (2005).     

  • 16:03 (IST)

    Lok Sabha passes UAPA Amendment Bill

    Investigation by NIA

    Under the Act, investigation of cases may be conducted by officers of the rank of Deputy Superintendent or Assistant Commissioner of Police or above.  The Bill additionally empowers the officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases.

  • 16:03 (IST)

    UAPA Amendment Bill

    Approval for seizure of property by NIA

    Under the Act, an investigating officer is required to obtain the prior approval of the Director General of Police to seize properties that may be connected with terrorism.  The Bill adds that if the investigation is conducted by an officer of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the approval of the Director General of NIA would be required for seizure of such property.  

  • 16:02 (IST)

    Who may commit terrorism under UAPA

    Under the Act, the central government may designate an organisation as a terrorist organisation if it: (i) commits or participates in acts of terrorism, (ii) prepares for terrorism, (iii) promotes terrorism, or (iv) is otherwise involved in terrorism.  The Bill additionally empowers the government to designate individuals as terrorists on the same grounds, reports PRS Legislative.

  • 16:01 (IST)

    UAPA Amendment Bill introduced by Amit Shah on 8 July

    The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha by Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah on 8 July, 2019. The Bill amends the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.  The Act provides special procedures to deal with terrorist activities, among other things.

  • 15:59 (IST)

    Division on moving UAPA Amendment to a clause is Ayes - 8; Noes- 288

    Congress called for division on the Unlawful Activities Prevention (Amendment) Bill, 2019. After a long time, division taken by asking members to stand in the House and counting their strength. The result of division on moving an Amendment to a  clause of the Bill is: Ayes - 8; Noes- 288

  • 15:37 (IST)

    Lok Sabha passes UAPA Amendment Bill

    Opposition asks for division as the Bill is put to vote. Only 8 Members have voted against the Bill. Clause-by-clause voting is taken up. The Bill is passed. House is adjourned till 4.15 pm.

  • 15:21 (IST)

    There's need for provision to declare terrorist: Amit Shah on UAPA Bill

    Union Home Minister Amit Shah stressed on the need for a provision to declare an individual as a terrorist. "There's a need for a provision to declare an individual as a terrorist, UN has a procedure for it, US has it, Pakistan has it, China has it, Israel has it, European Union has it, everyone has done it," Shah said. 

  • 15:20 (IST)

    Whenever anti-terror laws are diluted terror strikes increase: BJP in Lok Sabha

    BJP's Satya Pal Singh said that terrorists are not usual criminals. "It is difficult to investigate them. Many ask what is the need for this law? Why do you need laws for POCSO or traffic violation? That's because the magnitude of crimes decide the punishment," he said. 

    Singh claimed whenever anti-terror laws are diluted terror strikes increase.

  • 15:19 (IST)

    Karti Chidambaram of Congress on UAPA Bill

    Karti Chidambaram tells Lok Sabha: "We can't give up individual rights. Many of us in this House started our life as activists. The right to dissent must be protected."

  • 15:06 (IST)

    Sonia, Tharoor and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury walkout of Lok Sabha

     

    The Opposition members, including Congress leader of the Floor Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, staged a walkout in Lok Sabha. After Home Minister Amit Shah slammed the Opposition and said that terrorism needs a strong law to stop it. He says that UPA-era laws were also similar. He says that those who finance, help terrorists should also be called terrorists. Members of the House should not disagree with this, he remarks. He says Yasin Bhatkal would have been arrested sooner, if he had been designated as a terrorist.

    Those who are involved in urban Maoism will not be spared, he says in response to Supriya Sule's point about the arrest of activists under the UAPA. Shah also mocked Chowdhury, asking him to be patient when Members are making a point. "Aapka naam sahi hai - Adhir," Shah quipped. Chowdhury demanded that the Bill should be sent to a Standing Committee.

  • 14:52 (IST)

    Lok Sabha | Amit Shah taunts Opposition's arguments over UAPA, says 'abolish Police also'

    Home Minister Amit Shah slams the Opposition's arguments of misuse and says then the "CrPC, and the police must also be abolished".

  • 14:46 (IST)

    Lok Sabha | The provision to declare someone as a 'terrorist' has safety nets against misuse: Amit Shah

     

    The time has come for the global community to take up the fight against terrorism in earnest, Amit Shah said in the debate on the UAPA Amendment bill in the Lok Sabha. "We have given the NIA power only for cases over which NIA has jurisdiction," Shah said.

    "I want to reiterate that the law was brought by the UPA, and if the federal structure has been spoilt it has been spoilt by the UPA. When it comes to an anti-terror fight, we should rise above party politics," he said.

  • 14:42 (IST)

    Lok Sabha | 'Activists who help terrorists, should be labelled as terrorists or not?' Amit Shah asks House

    Amit Shah defended the UAPA Amendment bill in the Lower House and said that all those who indulge in terrorist activities, should be labelled as a terrorist. "A terrorist has violence in their mentality, it's not about how many terrorist organisations are banned. Terrorists have to be stopped to stop terrorism in the world," Shah said.

  • 14:36 (IST)

    Lok Sabha | Amit Shah begins responding to objections over UAPA Amendment bill

     

    Home Minister Amit Shah raised to address the Lower House over objections raised against the UAPA Amendment bill. He said that no matter which side of the House one sits, they are against terrorism. "The law was implemented when the Congress was in power, the subsequent three amendments were also brought when the UPA was in power. When you are raising questions, you are not thinking about who has brought this law into implementation," he said.

    "What you did (regarding the law) was right, I agree. What I am doing now is also right," he added. "Don't oppose a legislation for the sake of opposing the party in power."

  • 14:25 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha: Amendments to RTI Act diluting powers of states, says Ghulam Nabi Azad

    Rajya Sabha reconvenes. Amendments to RTI Act is being taken up. Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad says the Bill is diluting the powers of the states. He suggests the Bill to be sent to Select Committee.

    V Muraleedharan, MoS Parliamentary Affairs, says the Bill is not listed for today. Trinamool Congress' Derek O'Brien says the House passed 14 Bills. In that spirit of cooperation, please send seven Bills to Select Committees.

    BJP's Bhupendra Yadav says the government believes in cooperative federalism. Let us discuss as per the List of Business, he says.

  • 14:11 (IST)

    Draconian laws, earlier by Congress and now by BJP, have been used against Muslims and Dalits: Asaduddin Owaisi in Lok Sabha

    Telangana MP Owaisi says, "By bringing such a bill, it will mean we are disrespecting freedom fighters, as it violates of Article 21 merely on the basis of the feeling of the government or suspect. This is social ostracisation. The bill lacks judicial review and I want to know where is parliamentary sovereignty going?" 

    "We are outsourcing nationalism to the international convention- undermines dual structure of the country." 

    He questions Home Minister Amit Shah. "What about zero tolerance miscarriage of justice as officials don't get suspended. I blame Congress for this, they are are the culprits for bringing in this law. It allows for the seizure of property and where is judicial scrutiny? I believe IPC is good enough. Draconian laws, earlier by Congress and now by BJP, have been used against Muslims and Dalits."

  • 14:03 (IST)

    Asaduddin Owaisi blames Congress for making laws like UAPA, BJP backs AIMIM leader 

    AIMIM's Asaduddin Owaisi launched a scathing attacking on the BJP-led ruling government and said that the UAPA Bill violates Article 21. It takes over the judicial rights. "Are you outsourcing your nationalism to some international convention?"

    Owaisi blamed Congress for making such laws. "Let a Congress leader be arrested in this law, only then they will know." Congress objected to the claim and Owaisi, in a rare occurrence, received support from BJP members.

  • 13:49 (IST)

    Narendra Modi as Gujarat CM had said UAPA Bill affected federal structure of India: Supriya Sule tells Lok Sabha


    NCP MP in Lok Sabha Supriya Sule quoted Narendra Modi as the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, when he opposed the UPA-era Bills on law and order, saying that it affected the federal structure of the country. Sule wanted a clarification on this and further added that the current government should at least acknowledge that they are revisiting UPA-era plans. Sule smiled and went on to add, "If that is so, then we should at least thank P Chidambaram."

  • 13:15 (IST)

    LOK SABHA

    UAPA is used to just detain people in jail and deny them a trial: BSP

    The Lok Sabha is currently discussing The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019. BSP's Danish Ali says that a large percentage of those in prison are under trials. He says the UAPA is used to just detain people in jail and deny them a trial. He asks if laws are made just to target citizens. He wants to know if the government has any plans in place to prevent the misuse of this law. He wants the Bill to taken back.

  • 13:12 (IST)

    LOK SABHA: JD(U) MP says UAPA Bill should be passed if the House wants terror defeated 

     

    JD(U) MP in Lok Sabha Sunil Kumar Pintu says that this government (BJP-led NDA) targets anyone who is involved in terrorism. He speaks of the need for setting up of the NIA after the Mumbai attacks. He wants the Bill passed so that terror is defeated. He says the issue that the Opposition has raised about this encroaching on State rights is not important as terrorism affects everyone.

  • 13:11 (IST)

    UAPA Bill allows individuals to be designated as terrorists without due process: Mahua Moitra 

    Moitra further added: "The UAPA bill seeks to do two things: In Clause 5, Section 25, National Investigation Agency (NIA) can go into any state and search the properties of any individual without the permission of the state Police which questions the federal structure of the country. In Clause 5, Section 35, the amendment to the bill allows for individuals to be designated as terrorists without due process. This bill is anti-federalism, anti-constitutional and anti-people. So I urge the Home Minister to withdraw the bill."

  • 13:07 (IST)

    Lok Sabha: UAPA is anti-federalism, anti-constitutional and anti-people, says Mahua Moitra

    Arjun Ram Meghwal says that the ruling party has never called anyone "anti-national". Moitra said her statement was against propaganda machinery and not a single member.

    Moitra said this Bill seeks to designate individuals as terrorists without due process. The Treasury Benches heckled her as she spoke and asked the Chair to maintain order in the House. She said that the Bill also takes away the powers of the State. She calls the Bill anti-federalism, anti-constitutional and anti-people.

  • 12:59 (IST)

    Why is the Opposition called anti-national every time we disagree with the government on issues of national security: Mahua Moitra opposes UAPA Bill in Lok Sabha

    Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra vehemently opposed The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019. She said that if the Centre wants to target someone, they will get them somehow. Each time the Trinamool opposes a Bill, they run the risk of being labeled as anti-national, she added. "Why do I feel a sense of menace. Why is the Opposition called anti-national every time we disagree with the government on issues of national security?"

    BJP MP SS Ahluwalia raises a point of order that members can't make allegations against the government without substantiating it. Meenakshi Lekhi (in the Chair) reads out the rule that no member can make a defamatory statement without giving notice. Moitra says she can fight her case.

  • 12:56 (IST)

    UAPA Bill taken up by Lok Sabha

    The Lok Sabha took up The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 for consideration and passing. Vinayak Raut of the Shiv Sena says that for the first time when a Home Minister (Amit Shah) visited Jammu and Kashmir, there was no opposition. This is the first time the Amarnath yatra has happened without any incideent, he added. 

  • 12:36 (IST)

    Amit Shah replies to a question on witness protection in Muzzaffarnagar riots incident

    Mos Home Affairs Kishan Reddy while answering a question on mob lynching said that lynching takes place in West Bengal and Kerala too and the government takes them up on a case-by-case basis.

    Meanwhile, RJD MP Manoj Kumar Jha asked about communal riots in Muzzaffarnagar and that 40 accused have been acquitted. he questioned what is being done for witness protection. To this, Home Minister Amit Shah replied saying that the minister will respond when he has the information on the specified time period. He said that the question was on the Muzzaffarnagar incident which doesn't fall in the three-year ambit on which the question was raised.

  • 12:31 (IST)

    Lower House takes up The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019

    Lok Sabha takes up The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 for consideration and passing. Shiv Sena MP Vinayak Raut said that for the first time a Home Minister (Amit Shah) visited Jammu and Kashmir and there was no opposition. "This is the first time the Amarnath Yatra has happened without any incident," he said.

  • 12:29 (IST)

    Congress MPs staged a walkout in the Lower House over Trump's Kashmir statement

    As the Opposition walked out of the Lower House over the Kashmir mediation issue, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that India will not accept any form of mediation in the Kashmir issue. "It's a matter of our dignity," he said. 

    “External affairs minister S Jaishankar was present at Trump-Modi meeting. Therefore, his statement is most authentic on issue of Kashmir mediation," Rajnath remarked.

  • 12:27 (IST)

    'We want to hear from the horse's mouth,' Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury asks PM to respond

    Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury asked Narendra Modi to come to the House and respond to the Opposition's queries regarding the controversy surrounding the US President's comments on the Kashmir issue.

    "We do not know what US President Donald Trump and Narendra Modi talk during the G20 Osaka summit? Today the prime minister was supposed to be present here but he is not here. In 1971, after the war, we had settled some terms and then during the Shimla Agreement, it was said that India and Pakistan can discuss it bilaterally," he said. "We want to learn the fact from the horse's mouth, i.e. Modi's mouth whether Donald Trump lied or not."

  • 12:22 (IST)

    Kashmir issue wasn't discussed at all during Modi-Trump meeting: Rajnath Singh

    Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Lok Sabha said that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has already told the House that the Kashmir issue was not discussed in the meeting of US President Donald Trump and PM Narendra Modi. There is no question of mediation in the Kashmir issue as it will be against the Shimla agreement. Rajnath said that he is ready to respond if the members are willing to complete the debate. 

  • 12:18 (IST)

    Congress walks out of Lok Sabha

    Opposition MPs, led by the Congress, staged a walk-out insisting Prime Minister Narendra Modi clarifies on the controversial claim of Donald Trump that the Indian prime minister had asked the US President to act as a mediator in the Kashmir issue. Before leaving the House, Leader of Opposition Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury questioned the PM's silence over the issue. Leader of DMK Parliamentary Party TR Baloo supported Congress' demand seeking clarification from Modi on Trump's gaffe.

  • 12:15 (IST)

    Govt passing bills in Parliament without scrutiny, RTI amendment bill should be sent to select panel: TMC

    The TMC has demanded that the RTI amendment bill be sent to a select panel and alleged that the government was passing bills in Parliament without any "scrutiny". TMC MP and national spokesperson Derek O'Brien charged that the government used its "brute majority" in Lok Sabha to bulldoze the "faulty RTI Bill". "We demand that the RTI amendment bill be sent to a select panel," O'Brien told reporters in Parliament.

    PTI

  • 12:13 (IST)

    Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury raises issue of Donald Trump's statement on Kashmir in Lok Sabha, says PM hasn't spoken yet

    Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury reiterated in the House that Kashmir is a bilateral issue. He said that the Prime Minister has not confirmed or denied US President Donald Trump's claim that India asked the US to mediate with Pakistan.

  • 12:08 (IST)

    'We have to empower the poor', need to uphold Ambedkar's values, says D Raja in farewell address

    In his farewell speech in Rajya Sabha as a Member of Parliament, DMK leader D Raja said: "We consider the parliament is the supreme institution in our democracy. I wish the parliament remains as how it was visualised by Ambedkar and other reformers. We, the people should be our understanding. In a country like ours, very diverse. People must be safeguarded. Politically marginalised people must be treated as human beings. Citizens don't need empathy or sympathy. They need to have their human rights and democratic rights."

    Raja also spoke on the women's reservation bill and the issue of women empowerment and took up the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils. After his address, the Chair remarked: "Raja has only retired, he is not tired."

  • 12:02 (IST)

    Our govt is committed to ensuring welfare and safety of Indians working abroad: EAM S Jaishankar

    Answering a question raised during Question Hour in Lok Sabha on how the Ministry of External Affairs is monitoring the issues faced by people living abroad, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said, "There is an e-migrate mother platform which looks after the welfare of labourers and tracks difficulties of the people living abroad. I can tell you there is enormous help given for monitoring people who are facing difficulties living outside the country and the positive approach of our government ensures this."

Parliament updates: The Lok Sabha witnessed aggressive discussion on the controversial The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019  with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, senior Congress leaders Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Shashi Tharoor staging a walkout as Union Home Minister expounded the need for an amended UAPA. In Rajya Sabha, meanwhile, members vehemently spoke in favour of an amended POCSO Bill and the Upper House passed the bill.

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill has been passed by the Rajya Sabha. At least, twenty-eight MLAs have spoken on the POCSO Amendment bill. Smriti Irani addresses the Rajya Sabha. Recounting Derek O'Brien's abuse that he faced during his teens, Irani stresses how such incidents leave an imprint on mind. "After 46 years of the incdient, Derek revealed to the world what happened to him. We should applaud this," Irani says.

Urging people to speak out about sexual assault and harassment, Congress leader Derek O'Brien said recited an incident where as a 13-year-old he was "sexually molested". He urged Members of Parliament, including actors, to speak about incidents of sexual assault or harassment. "The more people will talk about it, the more children will be safe," Derek said.

The Lok Sabha passed the The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 despite several Opposition members vehemently opposing the amendment. After Opposition members, including TMC's Mahua Moitra, Congress' Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Karti Chidambaram, NCP's Supriya Sule and AIMIM's Asaduddin Owaisi, opposed the bill calling it "anti-people", Home Minister Amit Shah rose to address the Lower House and slammed Opposition for blocking passage of the bill.  "Members of the House should not disagree with this," he added. "Yasin Bhatkal would have been arrested sooner, if he had been designated as a terrorist," Shah said.

Home Minister Amit Shah raised to address the Lower House over objections raised against the UAPA Amendment bill. Shah slams Opposition in the Lower House and says that the BJP government will never sympathise with terrorists or "urban naxals". He says that UPA-era laws were also similar. He says that those who finance, help terrorists should also be called terrorists. Members of the House should not disagree with this, he remarks. He says Yasin Bhatkal would have been arrested sooner, if he had been designated as a terrorist.

The time has come for the global community to take up the fight against terrorism in earnest, Amit Shah said in the debate on the UAPA Amendment bill in the Lok Sabha. "We have given the NIA power only for cases over which NIA has jurisdiction," Shah said.

"I want to reiterate that the law was brought by the UPA, and if the federal structure has been spoilt it has been spoilt by the UPA. When it comes to an anti-terror fight, we should rise above party politics," he said.

Home Minister Amit Shah raised to address the Lower House over objections raised against the UAPA Amendment bill. He said that no matter which side of the House one sits, they are against terrorism. "The law was implemented when the Congress was in power, the subsequent three amendments were also brought when the UPA was in power. When you are raising questions, you are not thinking about who has brought this law into implementation," he said.

"What you did (regarding the law) was right, I agree. What I am doing now is also right," he added. "Don't oppose a legislation for the sake of opposing the party in power."

AIMIM's Telangana MP Asaduddin Owaisi in Lok Sabha opposed The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019. Owaisi said, "By bringing such a bill, it will mean we are disrespecting freedom fighters, as it violates of Article 21 merely on the basis of the feeling of the government or suspect. This is social ostracisation. The bill lacks judicial review and I want to know where is parliamentary sovereignty going?" He questions Home Minister Amit Shah. "What about zero tolerance miscarriage of justice as officials don't get suspended. I blame Congress for this, they are are the culprits for bringing in this law. It allows for the seizure of property and where is judicial scrutiny? I believe IPC is good enough. Draconian laws, earlier by Congress and now by BJP, have been used against Muslims and Dalits."

NCP MP in Lok Sabha Supriya Sule quoted Narendra Modi as the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, when he opposed the UPA-era Bills on law and order, saying that it affected the federal structure of the country. Sule wanted a clarification on this and further added that the current government should at least acknowledge that they are revisiting UPA-era plans. Sule smiled and went on to add, "If that is so, then we should at least thank P Chidambaram."

Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra vehemently opposed The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019. She said, "The UAPA bill seeks to do two things: In Clause 5, Section 25, National Investigation Agency (NIA) can go into any state and search the properties of any individual without the permission of the state Police which questions the federal structure of the country. In Clause 5, Section 35, the amendment to the bill allows for individuals to be designated as terrorists without due process. This bill is anti-federalism, anti-constitutional and anti-people. So I urge the Home Minister to withdraw the bill."

She said that if the Centre wants to target someone, they will get them somehow. Each time the Trinamool opposes a Bill, they run the risk of being labeled as anti-national, she added. "Why do I feel a sense of menace. Why is the Opposition called anti-national every time we disagree with the government on issues of national security?"

In Lok Sabha, RJD MP Manoj Kumar Jha asked about communal riots in Muzzaffarnagar and that 40 accused have been acquitted. he questioned what is being done for witness protection. To this, Home Minister Amit Shah replied saying that the minister will respond when he has the information on the specified time period. He said that the question was on the Muzzaffarnagar incident which doesn't fall in the three-year ambit on which the question was raised.

Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury asked Narendra Modi to come to the House and respond to the Opposition's queries regarding the controversy surrounding the US President's comments on the Kashmir issue.

There is a ruckus in Lok Sabha as Opposition MPs continue to protest in the Lower Huse seeking a reply from Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament on the statement of US President Donald Trump on Kashmir.

A day after the Lok Sabha passed amendments to the Right to Information (RTI) Act, social activist Anna Hazare accused the Union government of betraying Indian citizens through the move. "It is expected that while drafting legislation, the government take the opinion of citizens. If the draft and the Act are both made only by the government, then it is not a democracy but a dictatorship," Hazare said.

Rajya Sabha MPs from the Shiv Sena, the Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday gave Zero Hour notices in the Upper House of the Parliament over various issues. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut has given the notice in Rajya Sabha over "delay in the production of Vande Bharat Express".

PDP MP Nazir Ahmad Laway gave Zero Hour Notice in the Upper House over "problems of Jammu and Kashmir migrants" while Congres MP Ripun Bora gave the notice over the revival of Jagiroad and Panchgram Paper Mill under Hindustan paper corporation.

The Zero Hour refers to the time immediately following the Question Hour in both the Houses of Parliament. During this hour, parliamentarians can raise matters of great importance without the mandatory ten days advance notice.

The first session of Rajya Sabha after the formation of the new government in May commenced on 20 June and will culminate on 26 July.

Updated Date: Jul 24, 2019 19:47:29 IST