New Delhi, May 7 (ANI): The controversial Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Friday, amidst a walkout staged by opposition.
As Minister of State for Science and Technology, Prithviraj Chavan sought permission to introduce the Bill, CPI (M) members Basudeb Acharia and Ramchandra Dome, BJP leaders M M Joshi, Yashwant Sinha and CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said the proposed Bill would violate Article 21 of the Constitution, a fundamental right that guarantees right to life.
They said the Bill also compromises the right of victims to approach courts for enhanced compensation.
Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj said her party had conveyed to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh that the Bill should be amended but the government was adamant on introducing it in the present form.
"It's illegal and unconstitutional," said Yashwant Sinha.
He also accused the government of acting under US pressure.
The passage of the Bill is considered important for starting nuclear commerce between India and international community. It also paves the way for appointment of claims commissioner and establishment of nuclear damage claims commission.
Earlier, the government had listed the bill for introduction on March 15, but had to defer it at the last moment after it realised that it did not have the requisite numbers to see its introduction in the Lok Sabha.
In the present form, the Bill limits liability to the operator for each nuclear incident at Rs 500 crore, which is the main issue of contention. (ANI)