Govt. tables Nuclear Liability Bill in Parliament, drops controversial word

Written by: Nairita Das
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New Delhi, Aug 25 (ANI): The Central Government tabled the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill on Wednesday and dropped a controversial amendment to a contentious clause on the liability of suppliers in case of accident in the civil nuclear damages bill, in a bid to evolve a consensus on the measure.

Minister of State for Science and Technology Prithviraj Chavan moved the Bill in the House and tabled an amendment to Clause 17(B), which now does not have the word 'intent' with regard to suppliers or their employees in causing an accident in a nuclear plant.

"The nuclear incident has resulted as a consequence of an act of supplier or his employee, which includes supply of equipment or material with patent or latent defects or sub-standard services," reads the rephrased amendment now.

Chavan said the Government had sought to evolve a broad consensus on the legislation by trying to take on board the concerns of Opposition parties, while commending the Bill to the House for its consideration.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Opposition had decided to put the Government on the back foot over the issue of Nuclear Liability Bill in the Parliament today.

The Union Cabinet cleared 18 amendments on August 20, including the one, which deals with a clause on liability of a supplier in the event of a nuclear accident.

The passage of the Bill is considered important for starting nuclear commerce between India and the international community.

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 accident at Rs 500 crore. (ANI)

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