Key legislations hit roadblock in 2011

New Delhi, Jan 5: Giving final shape to the Lokpal Bill, fine-tuning the Whistleblowers Bill and the Food Security Bill kept the Law Ministry busy in 2011, but these three legislations faced roadblocks in Parliament and their fate will be known in the new year.

A bill prepared in June and reworked in September on barring criminals from entering legislatures and Parliament also could not come up before Cabinet as the government wanted to take views of major political parties before taking a call. Initially, the all-party meet was planned in October, but it could not take place.

The first major decision Salman Khurshid took after assuming charge as Law Minister last July was to accept the resignation of Gopal Subramanium as the Solicitor General. Subramanium, perceived as the busiest law officer, tendered his resignation as he was upset over a government move to hire a private lawyer to represent the telecom ministry in the 2G scam case.

Between his resignation and the day it was accepted, Khurshid had replaced M Veerappa Moily as the law minister after a Cabinet reshuffle.

Three important legislations - The Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, a bill to increase the retirement age of high court judges from 62 to 65 years and High Courts (Commercial Divisions) Bill - faced various roadblocks in Parliament.

In an embarrassment to the government, the Opposition recently forced it to defer a bill for constitution of commercial divisions in high courts, stating that it provides for speedy justice to the rich at the cost of the poor. PTI NAB ZMN


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