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Key bills to be taken up in Monsoon session of Parliament

By Deepika

New Delhi, July 13: The Monsoon Session of the Parliament, which will begin on 18 July will be addressing various pending Bills and six ordinances. The session will also introduce new Bills within a span of 18 days.

According to the Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar six ordinances will be taken up along with the 68 pending Bills in Lok Sabha and 40 in Rajya Sabha.

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This session is crucial as the Budget session, the previous session of Parliament, was mostly a washout. The session saw utilisation of just 1 per cent of its allotted time in Lok Sabha and 6 per cent in the Rajya Sabha.

Some key bills which are lined up for the session include the Constitution (123rd) Amendment Bill, 2017, the Triple Talaq bill, Transgender Bill, the Indian Arbitration Council Act, 2017, and the Specific Relief (Amendment) Bill, 2018.

The government has sought support from Sonia Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee and Mayawati for the passage of Triple Talaq bill.

Here is a look at the key bills to be introduced in the parliament

123rd Constitutional Amendment Bill

The 123rd Constitutional Amendment bill that can grant constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes has been pending since April 2017 and the Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Orders (Amendment) Bill that will aid in the inclusion of excluded tribes are pending.

The bill carries most of the provisions it had in its original version passed by the Lok Sabha before the opposition got amendments passed in the Upper House in the last session.

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017

The Muslim Women Protection of Rights in Marriage Act is meant to ensure Muslim men do not indulge in instant triple talaq, declared illegal by a Supreme Court judgment recently.

The bill also envisages a provision for the aggrieved wife to seek subsistence allowance and custody of her minor children by moving the court. The bill will make instant talaq, proclaimed verbally, through writing or electronic form, illegal and void.

The law drafted by the law ministry law ministry will make grant of instant talaq a cognisable and a non-bailable offence, according to a government insider. Any aggrieved Muslim woman would be entitled to approach a magistrate court to seek redress.

The bill was cleared by the Lok Sabha through a voice vote but could not be passed in the Upper House due to a deadlock over the Opposition's demand seeking its reference to a Select Committee for close scrutiny.

Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill:

Pending since November 2016. It allows couples who are unable to conceive a child to opt for surrogacy; the surrogate mother should be a 'close relative' of the couple is one of the conditions, although the Bill does not define the term 'close relative'.

The Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2016

The Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2016 seeks to transfer 'Bhogta' community of Jharkhand from the list of SCs to the STs list.

The Bill, introduced by Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram amid din over the note ban issue, also seeks to include certain more communities in the list of STs relating to Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Tripura.

The government keeps amending the lists originally notified in 1950 based on requests made by various state governments.

The National Medical Commission Bill, 2017

The National Medical Commission Bill, 2017, which aims to overhaul medical education in India and replace the 83-year-old Medical Council of India with a government-appointed NMC, has several worrying features. While the long-term implications of the bill have not been satisfactorily debated and addressed, the bill itself is in danger of causing similar or even worse outcomes than the previous MCI Act. The NMC Bill remains a questionable remedy, and it has drawn criticism from several quarters, including the country's medical fraternity.

Other Bills

Other Bills that will be addressed are the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017; hese bills were passed in the Lok Sabha but the government couldn't clear it in the Rajya Sabha since it lacked the majority in the Upper House. The numbers have significantly changed after recent Rajya Sabha elections, but the BJP is still dependent on its allies in the Upper House.

Among the bills pending in Lok Sabha include the one seeking to establish an international arbitration centre in New Delhi, a national Sports University in Manipur, a bill seeking to establish a medical commission, a bill to regulate surrogacy, and bill for the protection of transgenders.

Fresh bills

Dam Safety Bill, 2018

The Dam Safety Bill, 2018, which would establish a National Committee on Dam Safety to lay out national-level policies and regulation for maintaining dams in the country. Even before the Bill is tabled, it has invited opposition. The Tamil Nadu Assembly has unanimously agreed to oppose the Bill. With the AIADMK being the third largest party in the Lok Sabha and the Tamil Nadu wing of Congress also opposing the Bill, it has to be seen if the bill will get a smooth passage. A similar bill was introduced by the UPA government in 2010, but it never saw the light of day, facing opposition from regional parties.

DNA Profiling Bill, 2018

The Centre is set to table a bill to regulate DNA profiling will be tabled in the Monsoon session of the parliament. Called the DNA Profiling Bill, 2018, the proposed bill is likely to take inputs from a 2007 draft. Under the draft Bill, the government will set up DNA data banks across India to store profiles, and also impose jail term of up to three years and a fine of up to Rs one lakh on those who leak the information stored in such facilities. These banks will maintain a national database for identification of victims, accused, suspects, undertrials, missing persons and unidentified human remains.

Higher Education Commission of India Bill 2018

Union government has decided to introduce the Higher Education Commission of India (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act) Bill 2018 that will do away with the University Grants Commission Act and pave the way for the setting up of the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI). The new Commission will focus on "improving academic standards and the quality of Higher Education," Union HRD Ministry said in a release Wednesday.The new body will be empowered with penalising powers such as imposing fines, withdrawal of power to grant degrees or directions to cease operations.

There are six ordinances waiting for the Upper House's nod are:

Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance

Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance

Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of HCs (Amendment) Ordinance

Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance

National Sports University Ordinance

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance

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