SC/ST Amendment Bill Sent to Standing Comm amid Congress Protest

Published: 17th July 2014 03:57 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th July 2014 03:57 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

NEW DELHI: A bill which makes wilful neglect of duties by public servants in issues relating to atrocities against the SC and ST a punishable offence was referred to the Standing Committee by Lok Sabha amid protests and objections from Congress.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan referred the bill to the Standing Committee amid disruptions from opposition members including Congress, RJD and RSP demanding immediate statement from External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik's meeting with the 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed.

Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot said he would go by the orders of the Speaker on the measure when she asked whether it should be referred to the Standing Committee.

When the House returned to order following a statement from the External Affairs Minister on the Vaidik issue and resumed debate on the general budget, leader of the Congress Mallikarjun Kharge raised the issue of the bill and objected to its being referred to the Standing Committee.

At one point, Kharge went to Mulayam Singh Yadav whom the Speaker had asked to resume the debate on Budget, but the SP chief was not impressed.

Kharge as also another Congress member K H Muniappa insisted that the issue involved 23 per cent of the population in the country and they wanted to have their say in the matter.

Supporting their contention, their party colleague Shashi Tharoor raised a point of order saying it was not proper to take a decision when the House was not in order.

Mahajan overruled all the objections observing that opposition would have come to know of the bill being referred to the Standing Committee if they had not resorted to din.

A decision has been taken by the House to refer the bill to the Standing Committee and more discussion sought by opposition could be possible in such a Committee, she observed.

The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2014, seeks to replace an Ordinance. The bill states that if a public servant, who is not a member of a SC or ST, wilfully neglects his duties required to be performed by him under this Act, he or she shall be punished with imprisonment for a term from six months to one year.

The bill also makes provisions for states to set up special courts to try offences under the Act.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp