In Cong Self Goal, SC/ST Ordinance Lapses

Before the opposition—the Congress, RJD and the Left vocal against diluting the stringent provision of the Bill/ordinance—could react, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, had already given her ruling amidst the disruption.

Published: 18th July 2014 07:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th July 2014 07:41 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: While the opposition was stuck up on making loud noises over ‘journalist’ Ved Prakash Vaidik’s controversial rendezvous with 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed, a Bill that makes willful neglect of atrocity-issues against SC/STs by a public servant a punishable offense was quickly referred to the Standing Committee in the din.

What was even more surprising, the Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowered is yet to be constituted. As a result, the Bill that was brought in to replace the ordinance is now on the backburner. And the ordinance would lapse.

Before the opposition—the Congress, RJD and the Left vocal against diluting the stringent provision of the Bill/ordinance—could react, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, had already given her ruling amidst the disruption.

Seeing the disarray in the opposition camp, still stuck on demanding a statement from External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot said he would go by the Speaker’s order and refer it to the Standing Committee.

By the time Opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge raised objection to the Bill being referred to the Standing Committee after the debate on the General Budget resumed, it was too late.

His visible attempt to win support from SP chieftain Mulayam Singh Yadav—he walked over to convince him—elicited no response and Mahajan over-ruled his objections.

The Bill - to replace the ordinance passed two days before the model code of conduct came into effect before the Lok Sabha elections - states that if a public servant, not an SC/ST, willfully neglects the duties required to be performed by him under the Act, he can face up to six years imprisonment. The Bill also makes provisions for the states to set up special courts to try offences under the Act.

Though the government was piloting the Bill, sources indicated that the provisions of the Bill are too stringent and need re-visiting. However, the Congress and the BSP, in particular, were strongly against any softening of the punitive clauses of the Bill, but to little avail.

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