Objects to dilution of the liability of suppliers envisaged by panel report

Left members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology issued a note of dissent on Thursday, objecting to the dilution of the liability of the suppliers envisaged by the committee's report on the nuclear liability bill.

On Friday, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders handed over a note to Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Prithviraj Chavan with a similar objection.

Following is the text of the BJP note, titled “Deletion of the word ‘and' recommended by the Standing Committee between clause 17(a) and 17(b) of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages Bill 2010.”

1. The word “and” did not exist in the original Bill introduced in the Lok Sabha.

2. During the discussions with the Standing Committee or with the Opposition, this subject was not discussed.

3. Clause 17(a) provides for an agreement in writing in order to enable the Operator to exercise the right of recourse against the Supplier. Clause 17(b) deals with the liability of the Supplier in case of defective or sub-standard plants being supplied. If there is an agreement in writing between the Operator and the Supplier, the agreement will operate on its own terms. No statutory support is required from clause 17(b).

4. In case the right of recourse for supply of defective or sub-standard equipment is made conditional on the Supplier agreeing to an agreement in writing with the Operator, clause 17(b) will be operative only when the Supplier agrees to an agreement in writing. Then the efficacy and utility of clause 17(b) is completely destroyed by the Supplier not agreeing to an agreement in writing. Thus, what clause 17(b) gives as a protection to the operator, the word “and” snatches it away.

5. Since the nuclear power plants are to be operated only by the government or government companies, it would be to our own advantage to delete the word “and.”

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