Priority will be accorded to Women’s Reservation Bill by the reconstituted Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice.

Taking up the Bill for scrutiny was broadly favoured at the first meeting of the Committee on Monday, sources said.

The new committee headed by senior Congress member Jayanti Natarajan will scrutinise the Bill that seeks to provide 33 per cent reservation to women in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies.

Since there were several pending subjects, the new committee met to decide how to prioritise those issues, sources said adding that Women’s Reservation Bill was one of the priority issues before it.

Incidentally, the earlier committee headed by another senior Congress member E.M. Sudarsana Natchiappan has done much of the ground work on the Bill.

Despite government declaring it as a “top priority” in its second term, the Bill did not come up in the Budget session of Parliament.

In her address to both Houses of Parliament, President Pratibha Patil had mentioned bringing a legislation on women’s reservation in the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies.

The Bill has remained stalled due to resistance from some parties which are opposed to it in its present form and want quota within quota.

The controversial Bill has drawn criticism from the JD(U), the SP, the RJD and some independent members, who say the measure is intended to keep women from the OBC communities outside legislatures.

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