The United Progressive Alliance government on Saturday underlined its commitment to legislate the Women's Reservation Bill, providing for 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies, at the earliest.

Law Minister Veerappa Moily said in the Lok Sabha that the Bill would be a reality soon, and urged the House to usher in the reform. “Whatever be the reason, let the Bill be passed.”

Mr. Moily assured that the government would go ahead with any amendment that the members might call for at a subsequent stage, obviously referring to the demand for a quota within the quota for various categories of underprivileged communities.

Parties such as the Rashtriya Janata Dal, Janata Dal (United), Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party stalled the Bill in the Lok Sabha, though the Rajya Sabha passed it.

“This House should not reflect the male chauvinistic attitude to the country and the world,” he said.

Bill on gender equality

Mr. Moily made the statement while replying to the debate on the Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2010, adopted by the House, for providing gender equality in matters of adoption and guardianship. The Bill allows the appointment of the mother as a guardian of a minor, removes the incapacity of a married woman to adopt a child merely on the basis of her marital status, and provides that the mother shall have equal right in consent, along with the father, to give in adoption of their children.

Apart from announcing that the government was working on a comprehensive law on gender equality, Mr. Moily also said that his Ministry was working on classifying pending cases relating to women and children to be transferred from the Munsif court to the Supreme Court.

The Lok Sabha later ratified the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2010, as passed by the Rajya Sabha.

Minister of State for Coal Shri Prakash Jaiswal, replying to the debate, allayed fears that the new law would pave way for foreign countries to take away coal from India, said : “They can compete in the bidding and carry on mining operations but cannot take away even one kg of coal from India.”

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