First such occurrence in its history

The Assembly, on Thursday, had to vote on a Bill twice, the first such occurrence in its history, as the voting machine developed a snag in the first instance.

The day also saw a rare occurrence when the House took up for reconsideration two pieces of legislation, one passed in 2008 and another in 2009, returned by the President.

Under the Rules of Business, the Speaker need not order a re-poll, but G. Karthikeyan ordered one following confusion over the numbers polled on either side on the Registration (Kerala) Amendment Bill, 2009, which was returned by the President.

Voting machines are now used in the House unlike earlier.

Registration Act

The President had returned the Kerala Registration (Amendment) Act with a direction to make certain changes in Section 83A(3) relating to the powers of the Inspector General of Registration regarding cancellation of registered documents in certain cases.

The contentious clause relates to the cancellation of documents registered through impersonation that is detrimental to another person.

The President had recommended the insertion of the additional words “Shall have the authority” to give clear powers to the Inspector General to cancel such documents.

Deputy Leader of the Opposition Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, opposing the Bill seeking to implement the President’s direction, said the new insertions would take away the very essence of the Act passed by the previous Left Democratic Front government.

He moved a resolution seeking to retain the earlier provisions.

It was the result of this voting that led to a dispute following the failure of the voting machine.

The light that signals the casting of vote did not glow in the case of three Opposition members, though the display board showed the exact figure.

This prompted some of the Opposition members to rush to the well of the House in protest.

Mr. Karthikeyan did not hide his annoyance at the Opposition members for doing so and even went to the extent of naming V. Sivankutty of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Mr. Kodiyeri’s resolution was defeated with 70 members of the House rejecting the motion and 55 favouring. Later, the House witnessed three other votes on the same Bill as it went through the customary procedures, with the voting majority remaining the same.

Cr.PC amendment

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy moved a resolution seeking to withdraw the Code of Criminal Procedure (Kerala Amendment) Bill, 2008.

The Bill had been returned to the Assembly with a direction that the amendment brought in it was redundant with the changes in the Central Act.

The President suggested bringing a fresh Bill to give effect to another provision in the Bill passed by the previous government.

Detention

The President’s direction related to the amendment made to Section 167 of the original Act that made provision for dealing with detention of accused in a case through the medium of electronic video linkage.

His suggestion for bringing in a fresh Bill related to the amendment to Section 267A, which relates to the powers to secure attendance of persons confined or detained in prisons through the medium of electronic video coverage.

The Chief Minister announced in the House that the government had decided to comply with the President’s directions by withdrawing the Code of Criminal Procedure (Kerala Amendment) Bill, 2008. He said a fresh Bill would be introduced to give effect to the provisions contained in Section 267A.

Earlier instances

The Assembly had reconsidered a Bill on the President’s direction seven times since 1957.

The previous such was in 1989, when the President returned the Casual, Badli and Temporary Workers Wages Bill, 1977, 12 years after it was passed by the House.

The President’s direction was to exempt Union government institutions from the provisions of the Bill and avoidance of the word casual in it.


  • Snag leads to Opposition uproar

    in the Assembly

  • Speaker orders re-polling, expresses anguish