Many Bills dilute States’ powers: O’Brien

One out of 4 legislations attacks the federal structure laid down by Constitution, says Trinamool leader

Published - August 09, 2019 01:00 am IST - New Delhi

Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien

Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien

A day after Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu hailed the recent parliamentary session for clearing 32 Bills, the highest in 17 years for a session, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien said many of them had violated the federal values of the Constitution.

“One out of the four Bills passed attacks the federal structure laid down by the Constitution and dilutes the powers of the States,” he said. The Opposition parties played a constructive role, but the government was not cooperative, he said.

Many regional parties had opposed the Bills to amend the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), the Right to Information Act and the NIA Act, among others. The latest amendments to the UAPA Act empowered the Home Ministry to declare any individual a terrorist and attach his property without consulting the police.

The amendments to the RTI Act will enable the Centre to decide the terms and conditions of employment of even the State Information Officers under the pretext of uniformity. The changes to the NIA Act mean the police need not be informed before arrests or raids.

Women’s quota Bill

Mr. O’Brien also asked why the government did not bring in the Bill to reserve 33% seats for women in Parliament or the one for data protection.

“It depends not on how many hours you spend with the tutor, it depends on the mark sheet and the quality of college you get into,” he said of the quality of the legislation passed without parliamentary scrutiny. No Bill was sent to a select committee or a standing committee this session. In the 14th Lok Sabha, 60% of the Bills were sent to standing committees and in the 15th Lok Sabha, it was 71%. In the 16th Lok Sabha, during the first government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, only 26% of the Bills went through this process.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.