PARLIAMENT

Rajya Sabha passes Enemy Property Bill amid Opposition walkout

The Rajya Sabha as it discusses the Enemy Property Bill on Friday.  

Day 10 of the Budget session, whose second part began on March 9, 2017, witnessed debate on a private member bill moved by independent member Rajeev Chandrasekhar — Declaration of States as Sponsor of Terrorism Bill, 2016 —  that seeks to declare Pakistan a terror state. After the debate, the House passed the Enemy Properties Bill.

The Lok Sabha passed the Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims), 2016 that seeks to repeal laws such as the Admiralty Court Act, 1861, the Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act, 1890.

Here are the live updates:

6.18 p.m.: With that we conclude our live coverage of today's proceedings in Parliament. Let's meet again on March 14. 

6.16 p.m.: The Lok Sabha Secretary-General reports the passage of the Enemy Property Bill in the Rajya Sabha. The House stands adjourned till March 14.

 

5.15 p.m.: The Lok Sabha passes the Maritime Admiralty Bill, which seeks to consolidate the existing laws on civil matters of admiralty jurisdiction of courts, proceedings on maritime claims and arrest of ships.

The Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims), 2016 seeks to repeal laws such as the Admiralty Court Act, 1861, the Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act, 1890.

5 p.m.: Home Minister Rajnath Singh says the House should vote on the Bill as Arun Jaitley, as Leader of the House, has spoken on the government's behalf. The Bill passed with only Treasury benches present. The House adjourns till March 15.

4 p.m.: The Rajya Sabha takes up Enemy Property Bill after an appeal by Mr. Jailtley that the ordinance will lapse. A request from Jairam Ramesh, citing empty Opposition benches is not entertained by the Chair. The House witnesses walkouts by T.K. Rangarajan and Mr. Ramesh, with the latter citing lack of members present.

3.54 p.m.: Mr. Chandrasekhar, the sponsor of the bill, is called to speak. The utility of the Bill is that Parliament, for the first time, is taking it up in the last seven decades, he says. Parliament has the role to send out a message when the executive is doing nothing is the moot point of the Bill, he says. We have only two options: Candle or surgical strikes, he adds. On the point of declaring Cuba and Israel, he says ''they haven't attacked us and the clear and present danger for India is Pakistan.''

Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha P.J. Kurien asks him to reply in brief.

''Sir, you are disturbing my stream of thought,'' says Mr. Chandrasekhar.

Quotes from draft of the U.S. Congress bill on Pakistan as terror sponsor.

''My request to government'', he says, ''is that status quo should not continue,'' and withdraws the Bill.

3.50 p.m.: MoS Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir begins reply to the Bill by taking every speaker by name and places his appreciation of the Bill.

3.48 p.m.: SP’s Amar Singh quotes a couplet and says he supports the Bill.

3.45 p.m.: Nominated member Swapan Dasgupta says it's not necessary to go on proving about who's the bad boy. “By now everybody knows.”  According to him a bill puts a natural safeguard on India when dealing with terror. It's time we should have a foreign policy commensurate with its rising economic power status, he says. To say we were linked by the same bloodline and calling we were estranged brother is no longer a valid proposition, Mr. Dasgupta says.

3.40 p.m.: BJP’s Mahesh Poddar is for calling a spade a spade when it comes to Pakistan’s terror activities are concerned.

3.27 p.m.: Back in the RS, Dr. Subramanian Swamy begins with objects and reasons of the bill. Hits out at Mr. Singhvi saying India is long past the time to calibrating its crimes. Surgical strikes are not enough, we need macro level strike, he says. “Each time we can't talk peace, peace, peace... there will be some retaliation," Dr. Swamy says.

He cites Jinnah's only daughter choosing to live in India as example of India's composite culture.

There is an influx of IS into Pakistan and it's spilling over into India, he says adding IS is clear about their intention to convert India into a caliphate.

We should coordinate with U.S. and Israel in fighting Pakistan and it's time to withdraw Pakistan’s MFN status, he says. 

3.25 p.m.: Meanwhile the Lok Sabha is discussing the Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims), 2016. MoS shipping Mansukh Mandaviya is replying to the discussion.

3.21 p.m.: Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi says a bill of such nature should have some teeth. Citing penal actions noted in clause 3 of the bill, he asks can't they be done by a mere notifications and suggests Rajeev Chandrashekar to go back to his drawing room and come with a better package.

3.20 p.m.: Vijaysai Reddy of YSRCP says trade relations with Pakistan should be withdrawn according to Vienna Convention.

3 p.m.: JD(U) member Javed Ali Khan too seeks to know the real impact of such a move. Can we press U.S. to take steps against Pakistan, he asks. We need to learn from U.S. to declare terror states, he says. But when it declared Cuba such a state, instead of isolating Cuba, U.S. itself got isolated as far as Cuba was concerned, he says. “Pakistan is not alone in sponsoring terror. One other country is there. It's name is Israel," he says. Chair intervenes to conclude. Mr. Khan wants more time. Mr. Kurien then realises that Mr. Khan is the only speaker from JD(U), concedes and asks Mr. Khan to continue.

Mr. Khan says, "If this bill passes, this bill should also include Israel, the birth place of terrorism." 

He also wants relaxation in rules to grant citizenship to those who suffer discrimination in Pakistan on religious grounds and seek asylum in India.

Concludes saying such bills have no practical import.

2.55 p.m.: While backing the bill, K.T.S. Tulsi raises doubts about the practical utility of such a legislation.

2.30 p.m.: The Rajya Sabha is discussing a private member's bill — Declaration of States as Sponsor of Terrorism Bill, 2016  — proposed by independent member Rajeev Chandrashekhar to declare Pakistan a terrorist state.

Read about the bill.

2.09 p.m.: Lok Sabha: BJD MP from Cuttack, Bhartruhari Mahtab says, "We are still held back by five acts. This is the act that should have been repealed years ago. It is necessary to expand our horizons. We support this bill."

1.55 p.m.: Lok Sabha: AITC MP Kalyan Banerjee talks about vacancies in High Court, on the efficiency of HC handling admiralty cases.

1.47 p.m.: Lok Sabha: Narendra Keshav Sawaikar: It has taken 11 years for this law to see light. PM says coastline should be engine of growth. It is the need of the time to make India a global super power.

1.37 p.m.: Lok Sabha: BJP MP Narendra Keshav Sawaikar speaks about maritime laws. "Issues have been debated. The present piece of legislation is important considering the shipping industry. Many times the issues are being moved from one jurisdiction to another. This is the reason issues could not be addressed."

1.19 p.m.: Lok Sabha: House starts Legislative business after Zero Hour comes to an end.

MoS for Road Transport Mansukh Mandaviya talks about High Courts of coastal states and laws on admiralty cases.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of INC, West Bengal, says, "Many High Courts don't deal with admiralty cases."

1.12 p.m.: Lok Sabha: Tamil Nadu MPs speak about fishermen arrests, residential area with Navy, etc.

1.06 p.m.: Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2.30 p.m.

12.52 p.m.: AITC MP Ratna de Nag talks about potato prices coming down and potato farmers face issues in Bengal.

12.46 p.m.: Question on quality of food in Ahmedabad-Delhi Swarna Jayanti Rajdhani Express.

Updates from Devesh K. Pandey and Vikas Pathak:

12.40 p.m.: Rajya Sabha: Shiv Sena MP raises issue of suicides by farmers, he alleges there were 9,000 deaths in the past two years in Maharashtra.

Chandrakant Khaire also raises the issue stating Maharashtra faced drought for four years, after the rains and good crop..they are not getting good price

12.32 p.m.: Lok Sabha: Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar says, "The LPG price rise issue has been raised by Mr. Kharge. He should have kept facts before the House, not mislead.

19.1 crore LPG connections, 1.1 crore people have voluntarily given up subsidy. More than 19 crore are being given full subsidy, the amount is Rs. 13,127 crore. Rs. 270 subsidy per cylinder by central government, gas company giving Rs. 32 per cylinder.

Small hike of Rs. 86, international 471 U.S. dollars per metric tons, in one month it has gone up to 560 U.S. dollars. So the increase is to offset the hike in international gas price.

We have given 2 crore connections to the downtrodden during the last one year."

Congress members walk out, saying that the poor are suffering.

12.20 p.m.: Rajya Sabha: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu says, "Right now Wi-Fi is available in stations but we are looking at how to extend it to running trains."

12.20 p.m.: Lok Sabha: Mallikharjun Kharge says, "I have given separate notice for discussion, who raises issue of repeated increase in price of LPG, petrol and diesel. People are suffering because of price rise in the Modi government.

"Earlier pulses rate increased, you imported it, but now its rates have gone down quite a lot. In 2016, Rs. 466 was the cost of non-subsidised LPG, now it's rate is Rs. 737.

In January, petrol price was increased by 42 paise. In international market, if crude price is low, the domestic rates should also be low."

N.K. Premachandran of RSP also raises the issue of escalating price of petroleum products. "Assurance was given by governments that benefit of decrease in international market rates would go to consumers. Non-subsidised LPG is being used by the middle class⁠⁠⁠⁠."

MP K.C. Venugopal says those who gave up LPG subsidy have been cheated.

12 noon: Question Hour comes to an end in Lok Sabha.

11.57 a.m.: Lok Sabha: Anupam Hazra of TMC raises issue of currency ban, asks, "How many of the old 500 and 1000 notes went back, how many new notes printed?"

Arun Jaitley replies: Every currency note has to be verified by the RBI, this is a time-consuming exercise. RBI has been injecting new notes systematically, last data on Feb 24 was that Rs. 11.641 lakh crore currency are made available. It would have increased to Rs. 12 lakh crore.

Only 5% growth in December 2016, how do you explain that: ask TMC members. Arun Jaitley replies: It is figure of the whole year to be taken. In the past three years, there has been growth. We do hope we will be meeting our targets in direct indirect tax collection, hopefully exceeding it.

Use of paper currency has to be reduced — this was one objective of demonetisation.

Anyhow every year 25 to 33 per cent currency has to be replaced, so demonetisation has not put an additional burden as such. Remonetisation exercise is on. Total cost has to be calculated after it is over.

11.50 a.m.: Rajya Sabha: Tamil Nadu MP Kanimozhi says that an Indian citizen was shot dead by Sri Lankan Navy but we have never been allowed to discuss the issue. We get just three minutes. Our PM said three years back that we did not have a strong central govt. Now we have. Why aren't we responding to our fisherman getting killed.

11.48 a.m.: Rajya Sabha: TN MP V. Maithrayan demands a central probe into Jayalalithaa's death. Bulletin issued by hospital said she is stable⁠⁠⁠⁠. MP Vijila Sathyanath shouts, drowning Maithreyan's voice.

Chairman Kurien says, "If a member is allowed to speak by the chairman, you have to allow. You did not allow me to hear him. If he said anything unparliamentary, I am not responsible as you prevented me from hearing. Had you not been a lady member, I would have taken action."

Jaya Bachchan says "You said any other female member." Kurien says sorry, I meant any other male member.

11.45 a.m.: Lok Sabha: K. Venugopal raises issues of video clips of Jawans alleging ill-treatment by seniors, demands an enquiry into Delhi police giving a wrong message to the family of an officer about his death. Government says inquiry is under way.

MoS Defence says, "Those are individual views of the Jawans in the video clips.

MP Premachandran also raises the issue of alleged ill-treatment to Jawans, terming it a serious matter.

From my constituency, one Roy Matthew died under suspicious circumstances. He had earlier given interview alleging ill-treatment. He had also told his family that his life was under threat. The police have registered a case and investigations are on. Will not be proper to comment when investigations are under way. On sahayak system, a mechanism is being worked out to address the complaints.

11.40 a.m.: Lok Sabha: Arun Jaitley: "In the last two and a half years, government has taken a series of steps. Under PMLA, attachment orders against Mallya have been issued by ED. Assets worth Rs. 8040 crore was attached. Questions on psychological condition of Defence personnel. Are those involved in surgical strikes being conferred special awards?

11.34 a.m.: Lok Sabha: Arun Jaitley: One of the objectives was to get high denominations back into the banking system to end anonymity. It is now upon the depositors to establish that it is not black money.

If there is no nexus between the deposit and profile of the depositor, several lakhs of such cases have been detected, action is being taken by the tax department.

On Vijay Mallya: "Relevant agencies are trying to get him back through extradition or deportation. Diplomatic channel also being used, during my recent visit to London, the issue was discussed."

Sugatha Roy says high profile economic offenders like Mallya and Modi are merrily living abroad. What steps are taken to confiscate assets of the IPL man and Mallya?

11.33 a.m.: Rajya Sabha: D. Raja of CPI speaks in RS about attack on academics, freedom of expression, etc. Freedom of creativity and thought is under attack, this issue concerns the future of the entire nation.

Even JNU admission changes will hurt SCs, STs.

Sitaram Yechury says that these universities are established by law and by the parliament. "In the name of Hindutva nationalism, they are damaging Indian nationalism. The House must condemn."

11.30 a.m.: Lok Sabha: Questions on Confiscation of Assets being taken up. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley says they enjoy the country's financial system, commit crime and flee the country. "We have proposed that we should bring a new law to confiscate their assets or bring amendments to the existing laws for confiscation."

Provisions are in place to ensure that the offenders do not flee, but some find their way out. In that case we have extradition process. Some countries also facilitate deportation. P. Karunakaran seeks details on impact of demonetisation and how much black money has come.

11.25 a.m.: Rajya Sabha: Rajnath Singh says that terror suspect Saifullah was killed in operations. Saifullah's father said one who wasn't loyal to the nation cannot be mine.

Digvijaya Singh says, "We support his father. We can't compromise on terror."

Discussion on whether Digvijaya should seek clarification now or later.

11.21 a.m.: Lok Sabha resumes. Health Minister says, "Under National health mission, free drugs and diagnostic facilities are being given to State govts, in some States like Bihar there are unspent accounts. The State government has not taken action on land acquisition for AIIMS in Bihar.

The expenditure limits have been enhanced, States should ensure that the funds are spent."

11.16 a.m.: Rajya Sabha: Home Minister Rajnath Singh talks about explosion in train and actions taken by the officials.

"Three suspects were picked up during a vehicle check in Hoshangabad. Interrogations are on. After 12 years encounter, accused terrorist Saifullah was killed by ATS in UP. Another accused was arrested by ATS Kanpur."

"There are eight arrests till now. There has been a perfect coordination between state and central agencies. NIA will investigate it⁠⁠⁠⁠."

11.12 a.m.: Rajya Sabha: Tamil Nadu MPs V. Maithreyan and Sasikala wave placards with former chief minister Jayalalithaa's photo, shouting "We want probe" into her death. The three MPs stormed to the well of the House.

Speaker asks them to go back to their seats.

11.10 a.m.: MPs lay papers on table at Rajya Sabha.

11.05 a.m.: House adjourned till 11.20 a.m.

11.02 a.m.: MPs storm well of the Lok Sabha, Speaker asks them to move back.

Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda talks about chronic diseases, says the root cause of increase in cancer cases is due to the changes in our lifestyle. "Rs.2,000 crore is being spent to set up a research centre. 20 such institutes being set up. With HRD, we want to impart education among young children. 50 tertiary care centres for cancer patients being set up."

 

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