Over a week after the start of the Monsoon session, the Lok Sabha functioned partially for the first time by completing the Question Hour amidst protests from the Opposition.
Though the Rajya Sabha too tried to conduct business, the House multiple disruptions through the first half.
Floor leaders of the Opposition parties together addressed the media to make clear their position on the Pegasus snooping row.
Here are the latest updates:
Lok Sabha adjourned for the day.
Rama Devi, in the Chair, quips: "You'll be happy if we close the House right? Let me make you happy. House is adjourned till tomorrow."
Lok Sabha puts to vote the Supplementary demand for grants for 2021-22. Again this is also being taken up without discussion.
The demand for excess grants for 2017-18 is also passed.
The House is adjourned till 4 pm.
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 takes care of legal adoption, irrespective of the religion, in the country. The adoption is final on the issuance of a decree by the civil court. The amendment empowers the district magistrate to issue adoption decree instead of the court.
The Bill also enhances the punishment for serious offences by juveniles from seven years to more than seven years without specifying the upper limit.
Rajya Sabha resumes. Bhubaneswar Kalita , who is in the Chair informs the House that TMC MP Shanta Chhetri, who faced health issue in the House, is being treated in RML Hospital for high blood pressure.
NCP's Fouzia Khan says the Bill is about protecting the children of the nation. But the nation itself needs protection. We need a discussion on Pegasus, she says.
Smriti Irani says the children need a united House to protect them. The House should protect these children, she says.
The Bill is passed without discussion. House is adjourned for the day.
Lok Sabha resumes. The House takes up amendments to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
MoS Finance Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad introduces the Bill and claims the ease of doing business in the country has improved after the Bill was introduced five years ago. He says the amendments are necessary due to situation arising out of the COVID pandemic.
The Bill is taken up for voting sans discussion.
House adjourned till 3 pm after the bill is passed.
This is the third Bill to be passed without discussion in this session so far.
Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena: This is a matter of national security. As Rahul ji said this is an assault on the soul of democracy. And they hit from behind. This is not the first time that disruptions have happened. We have been with them (BJP) and we know how many times we have disrupted. Entire Opposition is united.
Supriya Sule, NCP: This is a matter of national security. The government has not spared even the wives and children of their minister from snooping. The government is responsible for running the House.
Manoj Jha, RJD: we represent 60 per cent of India's population. We wanted a structured debate in the presence of PM and HM
Binoy Viswam, CPI: Our country is becoming Germany of Hitler.
Sanjay Singh, AAP: There is no institution that has been spared in this snooping. The lady who had made allegations against Justice Ranjan Gogoi was snooped upon in April 2019 and by November 2019, the government got a clean chit in Rafale.
Outside the Parliament, Opposition floor leaders are addressing the media.
Rahul Gandhi hits out at PM and Home Minister. "We are asking Narendra Modi ji and Amit Shah why did you use against the people of India. The people of the country must understand that if we say we won't discuss Pegasus, the issue would be over and we will never be able to discuss. Pegasus is an issue of nationalism and treason. This is not an issue or privacy..it's an anti national act."
Manoj Jha (RJD) and Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena) say that the issue is not about Information Technology but national security and that's why the Home Minister has sit through the discussion.
Mr Jha and Mr. Raut says the IT Minister himself was snooped upon.
T R Baalu, DMK: "The government is giving an impression that Opposition who are gathered are opposed to any discussion. It is not so. Every we are giving notices. The government doesn't want to discuss. Democracy is in peril. Pegasus is not only affecting politicians, judiciary but even you."
Ram Gopal Yadav, Samajwadi Party: We are demanding discussion but we want discussions. This is false propaganda. It's even more unfortunate that the top leadership of the government is spreading.
WCD Minister Smriti Irani speaking on the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021, says over Rs.1,500 crore was given for protection of children in 2020-21, while only Rs.60 crore was given in 2009-2010. This is a complement to the vision and humanity of the Prime Minister
She explains in detail about human trafficking and illegal adoption racket. Over 1,000 children are involved in legal tangles of adoption between the biological parents and the adoptive parents.
The Chair requests members to take part in the discussion since it involves the lives of children.
The amendments will lay down conditions for becoming a member of child welfare committee. The committees will function under the area district magistrate, Ms. Irani says.
In response to sloganeering by TMC members, Ms. Irani speaks in Bengali. She narrates how a racket in South 24 Parganas showed still born child to parents and the original baby was being sold.
House is adjourned for 30 minutes.
In Lok Sabha, a member requests a food park in Raigad.
Kirit Solanki seeks interest free loans for underprivileged students.
Raju Bishta, Darjeeling MP, says his constituency is backwards and the State government is neglecting them. He urges the Central government to take steps to usher development in the region.
House is adjourned till 2.30 pm
Both Houses resume. Lok Sabha takes up Zero Hour.
Rajya Sabha takes up the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021. Introducing the Bill, WCD Minister Smriti Irani says children of the country demand the attention of the MPs. Opposition MPs continue protesting in the well.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is addressing the media outside the Parliament.
"The entire Opposition of India is standing here. Leaders of every party is here. Why did we have come to here? It is because our voice is being suppressed inside Parliament. We have only question: has the government of India purchased Pegasus? Yes or no? Has the government of India used the weapon of Pegasus spyware on its own people? Yes or no? We want to know only this."
"We have been clearly told, the government has told us that there will be no discussion on Pegasus in the House."
"I want to tell the youth of India, the public of India that Narendra Modi ji has installed a weapon inside your phone."
"They have used this weapon against me. They have used against the Supreme Court. They have used against other leaders."
"They have used it against press and activists. So there should be discussion inside the House."
Why shouldn't there be a discussion inside the House? It is being said that we are disturbing the Parliament House.
No, we are not. We are only fulfilling our duty, our responsibility.
This is just one Congress leader saying it. Leader of every part is saying it.
This weapon is being used against India. This should have been used against terrorists and traitors.
Opposition leaders discuss strategy to corner govt in Parliament
Amid a stalemate in Parliament over the Pegasus snooping issue, leaders of various Opposition parties on July 28 met and decided to submit similar adjournment notices on the matter.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attended the meeting at the chamber of the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge.
The meeting chaired by Mr. Kharge was attended by Opposition leaders from both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, and discussed the joint Opposition strategy to corner the government on the issue. - PTI
Answering a question asked during Question Hour, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia says the share of Indian carriers in international cargo business has increased from 2% to 19%.
Meanwhile, Opposition MPs continue to shout slogans.
Sushil Modi asks the government if it will amend the Constitution to allow States to identify and list backward classes.
Social Justice and Empowerment MoS Pratima Bhoumik says the government is sensitive to the issue.
As protests continue, the House is adjourned till 2 p.m.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla ran the entire Question Hour in a determined manner. After he went away and BJP's Rajendra Aggarwal took the Chair, the Congress MPs tore off some papers.
House was adjourned until 12.30 p.m.
Today is the first day when the Question Hour functioned amid all the sloganeering.
Lok Sabha resumes, Chair adjourns the House till 2 p.m. due to ongoing protests
On airport bidding
During the Question Hour, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia answers a question, and says next round of bidding for airports will be starting soon.
Opposition continues shouting slogans against the government over the Pegasus spying issue.
He adds that the Centre is still considering the Bihar Assembly's resolution for renaming Darbhanga airport as Vidyapati airport.
Opposition sloganeering gets louder, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri says he can't hear the question.
BJP MP Mahesh Poddar says water drainage projects not being taken up in Smart Cities Mission. Mr. Puri says the projects were decided by the States themselves.
Rajya Sabha resumes.
Question Hour starts, Opposition MPs return to the well to protest.
BJD MP Amar Patnaik asks if the government has a platform to link jobseekers with employers. Labour Minister Bhupender Yadav says the National Career portal is there for this purpose.
Meanwhile, Opposition continues to shout slogans.
As the House attempts to continue to fuction, Labour Minister says the question is not audible.
Minister Hardeep Puri lays a paper on the table. Opposition's shouts gets louder.
Kalahandi workshop project
During the Question Hour, MP Basant Kumar Panda requests the government to implement the electric loco periodical overhauling workshop project at Kalahandi (aspirational district) in Odisha without any delay.
Almost half of the required land has been acquired, he says.
In response, Minister Ashwini Vaishnav says the project is being taken on top priority, acquired land is being surveyed, some forest issues are there which are being addressed. We hope to get the required land for swift implementation, he adds.
Question Hour over. Chair turns down the notices of adjournment motions on various issues. Papers are now being laid on the table of the House.
Member Nishikant Dubey speaks about a privilege motion against parliamentary committee on IT chairman Shashi Tharoor.
House adjourned till 12.30 p.m.
Tamil Nadu MP Tiruchi Siva took to Twitter to share that the Opposition raised slogans in Tamil during protests in Rajya Sabha.
"The Rajya Sabha during protests has heard slogans in English and Hindi, but today for the first time ever heard Tamil slogans, ” *Vendum vendum-* *Vivaatham vendum"* ; meaning, "We want discussion." Special is that, members from various states, from the opposition benches raised this slogan jointly as the treasury benches watched with awe. Great were the moments when Tamil echoed the walls of the parliament!" he wrote on Twitter.
On developing infrastructure
Responding to a query during the Question Hour, Minister Prahlad Joshi says the Coal Ministry has been into developing infrastructure, including for sports training facilities, in States like Jharkhand and Odisha.
"We will consider any such proposal for implementation on merit basis," he says.
Responding to a query during the Question Hour, Minister Jitendra Singh says Continuous Oxygenation and Vital Information Detection biomed [COVID-BEEP] is a purely indigenous device. This device is being promoted for wider use. More than 500 of these have been supplied to Red Cross in Kerala. Rishikesh AIIMS has already procured some. About 10,000 units expected to be supplied to various institutions. It is a unique device as it can be used also for hospital setting.
It is relatively cost effective and easy-to-wear device, he says.
Question Hour in progress in the Lower House.
On coal availability in Jharkhand
MP Nishikant Dubey says coal is available in different parts of Jharkhand, but it cannot be extracted. What are the solutions that the government has been exploring, he asks.
Minister Prahlad Joshi says the State governments have to cooperate to resolve the issue of land acquisition for coal mining. This also generates revenue for the State governments and provide jobs locals, he says, adding that if the State government facilitates land acquisition, the Centre can set up coal gasification units.
Responding to the issue of coal theft in West Bengal, the Minister says law and order is a State issue. "We immediately lodge police complaint, but action is not taken promptly. The CBI has taken action with respect to the theft of coal under the jurisdiction of Eastern Coalfields Limited," he says.
Question Hour in progress in the Lower House.
On reforms in coal sector
Member Shankar Lalwani, on the issue of reforms in coal sector, says an open policy has been adopted for mining sector. He asks if the government has formulated any policy to reduce dependency on import of coal and increasing domestic production.
Minister Prahlad Joshi says before 2014, the discretion to allot coal blocks was with the Opposition which is today raising slogans. "Coking coal is being imported as there is high ash content in the coking coal available in the country. Attempts are being made to reduce it. The imports are being monitored and directions have been issued to reduce the import," he says.
The Minister adds: "About 79 million tons of coal was available with us. In spite of that, we were importing coal in huge quantities because of UPA's wrong policy. Today, we are importing very less. We have been mining coal through private sector... the capacity of Coal India is also being expanded."
Question Hour in progress in the Lower House.
On cases pending in courts
Law Minister Kiren Rijiju says a large number of civil cases are being heard through e-Lok Adalats, in reply to a query from Sanjay Jaiswal, who also raises questions on the collegium system of judge appointments.
Member Jagdambika Rai asks whether the government is planning to set up fast-track courts in view of the large number of pending of cases.
Mr. Rijiju says about 4 crore cases are pending, most of which are pending in the lower courts. "The government is committed to providing adequate infrastructure for the lower courts. I also request the respective State governments to ensure that infrastructure is provided to the lower courts, so that pendency can be reduced," he says.
Rajya Sabha convenes.
Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu says the Harappan city of Dholavira has been included in UNESCO World Heritage list.
Papers being laid on the table by MoS V. Muraleedharan.
Report of the Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture on Highways being presented.
Zero Hour starts.
Opposition starts protesting, and Chairman asks members to not use placards. As sloganeering intensifies, Chairman adjourns the House till 12 p.m.
Lok Sabha proceedings begin for the day.
Like in Tuesday's session, Opposition members gather in the Well of the House, shouting slogans regarding the Pegasus spyware scandal, farmers' protests and so on.
Question Hour begins.
Replying to a query, Minister Prahlad Joshi says that commercial mining is already in place and is proving successful He adds that there are no plans to allocate coal blocks to any State.
Bill for Consideration and Passing
- Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2021
Discussion and Voting on the Supplementary DFGs 2021-22
Bill for Consideration and Passing
- Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021