Parliament proceedings, as it happened | Lok Sabha passes the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2019

Updated - July 24, 2019 08:17 pm IST

Published - July 24, 2019 11:11 am IST

Home Minister Amit Shah speaking in the Lok Sabha on July 24, 2019.

Home Minister Amit Shah speaking in the Lok Sabha on July 24, 2019.

Amid deliberations in extend the Budget session, government is pushing more Bills to be passed in the current sitting.

The Rajya Sabha bid farewell to five MPs from Tamil Nadu, whose tenure ends today.

Lok Sabha passes The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019.

Rajya Sabha passes the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

Lok Sabha passes the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2019.

Here are the live updates:

Lok Sabha | 8.00 p.m.

The Chair puts the Bill to vote. A voice vote is undertaken. Motion to vote on the Bill is passed.

A Statutory resolution moved against the Ordinance is withdrawn.

A clause-by-clause vote is now being undertaken.

The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2019 is passed.

The House is adjourned for the day.

Lok Sabha | 7.50 p.m.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says there have been no write offs given to banks that have NPAs. She says the government has asked the said banks to continue following defaulters for the recovery of the same.  

Lok Sabha | 7.45 p.m.

Congress Floor Leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury questions Mr. Thaukar's claims that economic offenders are being brought back to the country. What about Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya, he asks.

He also asks why the government has not given out data on the losses incurred during demonetisation.

Lok Sabha | 7.25 p.m.

Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Singh Thakur rises to address questions and queries raised by members about the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2019. He says this is a comprehensive Bill and will help to seize properties of defaulters who run away with the money and settle abroad.

Ponzi schemes are regulated by State Acts, so its control falls under the State goverment. The rules are left to the State and they can modify it accordingly, he says.  He says there are 326 unauthorized schemes running in West bengal. When this Act comes into power, no State government will interfere in the matter. Mr. Thakur further thanked Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury for his continued efforts against the ponzi schemes in West Bengal. He says this is a scheme for the poor.

Rajya Sabha | 6.15 p.m.

Special Mentions end. The House is adjourned for the day.

Rajya Sabha | 6.10 p.m.

The Chair puts the Bill to vote. A voice vote is undertaken. Motion to vote on the Bill is passed.

A clause-by-clause vote is now being undertaken. Ms. Irani moves that the motion be passed.

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019 is passed. 

Special mentions begin.

Rajya Sabha | 5.50 p.m.

Smriti Zubin Irani, Minister of Women and Child Development, rises to address questions and queries raised by members about the Bill. She begins by lauding Derek O'Brien and his bravery in bringing up his personal story in the House. She says this shows how such an incident creates an imprint that remains forever in the mind of a victim.

Taking a sense of the House, Ms. Irani says that she will bring in an amendment with regard to the communal and sectarian aspects of such crimes.

Recognising the fact that justice delayed is justice denied, she says the government has decided to implement the constitution of 1,023 fast-track courts to deal with pending causes under the POCSO Act and cases dealing with violence against women She says the establishment of these courts will be done within one financial year to ensure justice is delivered.

Replying to Ms. Chavan's queries about the session courts converting into courts that deal with cases under the POCSO Act, Ms. Irani says the new courts that are to be implemented in addition to the already existing courts.

Ms. Irani says the death penalty is only an option, and the government leaves it to the discretion of the courts. She says we can rely on the wisdom of the court to use the death penalty in the rarest of rare cases.

Lok Sabha | 5.30 p.m.

DNV Senthilkumar.S., (DMK, Tamil Nadu) says the government must understand why people are being pushed towards these schemes. He says if you look at the demographic that takes part in such schemes, it is always the labourers and the daily-wage earners. As banks become stricter, the poor have no choice but to invest in such schemes.

Banks impose a high fee on all transactions, including a fine when a person is not able to keep a minimum balance. Corporations are given huge loan waivers, but the poor are not even looked at, he says. 

Rajya Sabha | 5.15 p.m.

Vandana Chavan (NCP, Maharashtra) says conviction rates under the POCSO Act are extremely low. On the other hand, the pendency or the waiting period for a settlement is extremely high, she says. Although there is a clause in the Act that enables the constitution of special courts to deal with such cases and that such cases have to completed within a period of one year, pendency rates are high.

Ms. Chavan says session courts are given the status of the special courts. Because of the same, such courts continue with their day-to-day work and only once in a while undertake cases that come under the POCSO Act. Hence, courts only dedicated to cases under the Act must come into being, she says.

She says that such courts must maintain a child-friendly atmosphere. At present, even the questions asked to the child are not child-friendly and instead tend to add to the trauma, she says.

Ms. Chavan also says the government must take strict action to ensure that the identity of the child is protected. Moreover, the government must also look into the question of rehabilitation.

Rajya Sabha | 5 p.m.

Derek O'Brien, (AITC, West Bengal) says prevention of such offences should be looked into. It starts at home, he says. Most cases begin at home with a relative where the family tells the victim to remain silent. We should encourage families to come out and speak about this, he says.

He recalls his own experience of sexual harassment when he was 13-years-old in a bus in Kolkata. He says it took him many years to tell others about the experience.

Mr. O'Brien says the government must encourage families to report such cases and talk about the same. Punishment is important but the government must address the root of the issue, he says.  

Rajya Sabha | 4.45 p.m.

As the discussion and consideration of the the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019 continues, Nazir Ahmed Laway (J&K PDP, Jammu and Kashmir) says when the girl child is raped and murdered, it should be considered a case of double murder because not only the child, but her family and the nation is also murdered. Hence the strictest punishment should be meted out to the perpetrator of such offences. Mr. Laway says he is standing here for all the mothers of the nation. 

Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar (TDP, Andhra Pradesh) says mere legislation is not effective in such cases. The government should make sure it is implemented as well. He says sexual offences against children should be made the rarest of rare cases.

In the cases of the possession of pornography, minimum punishment should be meted out instead of just a mere fine.

Mr. Kumar says a number offences against children go unreported. Moreover, thousands of cases are registered but no chargesheet is made by the police, he says. In the absence of a chargesheet, the courts cannot proceed. The government should ensure that the chargesheet is created by the respective police station when such cases come up.

He also says special courts or fast-track court should be implemented under the POCSO Act. Apart from the investigation and the court proceedings that take place, the government must also concern itself with the rehabilitation of the victim, he says.

Lok Sabha | 3 p.m.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury says that the Bill should be sent to a Standing Committee.

Asaduddin Owaisi says clause a(11) outsources the work of Parliament.

Opposition asks for division as the Bill is put to vote. Only 8 Members have voted against the Bill.

Clause-by-clause voting is taken up.

The Bill is passed. House is adjourned till 4.15 p.m.

Lok Sabha | 2.30 p.m.

N.K. Premachandran (RSP) says innocent people will be harassed using this law. He also brings up the issue of the Bill heading into a State subject.

Badruddin Ajmal (AIUDF) says that people are being called traitors for even minor dissent.

Home Minister Amit Shah says that terrorism needs a strong law to stop it. He says that UPA-era laws were also similar. He says that those who finance, help terrorists should also be called terrorists. Members of the House should not disagree with this, he remarks. He says Yasin Bhatkal would have been arrested sooner, if he had been designated as a terrorist.

He asks the Opposition if they want lawlessness. We might as well abolish the CrPC, if you want to abolish UAPA, he says.

Those who are involved in urban Maoism will not be spared, he says in response to Supriya Sule's point about the arrest of activists under the UAPA.

Lok  Sabha | 2.10 p.m.

We can't give up individual rights. Many of us in this House started our life as activists. The right to dissent must be protected, Karti Chidambaram (Congress) says.

Satya Pal Singh (BJP) says terrorists are not usual criminals. It is difficult to investigate them. Many ask what is the need for this law? Why do you need laws for POCSO or traffic violation? That's because the magnitude of crimes decide the punishment, he says. Dr. Singh claims whenever anti-terror laws are diluted terror strikes increase.

Hasnain Masoodi (NC) says this law encourages arbitrariness. A law should be reasonable, he says.

 Rajya Sabha | 2.00 p.m.

Rajya Sabha assembles. Amendments to RTI Act is being taken up. Leader of opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad says the Bill is diluting the powers of the States. He suggests the Bill to be sent to Select Committee.

V. Muraleedharan, MoS Parliamentary Affairs, says the Bill is not listed for today.

Derek O'Brien says the House passed 14 Bills. In that spirit of cooperation, please send seven Bills to Select Committees.

Bhupendra Yadav (BJP) says the government believes in cooperative federalism. Let us discuss as per the List of Business, he says.

Lok Sabha | 2.00 p.m.

K. Subbarayan (CPI) says the Bill is aimed at provoking one section against the other.

O.P. Raveendranath Kumar (AIADMK) supports the Bill. He suggests the government to undertake programmes to ensure youth don't fall under the garbs of terrorists.

Thol. Thirumavalan (VCK) says this Bill is government-sponsored terror. This will only help government curtail dissent.

Lok Sabha | 1.30 p.m.

E.T. Mohammed Basheer (IUML) says this Act can be used to muzzle dissent, freedom of the press etc. This will end in lawlessness, he says.

Ram Mohan Naidu (TDP) says that their party supports any legislation that comes into this House to attack terrorism. Criticising the government doesn't mean criticising the country, he says.

 

Asaduddin Owaisi (AIMIM) says the Bill violates article 21. It takes over the judicial rights. Are you outsourcing your nationalism to some international convention? He blames Congress for making such laws. Let a Congress leader be arrested in this law, only then they will know. Congress objects. Mr. Owaisi gets a rare support from BJP members.

Lok Sabha | 1 p.m.

Venkatesh Borlakunta (TRS) says that the Bill needs to clarify the difference between individuals and organisations. He also says that the provision that says the NIA can attach properties without consulting State DGPs goes against federalism.

S.T. Hasan (SP) says he has three issues with the Bill. The Bill says that Inspector-level officers can conduct the arrest, search etc. He says political vendetta could be used to detain someone. He says that there is no accountability for the arresting officer.

Mohamed Jawed (Congress) says that arresting an individual as a terrorist on the basis of suspicion alone is dangerous.

Lok Sabha | 12.50 p.m.

Sunil Kumar Pintu (JDU) says that this government targets anyone who is involved in terrorism. He speaks of the need for setting up of the NIA after the Mumbai attacks. He wants the Bill passed so that terror is defeated. He says the issue that the Opposition has raised about this encroaching on State rights is not important as terrorism affects everyone.

Danish Ali (BSP) says that a large percenage of those in prison are undertrials. He says the UAPA is used to just detain people in jail and deny them a trial. He asks if laws are made just to target citizens. He wants to know if the government has any plans in place to prevent the misuse of this law. He wants the Bill to taken back.

Supriya Sule (NCP) quotes Narendra Modi as the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, when he opposed the UPA-era Bills on law and order, saying that it affected the federal structure of the country. She wants a clarification on this.

She brings up the arrest of Anand Teltumbde under the UAPA Act.

Lok Sabha | 12.30 p.m.

Mahua Moitra (Trinamool Congress) vehemently opposes the Bill. She says that if the Centre wants to target someone, they will get them somehow. Each time the Trinamool opposes a Bill, they run the risk of being labeled as anti-national, she says. Why do I feel a sense of menace, she asks. Why is the Opposition called anti-national every time we disagree with the government on issues of national security. She says the government unleashes its troll armies on those in the Opposition.

Trinamool Congress Member Mahua Moitra speaking in the Lok Sabha during the debate on The UAPA Amendment Bill on July 24, 2019.

Trinamool Congress Member Mahua Moitra speaking in the Lok Sabha during the debate on The UAPA Amendment Bill on July 24, 2019.

 

BJP Member S.S. Ahluwalia raises a point of order that Members can't make allegations against the government without substantiating it. Meenakshi Lekhi (in the Chair) reads out the rule that no Member can make a defamatory statement against a single Member without giving notice.

Ms. Moitra says she can fight her case. Arjun Ram Meghwal says that the ruling party has never called anyone "anti-national". Ms. Moitra says her statement was against propaganda machinery and not a single Member.

She says this Bill seeks to designate individuals as terrorists without due process. The Treasury Benches are heckling her as she speaks and she asks the Chair to maintain order in the House. She says that the Bill also takes away the powers of the State. She calls the Bill anti-federalism, anti-constitutional and anti-people.

Rajya Sabha | 12.20 p.m.

Mos Home Affairs Kishan Reddy answers a question on mob lynching. He says that lynching takes place in West Bengal and Kerala too and the government takes them up on a case-by-case basis.

Manoj Kumar Jha asks about communal riots in Muzzaffarnagar and that 40 accused have been acquitted. He wants to know what is being done for witness protection. Home Minister Amit Shah says that the Minister will respond when he has the information.

An SAD Member asks about 1984. When the Minister says that law and order is a State subject, Chair stops him and asks him to respond to the question.

Lok Sabha | 12.15 p.m.

The House takes up The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 for consideration and passing.

Vinayak Raut of the Shiv Sena says that for the first time when a Home Minister (Amit Shah) visited Jammu and Kashmir, there was no opposition. This is the first time the Amarnath yatra has happened without any incideent, he says.

Pinaki Mishra (BJD) says his party has always stood by the government.

Rajya Sabha | 12 noon

Question Hour is on in the House. Minister of State for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri answers questions on leasing of airports under PPP model.

Shiv Sena Member Anil Desai asks if this will affect the cost to the passenger. Mr. Puri says that when yield increases, the cost per passenger decreases.

Lok Sabha | 12 noon

Congress Floor Leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury says that Kashmir is a bilateral issue. He also says that the Prime Minister has not confirmed or denied U.S. President Donald Trump's claim that India asked the U.S. to mediate with Pakistan. He adds that the PM should come to the House and respond to this.

Congress walks out of the House.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh says that he is ready to respond if the Members are willing to complete the debate. He says that S. Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister, has made it clear that during talks with Mr. Trump, Kashmir was never mentioned.

Papers are laid on the table.

Rajya Sabha | 12.00 noon

Manoj Jha (RJD) says he learnt a lot from these members. Maithreyan is a wonderful singer. I never knew a Tamilian could sing Hindi songs! I learnt from the MPs from Tamil Nadu to stand united for the State's cause. D. Raja is P. Raja, Praja's Raja, he says.

Prasanna Acharya (BJD) says D. Raja is my wellwisher. I learnt a lot from Maithreyan's speeches.

Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) says members from Tamil Nadu, cutting across party lines join hands for the interest of the State. We have to learn from them. There was never an instance when these MPs haven't objected to anything that would be against their State. Mr. Yadav says when I want Maithreyan to sing, I would start and he would continue. I will miss him, Mr. Yadav says.

Rajya Sabha | 11.50 am

Navaneethakrishnan (AIADMK) says the farewell of these MPs are a great loss to the House. Even Raja was elected by Amma, he says.

Tiruchi Siva (DMK) says Raja was nominated by our party also. He praises Maithrayen, calls him a real fighter. Arjunan is called the sweet boy here, because he brings chocolates from Nilgiris, Mr. Siva says.

T.K. Rangarajan (CPI-M) speaks in Tamil. He wishes Raja all the best. He says the Chair always gives extra time to Mr. Raja. Everyone likes him, he says. Mr. Rangarajan says he know Maithreyan when he was an oncologist. There is a Tiruchi connection, Mr. Rangarajan points out. He, Siva and Arjunan are all from the city. "All of us should work for the uplifment of Tamils."

Majeed Memon (NCP) congratulates Kanimozhi, whose term would have ended today had she hadn't resigned. He wishes all other members retiring today.

Rajya Sabha | 11.40 am

K. R. Arjunan has a long list to thank. From Jayalalithaa, Venkaiah Naidu, Harivansh, Arun Jaitley, Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman, Smriti Iranai, Tamil Nadu CM and Depury Cm, AIADMK floor leader Navaneethakrishanan and all Rajya Sabha members.

He says he is happy to utilise all the MPLAD funds for the benefit of downtrodden.

R. Lakshmanan says the parliament gave me the opportunity to serve the people. I came with empty hand and leaving with lessons of sixty years. He wishes speedy recovery to Mr. Jaitley. He says he learnt how to be cool and calm even when raising serious issues from Azad. He also refers Chidambaram and Ravi Shankar Prasad.

I learnt to be polite and humble, but remain authoritative from Manmohan Singh, he says.

Men may come and men may go. But memories will never go, he says.

Rathnavel makes his farewell speech in Tamil.

Rajya Sabha | 11.30 am

D. Raja makes his farewell speech. "This may be my last speech in this House," he says. "So you won't speak on bills today?" the Chair asks.

We consider the parliament is the supreme institution in our democracy. I wish the parliament remains as how it was visualised by Ambedkar and other reformers, he says.

He recalls the contribution of Communist MPs. Parliament is the highest forum to take up the consideration of people. I am only retiring from this House. I will continue my work for the people.

"We, the people should be our understanding. In a country like ours, very diverse. People must be safeguarded. Politically marginalised people must be treated as human beings. Citizens don't need empathy or sympathy. They need to have their human rights and democratic rights."

Ambedkar said we have to achieve to get one person one value. We must achieve that, he says. Why can't we empower our people, Mr. Raja says.

Mr. Raja speaks on women's reservation bill and women empowerment. He also takes up the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils. He thanks everyone, from the Chairman, Secretary General to the parliamentary staff, watch and ward, and sanitary workers.

"Raja has only retired, he is not tired," the Chair says.

Rajya Sabha | 11.20 am

Dr. Maithreyan speaks. After a long stint of 14 and half years. This is my sunset years, he says. Turning emotional, Dr. Maithreyan remembers the Jayalalalithaa. He also remembers Arun Jaitley and wishes him a speedy recovery. He also thanks Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Dr. Maithreyan says the only thorn in his heart was that this House didn't take notice of the Tamil genocide in Sri Lanka. I urge this House shouldn't pass any condolence message when the need arises, he says.

He thanks the Chairperson, Leader of Opposition, AIADMK leader, Jairam Ramesh, Ram Gopal Yadav, Naresh Agrawal, CM Ramesh, T.K. Rangarajan and others.

He recalls the times of Anna and Jayalalithaa. "It is my turn to look at Tamil Nadu from India's prism," Dr. Maithreyan says recalling Chidambaram's phrase.

Rajya Sabha | 11.10 am

Leader of the House Thaawarchand Gehlot recalls his association with D. Raja and Dr. Maithreyan. I pray for their better futute. All these five members have dedicated their lives for the society.

Rajya Sabha | 11.00 am

Rajya Sabha assembles. M. Venkaiah Naidu lauds six members from Tamil Nadu, who are retiring today. "The House will miss their vivacious, aggressive and progressive action," the Chair says.

The members retiring today are D. Raja, K.R. Arjunan, Dr. R. Lakshmanan,  T. Rathnavel, and Dr. Maithreyan

Leader of Oppostion Ghulam Nabi Azad says he will miss many of these members, especially D. Raja. "He gets to make three-four speeches everyday," Mr. Azad says. "That's because he is Raja!" the Chair says.

I still don't know why Dr. Maithreyan entered into politics! He is an onclogist. He could earn ₹2 crore, but he is here earning ₹2000 per day. He chose service over money. I wish the AIADMK gives him another term," Mr. Azad says.

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