Parliament proceedings | Lok Sabha takes up Compulsory Voting Bill

July 26, 2019 11:11 am | Updated July 29, 2019 10:41 am IST

The National Commission for Social Security Benefits Bill, 2018; The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and The Abolition of Capital Punishment Bill, 2016 among others to be introduced in Rajya Sabha.

Here are the live updates:


Lok Sabha | 8 p.m.


Lok Sabha has been adjourned till 11 a.m. Monday, July 29.


Lok Sabha | 5.45 p.m.

Bhatruhari Mahtab (BJD) says even autocratic governments have parliaments.

"Once you make voting compulsory, the right of a citizen to make a choice gets suspended." He says that first elected Members should not be allowed to walk out of the House.

Lok Sabha | 5.15 p.m.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has said Samajwadi Party member Azam Khan should apologise to BJP member Rama Devi or he would have to face action for making sexist remarks on her when she was presiding over the House proceedings on Thursday.

Earlier, the Speaker met with opposition leaders Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Jayadev Galla, Danish Ali, Supriya Sule, and others over the issue.

Lok Sabha members, cutting across party lines, on Friday condemned Mr. Khan and demanded “exemplary action” against him.


Rajya Sabha | 5 p.m.

Special Mentions are being made.

House is adjourned till Monday.

Lok Sabha| 5 p.m.

Compulsory Voting Bill is introduced Lok Sabha by Jagdambika Pal, BJP. The argument for it is the progression of democracy and the universal adult franchise. Mr. Pal says that the notion of voting day being a 'holiday' must be eradicated, and must be seen as a responsibility.

He quotes a report saying that there is a direct correlation between compulsory voting and increased income distribution, saying that the bill also seeks to further economic equality and interests of the country.

Rajiv Pratap Rudy (BJP) says that in almost 1100 booths in Bihar during the 2004 elections, there was 99% voter turnout.

Rajya Sabha | 4:40 p.m.

The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill is being discussed.

Prof. Manoj Kumar Jha, RJD talks about the change in the electoral process and the way the big political parties have monopolised the political scene. The political aspirants must have financial or social might in order to have any chances of making it as a parliamentarian. He says that there has to be an equal opportunity for everyone - both big and small party members.

Lok Sabha| 4:10 p.m.

Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says that the amendments are aimed towards small and medium companies and increasing their ease of doing business.

She says that about 4 lakh inactive companies have been shut down. Defining shell companies as those which did not maintain a registered status, she added that the physical maintenance of a registered company office will become imperative.

Talking of the CSR expenditure, Ms. Sitharaman says that the companies will have a 1+3 year window, where in the first year, the companies will declare their projects and initial expenditure, and in the next three years, they will spend the declared amount. Upon non-spending of the funds the money will go to an Escrow account which will then be used for welfare schemes by the government, she adds.

In 2013, the companies only had to give an explanation on why they had not spent the CSR funds, but this government is making sure that the companies here do not get an easy way out - that they have to spend the funds allotted for these activities compulsorily.

She says that in reply to the questions about passing some of these changes as ordinances that the government seeks to make these changes permanent.

The leader of the opposition calls it a 'carrot and stick policy' - where businesses that abide by the rules set by the government will be rewarded, and those that don't will have to burn their pockets. He calls for a grievance redressal system for those companies which might be unfairly pushed out, which is accepted.

Members call for auditing of the CSR funds so that fraudulent treatment of the money is avoided. 

The Companies (Amendment) Bill is passed.

Rajya Sabha | 3:40 p.m.

Dr. L. Hanumanthaiah, INC connects the existence of crimes with the economic backgrounds of the criminals, says that human beings are not born as thieves and murderers, but are pushed to become one. It would be unfair for people to be given the death penalty, he adds.

G. Kishan Reddy, MoS Home Affairs says that there are provisions in the legal justice system which gives the criminals enough opportunities to appeal against it. He says that the mercy petitions to the President have only been a few and far in between. He also points out that the death penalty is only given in the 'rare of rare cases'.

Mr. Reddy says that the many of the States have vehemently argued for a quicker and more efficient justice system, which the Bill obstructs. It 'violates the fundamental right to justice' of the victim's families, he adds.

Lok Sabha | 3:20 p.m.

Discussion on Companies (Amendment) Bill continues, overseen by Meenakshi Lekhi.

Rajya Sabha | 3:00 p.m.

Prof. Ram Gopal Yadav, SP says that the offenders must rot and repent in jails rather than given the death penalty - which is a quick way to give them an escape. He also points to the example of innocents who are wrongly given the death penalty.

Prasanna Acharya, BJD also echoes similar sentiments. Calls it 'uncivilised'.

Prof. Manoj Kumar Jha, RJD also supports the removal of death penalty.

Lok Sabha | 2:50 p.m.

A. Raja , DMK points to a world bank report where India is ranked 77th in the starting of business, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency among other factors.

Although the amendment is to provide ease of doing business, he asks if the government also has a an eye on the the means through which it wants to achieve the end. Raja quotes a Tamil couplet and reiterates that the means is more important than the end.

He also claims that the bill gives absolute power to the registrar and suggests that there must be a body of members who take decisions.

Rajya Sabha | 2:30 p.m.

Rajya Sabha resumes. Private members' Bills are being introduced including The Adolescent Mental Health Bill, 2018 and The Women Welfare Bill, 2016.  

The Abolition of Capital Punishment Bill, 2016 is taken as the first Bill for consideration, led by Dr. Ashok Bajpai, BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh. He says that if the offenders apart from terrorists are forgiven, then the safety of the citizens will be compromised. The fear of death penalty is the only reason that offenses are not repeated, he says.

Lok Sabha | 2 p.m.

Nirmala Sitharaman moves The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2019 for consideration and passing.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury says that government is pushing legislation through Parliament at a fast pace. He says that while he doesn't have a cogent argument to oppose this legislation, but he opposes the way this is being brought about in the House.

He wants to know how the government defines shell companies.

Lok Sabha | 12:45 p.m.

Nirmala Sitharaman says that she respects the members who stood in the support of Rama Devi and that the matter should not be politicised. She questions the intent of those who attempt to "politicise" the incident, which brings in an element of 'hesitation and doubt' in the matter, drawing criticism from the Opposition.

Lok Sabha | 12:20 p.m.

Matters of urgent public importance is being discussed in Lok Sabha. Dr. Sanghamitra Maurya demands the apology from Azam Khan who made objectionable remarks about Rama Devi yesterday. 

Smriti Irani says that the issue is not only a woman's problem but is a shame for all the legislators. She says that regardless of the political parties or gender, "you cannot misbehave with a woman and get away with it," Ms. Irani says. She says if the incident took place outside the house, it would involve police, but parliamentary privilege should not protect such people.

The members support the motion and condemn the incident, urging the speaker to take strict action against the member.

Kanimozhi says that the DMK is with the government when they bring in the Bill to increase the reservations for women in parliament. She also condemns the incident. 

Lok Sabha members condemn Azam Khan, seek Speaker’s intervention


Rajya Sabha | 12:00 p.m.

Chairman says that yesterday's incident in Lok Sabha has "pained him". Any Bill coming from Lok Sabha will be discussed for amendments and considered for passing as per the procedures established, he says.

He says once the voting in the house starts members are not allowed to move or talk to other members. He asks the members to follow decorum and protect the prestige of the house.

Contributory pension scheme for farmers are being discussed. Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister of State for Panchayati Raj, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, answering a question on the topic, says that the scheme is only for those farmers who have land registered on their name. Those who don't, he claims, have other schemes where they can avail same benefits.

Lok Sabha | 11:40 a.m.

Questions on government medical schemes are being discussed with a special focus on poor and vulnerable. The questions are pointed towards infant mortality and delivery services. Dr. Harsh Vardhan , Minister, Health and Family Welfare answers by saying that there are various new services introduced by the government - booklets with information on infancy care and also mobile applications that are helping in dissemination of information.

Rajya Sabha | 11:30 a.m.

Dola Sen, AITC and P.Bhattacharya, INC ask the government to reconsider corporatising the Indian ordinance factory. They express fear that will eventually lead to privatisation.

Saroj Pandey, BJP asks about the fate of National Mission for Clean Ganga, saying that the river is integral to the identity of the country.

Lok Sabha | 11:20 a.m.

Question answer session begins in Lok Sabha. Questions pertain to the protection of environment and wildlife. Mangroves like Sundarbans  and Ranthambore are being discussed. MoS Babul Supriyo says that the government is concentrating on protection of such areas - especially in West Bengal, Gujarat and Odisha - which comprise more than 70% of the mangroves in the country.

Rajya Sabha | 11:00 a.m.

Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu pays tribute to the soldiers of the Kargil war on the 20th anniversary of the Kargil Vijay Diwas. He also congratulates the Indian athletes on their recent successes. 

The papers are being laid on the table.

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