Parliament proceedings updates | 'Nil’ cases of infiltration by China, Home Ministry tells LS; Rahul Gandhi demands compensation for the kin of deceased farmers
The Lok Sabha on December 6 passed a Bill that seeks to accord special status to six more institutes of pharmaceutical education and research as well as set up a council for these institutes
Expressing regret over the Nagaland firing incident, Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday assured both the Houses of Parliament that a special investigation team (SIT) will complete its probe within a month and said that all agencies must ensure that such incidents do not recur while undertaking operations against insurgents.
Making a statement first in the Lok Sabha and then in the Rajya Sabha, Mr. Shah said the government is taking steps to ensure peace in the region and was closely monitoring the evolving situation that “continues to be tense but under control”.
On the seventh day of the winter session, the Rajya Sabha proceedings were adjourned for the day on after repeated stoppages as opposition members continued to protest demanding the revocation of suspension of 12 MPs.
The High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on November 30, 2021 by the Minister of Law and Justice, Kiren Rijiju.
Here are the latest updates:
Lok Sabha adjourned for the day
Lok Sabha proceedings have been adjourned until 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Congress MP from Berhampore, West Bengal, says "statements made by BJD MP Pinaki Mishra has caused confusion, if not controversy". Mr. Chowdhury asks the Law Minister to "clear any kind of confusion". "Bedrock of our democracy is rule of law, and that's why we need an independent judiciary," the Berhampore MP says.
"I'll simply highlight a few issues. There is a growing perception in the country that the judiciary too is now gripped with corruption. There must be system of accountability in this regard," Mr. Chowdhury says. "Huge pendency of cases is another issue," he says. "Virtually, the country has been sitting on a pendancy bomb."
Another issue is "lack of transparency", the Congress MP says. "Transparency should be a priority of the Government," he adds. Undertrial prisoners and their cases is another huge issue, he says. "In West Bengal, many Opposition workers are locked up and they stay in jails as their cases remain undertrial for years," he says.
"Judiciary infrastructure is pathetic," he continues, adding that there are courts "where there are not even rooms to store files". "Courts lack technology, there is not even high-speed internet to upload court data," Mr. Chowdhury adds.
"No one is taking care of judiciary research at district-level," he says, adding "security of trial court judges should also be beefed up."
Arun Sao, BJP MP from Chhatisgarh's Bilaspur, speaks in favour of the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill.
He says: "there will be equality in pension and clarity on pension as well once this Bill is passed."
"Dispose pending cases at the earliest and increase the number of judges," says AIUDF MP from Dhubri in Assam, Ajmal Badruddin. The infrastructure of courts should also be improved, he says, pointing out "in many courts, there are not even urinals for women."
Kerala Congress (M) MP, Thomas C. asks whether the Government really needed to table the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill.
He says the major problems faced by judiciary include "insufficient infrastructure, large number of pending cases and vacancy in the courts."
BSP MP from Amroha in U.P., Kunwar Danish Ali seeks a bench of Allahabad High Court in Western Uttar Pradesh. He points out that more than 50 lakh cases are pending in High Courts and more than four crore cases are pending in the lower courts. He also highlights that there is not enough representation of SC and ST community in the judiciary. "Poor are not getting adequate justice as they are represented by lawyers who charge a lot and the poor are not part of the system," he says.
Suresh Pujari, BJP MP from Bargadh, Odisha, requests for permanent bench of Odisha High Court in Western Odisha.
Pinaki Mishra of BJD responds to Mr. Pujari saying "the State Government will provide everything that's required to set up a permanent bench of Odisha HC in Western Odisha."
What is the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021?
The High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021 was introduced in the Lok Sabha today.
The Bill seeks to amend: (i) the High Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1954, and (ii) the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1958. These Acts regulate the salaries and conditions of service of the judges of High Courts and the Supreme Court of India.
Additional quantum of pension or family pension: Under the Acts, all retired judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts and their family members are entitled to pension or family pension. They are also entitled to an additional quantum of pension or family pension when they attain a certain age in accordance with a specified scale. The scale contains five age brackets (with minimum age of 80, 85, 90, 95, and 100 years), and the additional quantum increases with age (from 20% to 100% of the pension or family pension). The Bill clarifies that a person will be entitled to the additional pension or family pension from the first day of the month in which they complete the minimum age under the concerned age bracket. - PRS
N.K. Premchandran, RSP MP from Kollam in Kerala, says he is confused whether to support the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill or oppose it. "Invalidating a judgement passed by the Supreme Court is not fair and not a good legislation to pass," he says aggreeing with BJD MP Pinaki Mishra.
Talking on separation of powers, he says "Indian Judicial system has been independent. The credibility of Indian judiciary has been quite high." "But, very unfortunately, credibility of the judiciary has become questionable in the last few years," he says.
"I appeal to the Government to bring back National Judicial Appointment Commission Bill in the Parliament," he says. "Judicial reforms is the need of the hour," he concludes.
RLP MP from Nagaur, Rajasthan, Hanuman Beniwal highlights the number of pending cases in courts. "In judicial system, people die seeking justice," he says asking the Government to focus on delivering justice to people.
He says that only relatives and those who work in the chambers of certain judges are promoted, while others suffer, especially people from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. "In Rajasthan, for example, there is not a single OBC judge," he says, requesting the Prime Minister and the Law Minister to "focus on this issue".
TMC MP from Aarambagh in West Bengal, Aproopa Poddar highlights the lower number of women judges in India. She says "All India Merit Selection System should be brought in so that everyone gets proper representation and meritorious people get in the judicial system."
"Judges-population ratio is India not appreciable," she says, adding "while we are making laws here, there are not enough judges to deliver justice."
E.T. Mahammed Basheer, IUML MP from Ponnani in Kerala, says "judiciary shows helplessness in many cases". He alleges "there is blatant misuse of laws like AFSPA, but nothing is done with regards to these draconian laws like AFSPA, UAPA."
"Unfortunately, courts have only been silent at human rights violations," he says. He says "nowhere in the world judges appoint judges and we need to get away from this practice."
Hasnain Masoodi, National Conference MP from Anantnag in Jammu & Kashmir, says "many members have repeated the issue of pendency but how can you deal with pendency unless you empower the system, and that is not being done."
Similarly, he continues, "the vacancies cannot be filled without a proper system in place."
The High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill is not something that will attract talents, he says.
Rajendra Agarwal, BJP MP from Meerut, says "pending cases are actually very high". "There have been steps taken like fast-track courts, but the problem of pending cases still persist," he says.
"This highlights that there is a problem with the justice delivery system," the BJP MP says. He adds: "In Uttar Pradesh, there should be more High Court Benches," he says pointing out that there are many pending cases in the State and the population of the State. "There are many places which are more than 700 kilometres afar from the Allahabad High Court," he says giving example of Saharanpur which is more than 700 KMs away from Allahabad.
"What this does is exploitation of people as they have to spend nights in Allahabad for even small cases," the BJP MP says. "There should be more benches of Allahabad High Court in Uttar Pradesh," he demands. supporting the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill.
Suresh Kodikunnil, Congress MP from Mavelikkara in Kerala, says "the poor and the marginalised suffer from the pending cases in our judiciary." "If courts continue to function the way they do, it will take 300 years to clear all the pending cases," the Congress MP says.
"In judiciary, Dalits are not included," he says, adding, "this bill (the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill) finally at least talks about the Dalits and margianalised."
"There has only been one Dalit CJI, this is the inequality that is going on in the judiciary," the Congress MP alleges. Mr. Kodikunnil also bats for reservation for SC and ST in the judiciary. "We demands that reservation policy be implemented in appointment of judges," he says.
"There have been instances like that of Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who have gone on to hold government positions after retiring as judges," he says asking the Parliament to talk about how many pensions will these judges get?
"Judiciary system, while deliberating about salary and pension, must also ensure that justice is delivered in time," he concludes.
NCP MP from Lakshadweep, Faizal P.P. Mohammed says "the Government of India should also focus on filling the vacancies in the courts." "The Government must also promote alternate justice system so that common man can have an option of getting justice before going to courts," he says.
Unnecessary executive orders also responsible for piling up of cases, the NCP MP concludes supporting the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill.
Stop trying to control judiciary like you control ED, CBI: BSP MP Shyam Singh Yadav
Shyam Singh Yadav, BSP MP from Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh, asks why there is nothing mentioned about the pension of judges over 95 years? "Does the Government believe judges can't live after 95 years," he asks. "The Government should rather mention 'judges over 90-years," he suggests.
"The Government uses IT-Department, ED, CBI and other organisations as it likes," the BSP MP alleges. He says "the way this Government focuses on controlling various Government organisations, it should also focus in similar manner on eradicating poverty, providing jobs."
He asks the Government to stop trying to control the judiciary as "it is the only pillar of democracy that people still trust."
Concern in the manner the Govt. has brought in the bill: Pinaki Mishra
BJD MP from Puri, Odisha, Pinaki Mishra expresses surprise over every party, including the Congress, supporting the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill. "Serious concerns in the manner the bill has been brought in," the BJD MP cpntinues.
BJD is for vibrant judiciary, and thus we cannot support nullifying of a Supreme Court order by bringing in this bill, he says.
Mr. Mishra says there are serious doubts about the functioning of the Collegium. Saying that "there's almost 40% vacancy in High Court judges," the BJD MP asks: "How can High Courts function with such a high rate of vacancy?"
Law Minister has to proactively focus on filling these vacancies, he says.
Mahabali Singh, JD(U) MP from Karakat, Bihar says he welcomes increasing the pension of judges. But, he continues, "we see a trend of judges joining other government organisation upon retirement. We need to ensure that those judges do not receive multiple pensions."
"Collegium system is not constitutional," he says, asking "who is responsible for the pending cases across courts?"
"Collegium system is like the caste system, and in this (Collegium) system relatives are promoted. People with skills and talent are ignored and those with no knowledge but only relatives at top positions are elevated as judges," he alleges.
Talking on the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, YSRCP MP Vanga Geethaviswanath points out at the lack of women judges in the judiciary system. She also talks about the lack of judges belonging to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe.
She bats for "appropriate reservation policy" to make judiciary "more inclusive". "There is a strong need to change the Collegium system as well," the YSRCP MP from Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh says.
"All India Judicial Service, along the lines of Civil Services, should be formed," she says.
There are serious doubts about the functioning of the Supreme Court: Arvind Ganpat Sawant
"Chief Justices like Ranjan Gogoi becomes the member of the Rajya Sabha, then I have serious doubts about the judgements delivered by the apex court," the Shiv Sena MP says.
"What happened in Maharashtra? In our Legislative Council, we (State Government) had recommended 10 to 12 names about eight months ago, but those names have not yet been cleared. Where is justice," he asks.
I support the bill, but teachers' pension should be prioratised too, he concludes.
Arvind Ganpat Sawant, Shiv Sena MP from Mumbai South, welcomes the bill. "If you're thinking of increasing the pension of the judges, it's a good move, but what about the pension of teachers," he asks talking on the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill. "If teachers are not happy, the next generation cannot flourish," the Shiv Sena MP says.
Mr. Sawant further asks the Government, "what about the pending cases?" "In our country, poor people only get taarekh par taarekh (one date after another)," the Shiv Sena MP says asking the Government of measures taken in this regard. "With the number of pending cases we have, the Collegium should have a waiting-list," he says.
"Are the four pillars of democracy really independent," he asks. People associated with certain ideology are taking positions in all the four pillars, he alleges.
P.P. Chaudhary, MoS Law & Justice, says 400 judges have been appointed in the last two years. Kalyan Banerjee responds asking about the number of vacancies. "It's your job to know the vacancies Mr. Chaudhary," the TMC MP says.
Mr. Banerjee says four judges had made a press-conference highlighting the plight of the justice system. "Then one of them went on to become the CJI and after retirement, he became a Rajya Sabha member," he says, asking the Collegium to reconsider its methods.
"Do not violate the orders of the courts. You're the Central Government, you cannot violate court orders," the TMC MP says.
Justice delivery system facing severe challenges, says TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee
Kalyan Banerjee, TMC MP from Serampore in West Bengal, says there are 5.4 crore pending in India. In the last 2 years, India has added 23 pending cases every minute, he says speaking on the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill.
Today, our justice delivery system face severe challenges, he says. 5.8 Million cases are pending before the High Courts, he says, adding "in Rajasthan alone, more than five lakh cases are pending in the High Court". What has happened to the fast-track courts, he asks, pointing out that several cases are pending before the fast-track courts.
The Colloegium recommend lawyers who are close to the Bharatiya Janata Party, the TMC MP alleges. There are three women lawyers whose names were recommended, but they were never made the judges, he says. Is the Central Government not violating Article 144 of the Constitution, he asks.
Do not interfere with the judicial system: DMK MP Dayanidhi Maran
Speaking on the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, DMK MP from Chennai Central, said that the ruling dispensation is trying to influencing the judiciary.
He requested the Government to "not interfere with the judiciary system". Lawyer born in Delhi have the access to the Supreme Court, but those from smaller places do not, the DMK MP says, adding, "this is not equality". There are only five judges from the Scheduled Tribe community, he says. Everyone should feel they are a part of the system, he adds.
We've faith in the judicial system, but the recent developments have cast a doubt in the general populace, he says pointing out that the judges who deliver verdict in favour of the Government are included in the Government after retirement.
P.P. Chaudhary, BJP MP from Pali (Rajasthan), requests the Government to revisit the process of appointment of judges.
Opposition Rajya Sabha MPs to protest on Wednesday
All Opposition Rajya Sabha MPs will protest against "violation of the Constitution and Rules of Procedure" on Wednesday, Congress MP Jairam Ramesh tweeted.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor raises the issue of the retirement age of judges of the top courts. He also makes a note of the alarming number of pending cases in the courts. The earlier a judge retires, the more vulnerable he or she might be to the changing rules of the govt. of the day, says Mr Tharoor. After a couple of MPs raise objections, the speaker A Raja cautions Mr Tharoor not to bring up cases as examples which haven't been resolved in courts yet.
Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day
Rajya Sabha has been adjourned to 11 a.m. on December 8, 2021. This was shortly after proceedings resumed at 3 pm. There was a lot of commotion after a few MPs raised the issue of the suspended MPs being asked to apologise.
After the Zero Hour, speaker NK Premachandran has announced that the Lok Sabha has been adjourned till 3.30 p.m.
RS adjourned again
The Rajya Sabha, which was supposed to resume at 2 p.m, has been adjourned till 3 p.m. It was adjourned within 8 minutes as Opposition continued to raise the issue of suspension of 12 MPs.
Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya introduced the ART and Surrogacy Bill.
Bhartruhari Mahtab, BJD (Cuttack) appeals for the government to bring in Uniform Civil Code.
Agatha K. Sangma, NPP (Tura) requests that the government repeal AFSPA in light on the recent killings in Nagaland.
Hema Malini, BJP (Mathura) speaks about increasing cases of animal cruelty in the country and says that the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act is a six decade old act and requests that the government strengthen the Act.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, INC, (Baharampur) talks about the NEET-PG counselling delay.
Talari Rangaiah, YSRCP (Anantapur) talks about the importance of caste-based census. He informs the House that the Andhra Pradesh government has decided to conduct a caste-based census in their State.
Dr. Veerswamy seeks interim relief to Tamil Nadu and also brings to the notice of the House the damage caused by monsoon in southern States
Suresh Kodikunnil, INC (Mavelikkara) brings the issue of safety of women in Uttar Pradesh to the House.
TRS to boycott winter session
We got contradictory and ambiguous reply from the government on the paddy procurement policy. For a week and a half we waited for a comprehensive response from the government. But there is no point talking to a wall. So we are boycotting the entire session", says K. Keshav Rao, Telangana Rashtra Samithi.
Rahul Gandhi, INC (Wayanad) points to a list of names of the 700 farmers who died during the protests and requests that the government pay compensation and give government jobs to their family members.
Question Hour comes to an end in Lok Sabha. Papers are being laid on the table.
Dayanidhi Maran, DMK (Chennai Central) asks the Union Home Minister why the NCB treats drug addicts as criminals and asks the ministry to provide survey data.
Dr. Kumar says that he will send across a written reply to the member.
Pravesh Sahib Singh, BJP (West Delhi) asks whether the Union Home Ministry has collaborated with the Delhi government to curb drug use among children.
Dr. Virendra Kumar, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment replies that the ministry has started a 'Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyan' to reduce drug consumption among children. He also adds that the ministry is issuing grants to NGOs working on helping addicts recover. He also notes that a helpline (14446) has been created to help addicts recover and create awareness among people.
Gurjeet Singh Aujla, INC (Amritsar) asks whether the Ministry has any plan in creating a sports academy in Amritsar and notes that the people of Punjab have contributed immensely in bringing laurels to India in Olympics. Mr. Thakur says that sports is a State subject and that he will give the list of projects to the member.
On quality of Roads
Shyam Singh Yadav, BJP (Uttar Pradesh) asks whether Ministry of Rural Development will investigate the quality of roads being laid in U.P..
MoS Rural Development says that they will investigate.
On Sports University
Prasun Banerjee, AITC (West Bengal) inquires about the details of 'Sports University' promised in Manipur. Anurag Thakur, Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports replies that India has won the most number of medals in Olympics and Paralympics this year and adds that 'Mission Olympic Cell' chooses elite athletes to give them good quality training. Says that the construction of the Sports University got delayed due to COVID-19 and promises that the University will be completed soon.
Question Hour in Lok Sabha
Question Hour begins in Lok Sabha. Members of Lok Sabha are raising questions concerning Self-Help Groups.
Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2:00 p.m.
Rajya Sabha adjourned to meet at 2:00 pm. The adjournment came just five minutes after the session for the day began.
Opposition members raise slogans in Lok Sabha.
Both Houses of Parliament resume for the seventh day of winter session. Question Hour begins in Lok Sabha. Papers are being laid on the table in Rajya Sabha.
Rahul Gandhi gives an adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha over Farmers' issue
Mr. Gandhi says 700 farmers have sacrificed their lives. And despite the repeal of the farm laws, farmers have been seeking justice and raising other issues affecting the fundamentals of agriculture.
Legislative Business for December 7, 2021 is as follows:
Bills for consideration and passing:
The High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021.
Bills for consideration and passing:
The Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2021.
The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2020.
Lok Sabha nod for Bill on pharma institutes, research
The Lok Sabha on Monday passed a Bill that seeks to accord special status to six more institutes of pharmaceutical education and research as well as set up a council for these institutes.
The current bill, which will amend the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research Act, 1998, that established the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), at Mohali in Punjab, will encourage high quality research as it accords the status of Institutions of National Importance to six more institutes at Ahmedabad, Guwahati, Hajipur, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Rae Bareli.
Replying to the debate on the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Amendment) Bill, 2021, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya countered the Opposition over a range of health issues including ‘vaccine hesitancy’.
Day 6 recap
The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was introduced in the Lok Sabha.
The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research (Amend) Bill, 2021 was passed in the Lok Sabha.
Home Minister Amit Shah gave a statement in the Lok Sabha regarding the Nagaland incident. His address in the Rajya Sabha was disrupted as the proceedings were adjourned for the day due to continuous protest by Opposition members over the suspension of 12 MPs.