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Last Updated : Feb 13, 2019 12:25 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, triple talaq bill to lapse if not passed by Rajya Sabha today

As both the bills were passed by the Lok Sabha earlier, they would lapse if not cleared by the Rajya Sabha on February 13

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The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 will lapse if not passed by the Rajya Sabha on February 13 -- the last day of the Budget Session.

February 13 will also be the last sitting of the 16th Lok Sabha as it will be dissolved ahead of general elections expected to happen in April-May.

Unlike the Winter Session, when the sittings of the Rajya Sabha were extended by two days to push the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) quota bill, the government has not shown any indication of a possible extension this time.

Neither the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, nor The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill – commonly known as the triple talaq bill – were taken up for consideration on February 12. In fact, the House was adjourned early due to protest by members.

Both bills were passed by the Lok Sabha earlier. However, they stand to lapse if not passed by the Rajya Sabha.

The legislative procedure states that a Bill pending in the Rajya Sabha which has not been passed by the Lok Sabha does not lapse on dissolution of the Lok Sabha. However, a Bill which is passed by the Lok Sabha and is pending in the Rajya Sabha lapses upon the dissolution of the Lok Sabha.

This would mean that the two bills would have to be reintroduced, if they were to be considered for passing, after the 17th Lok Sabha convenes after the general election.

The government and the Opposition have come close to blows both inside and outside Parliament over the bills.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been pushing for The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal immigrants (Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan) eligible for Indian citizenship.

This has faced widespread protests and resistance from Opposition parties and regional groups, mainly in the Northeast.

The chief ministers of two Northeast states Arunachal Pradesh's Pema Khandu and Manipur's N Biren Singh – both belonging to the BJP – had on February 11 voiced their opposition to the contentious Bill and urged Home Minister Rajnath Singh to ensure it was not passed in Rajya Sabha.

Also read: EXPLAINER | Citizenship (Amendment) Bill’s key question: Why are some illegal immigrants more equal than others?

The BJP lacks numbers in the Rajya Sabha. As a result, it has not been able to push the bills through. Opposition parties had blocked the passage of the two bills in the Winter Session too.

Further, two of BJP’s key allies Janata Dal (United) and the Shiv Sena have openly said that they would oppose the bill in the Upper House.

A bill seeking to protect gullible investors from ponzi schemes was introduced in Lok Sabha on February 12 by Finance Minister Piyush Goyal.  The House will take up the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill for discussion and passage on February 13.

A report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) on the Indian Air Force (IAF), which is expected to mention the Rafale fighter jet deal is also likely to be tabled in Parliament on February 13.

Alleging conflict of interest, the Congress had on February 10 requested CAG Rajiv Mehrishi to recuse himself from auditing the Rafale deal as he, as the then Finance Secretary, was part of the negotiations. Congress also said that it would be improper on the part of Mehrishi to present the report in Parliament.
First Published on Feb 13, 2019 08:34 am
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