The Week in Parliament

CPI(M) Parliamentary Office

THE Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha and P Karunakaran appreciated the government for its decision to withdraw the FRDI Bill. The urgency of this Ordinance is questionable. What is the objective of promulgation of this Ordinance? It was not for reasons of any social demand, or an economic demand or an administrative demand. But this was promulgated for reason for one person. The Code provides for a time-bound process for resolving insolvency in companies and among individuals. The Ordinance clarifies that an allottee under a real estate project will be considered a financial creditor. An allottee includes any person to whom a plot, apartment or building has been allotted, sold or transferred by a promoter. I strongly oppose this bill and also the untimely Ordinance that the government has issued.

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill passed in Lok Sabha. A Sampath said that personally we are against capital punishment, but compelled to support this Bill. Women have to given preference, in all walks of life. Often a woman is sexually abused in her own house. In the school and college where she goes to study, in public places and places of work, in society as a whole, she can be targeted for sexual abuse. This is an important legislation. Such an important amendment should have been referred to the parliamentary standing committee. It needed much more discussion and scrutiny by the standing committee. We should ensure that the investigation is conducted impartially and also ensure that witness do no turn hostile. We should ensure material evidences are not destroyed and they are produced before the court without failure. We should ensure that trial is completed within a stipulated time. We should also ensure that just because a girl has been violated, she is not considered a sinner, but is accepted by the mainstream society.

The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2018 passed in Lok Sabha. P K Sreemathi Teacher said homoeopathy is the safest and cheapest method of treatment available in the world. India has two and a half lakh registered practitioners, who can be posted in the rural areas and can provide qualitative treatment to the poor people. Kerala is an example for utilisation of homoeopathic doctors. There is a homoeopathic dispensary or hospital in almost all panchayats and almost one lakh people are utilising the services.

The Lok Sabha passed the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty - Third Amendment) Bill. While speaking on this, P Karunakaran said that we had already discussed this issue earlier in this House. In some States, there have been some form of reservations from the pre-independence period itself. We cannot forget the eminent social reform leaders in various states. In Tamil Nadu also, the Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam and later DMK and AIDMK have done a lot of work. Many Commissions were set up in the country and all these Commissions were meant to study the caste policy and also the reservation policy. Earlier, it was decided that the Centre has to decide the caste which has to come under OBC community category. As far as OBC community is concerned, there are a number of sections. We should also see that this is not used for political purposes. There should be judicial consciousness. Otherwise, the spirit of the SC or OBC reservation would be defeated.  Nearly 67 per cent is the OBC population, but they are not getting their due share as far as education or employment is concerned. We agree with this Amendment because Constitutional status has to be given to the OBC Commission as we have already given to the SCs and STs. The selection of the members of the Committee should not be done on the basis of politics, and one Member from the very backward community should be included in it.

The Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Bill was passed in Lok Sabha. A Sampath participated in the discussion and said that this House is the supreme legislative body of this nation and legislation through ordinance is not good. The Standing Committees have a duty to scrutinise the laws. We are a nation in which the largest number of undertrial prisoners are languishing behind the bars. There are a large number of vacancies in the judiciary and the ratio of judicial officer per lakh people is very low in India vis-à-vis European countries and also some developing countries. Through the bill, the government is putting more burden upon the shoulders and heads of the existing judiciary. The government should appoint more judges, provide more money to the judiciary and establish more courts. The Supreme Court should have branches elsewhere also.

In Rajya Sabha, a discussion was held on the final draft of the National Register of Citizens in Assam. T K Rangarajan said that it is a national issue, and not a state issue. Urging the government not to go by the NRC report. Some two hundred years back, some south Indians went to Assam and other areas. So, historically, people are moving from here and there. In Kerala, you can see Nepalese and people from Odisha. In Tamil Nadu, you can see a lot of Bengalis and Nepalese working. Tomorrow, anybody can say that one is not a citizen of India. So, this is a very serious issue.

The National Sports University Bill was passed in Lok Sabha. While supporting this bill, M B Rajesh said it took four years to bring this legislation and this long delay itself shows the lack of priority that we are giving to sports. And that is why we are lagging behind - because of this lack of priority. Wonder to say that in this bill, the government has not provided for a branch of this Sports University in a state like Kerala, which is considered as a Gold Mine of Indian Athletics. Kerala has produced many legendary athletes. So, I demand either a Branch of this University or a Centre of Excellence in Sports in Kerala especially with focus on athletics. Another point is that the state of affairs of sports administration in our country is very bad. According to English daily out of two key officials, who are leading the Indian sports contingent to Jakarta Asian Games, one was jailed for one year for his role in Commonwealth Games corruption case and in another official's case, his appointment was investigated by CBI. So, request the Government of India to please clean up the sports administration and find resources to find out, train and develop sports talent which is in abundance in this country.

Other Issues

K K Ragesh raised the need to include public-funded “Centres of Excellence” in the list of 'Institutions of Eminence'. K Somaprasad raised the issue of shortage of loco-pilots and assistant loco-pilots in southern railway in Kerala. The railway safety in Kerala is in peril, and the situation warrants immediate intervention of the Railway Ministry. The shortage of loco pilots and assistant loco pilots is very acute in Trivandrum and Palakkad Divisions. More than 30 per cent posts of the total sanctioned strength of loco pilots are vacant. Due to the shortage, the present loco pilots are compelled to work for several hours continuously, he said.

Jharna Das Baidya raised the need to increase minimum working age of young girls from 14 years to 18. The adolescent girls in the age group of 11-18 years can improve their social status through nutrition, life skills, home skills and vocational training. Adolescence is a significant period for mental, emotional and psychological development. We should try to solve their health problems first and then try to give them training. This scheme would promote child labour and exploitation of children below the age of 14 years. I would request the government to increase the age of girls who can work to 18 years.

She also raised the matter regarding attacks and murders of journalists in the country. Any journalist who speaks out against corruption, violence and impropriety, is being attacked. The government should take concrete steps to protect journalists so that they are able to express their viewpoints freely. (END)




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