Legislature's poor attendance record

Legislature's poor attendance record

New, pending Bills pile up as Houses meet only 29 days this year

It is no surprise then that legislative business is piling up. Let alone tabling new bills, there are at least nine pending Bills, three ordinance replacement Bills and fours Bills cleared by the State Cabinet awaiting approval by the legislature.  So once again, this year the government will be violating its own legislation passed in 2003 that the legislature shall meet at least for 60 days in a year.

According to the draft schedule, the legislature will meet for a maximum of seven days before the end of December, taking the total count of sitting to 36 days this year.

Previous lows

Previous lows were in the year 2004, when the Legislative Assembly met for 35 days and in 1989 when there were only 21 sittings.

However, both 2004 and 1989 were election years, with the State going to polls to elect a new Assembly. In fact, in 1989, the State was under President’s Rule for several months. The legislature met only for 17 days in 2008, an election year with the State under President’s Rule for more than six months

The winter session of legislature has been postponed several times for one reason or the other. CM  Yeddyurappa had announced that the legislature would meet for 20 days in October. But the session was postponed due to the devastating floods in North Karnataka as well as due to the political turmoil caused by the Reddys. The government is planning to cut short the session scheduled to begin on December 14 to seven days, to enable legislators campaign for the Council polls falling on December 18.

Several major Bills including the Karnataka Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill 2009 that proposes to decentralise the system of land acquisition are pending before the legislature.

Here is the year-wise break-up of the number of sittings of the Assembly since 1999.

1999: 40 days; 2000: 48; 2001: 37; 2002: 47; 2003: 42; 2004: 38; 2005: 50; 2006: 51; 2007: 59; 2008: 17; 2009: 29 (till date).

Pending Bills

*  Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority (Amendment) Bill 2009

*  Karnataka State Civil Services (Amendment) Bill 2009

*  Karnataka Rent (Amendment) Bill 2008

*  Karnataka Government Parks (Amendment) Bill 2009

*  Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation (Amendment) Bill 

*  Karnataka Sanskrit University Bill 2009

*  Karnataka Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill 2009

*  Karnataka SC/STs, Backward Classes (Amendment) Bill 2001

*  Karnataka Industrial Employment (Standing Order) (Amendment) Bill 2005 Bills approved by Cabinet and pending legislative approval

*  Karnataka Excise (Amendment) Bill 2009

*  The Code of Criminal Procedure (Karnataka Amendment) Bill 2008

*  Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage and Certain Other Laws (Amendment) Bill 2009

*  The Karnataka Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation and Development)(Amendment) Bill 2009

Ordinance replacing Bills

*  Azim Premji University Bill 2009

*  Karnataka Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill 2009

*  Karnataka Appropriation (No 3) Bill 2009