Bill seeking reservation for transgenders in Parliament

Bill seeking reservation for transgenders in Parliament

Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal speaks in Rajya Sabha during the ongoing budget session of Parliament. (PTI Photo)

Nine private members' bills were introduced in Rajya Sabha on Friday, which includes draft legislation on providing reservation to transgenders in Parliament and state assemblies, and on punishment for offenses related to incest and sexual abuse of females in the family.

BJD member Sasmit Patra introduced the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (substitution of articles 331 and 333) in the Upper House on Friday which provides for the reservation to transgenders in Parliament and state assemblies.

Patra also introduced The Incest Offences and Sexual Abuse of Females in Family (Prevention) Bill, 2020.

The bill seeks to define the offenses relating to incest and sexual abuse of females in the family and prescribe the special procedure for punishment for the offenses.

Congress member Abhishek Manu Singhvi introduced The Animal Factory Farming (Regulation) Bill, 2020, which seeks to provide for the regulation of animal factory farming industry in India and for matters connected with it.

Another Congress member Amee Yajnik introduced The Victim and Witness Protection and Assistance Bill, 2020, which seeks to provide adequate protection and assistance to victims and witnesses in criminal cases.

TMC member Shanta Chhetri introduced The Third Language Bill, 2020.

The bill seeks to provide for compulsory third language education from primary to senior secondary level in all schools in the country, to make it imperative for each student to study a third language other than Hindi, English or the student's mother tongue from one of the languages mentioned in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution and for making it obligatory for the central and state governments to provide requisite infrastructure for the purpose.

BJP member Amar Shankar Sable introduced the Backward Areas Development Board Bill, 2020 which seeks to provide for the establishment of a board for overall development of economically backward areas of the country.

AAP member Sanjay Singh introduced The Public Health (Prevention, Control, and Management of Epidemics) Bill, 2020, which seeks to provide for public health and for prevention, control and management of epidemics and for matters connected with it.

BJP member Saroj Pandey introduced The Indian Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and BJD member Amar Patnaik introduced The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Meanwhile, nominated member Narendra Jadav withdrew The Foreign Investment in Financial Services, Critical Infrastructure and Technology Affecting National Security (Regulation) Bill, 2018.

Jadav withdrew his bill in the light of assurance given by Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur that all checks and balances are in place and said that he wanted to present his point of view on the issue.

The bill sought to provide for measures to ensure national security, while promoting foreign investment, to reform the process of examination of such investment, vis-a-vis their effect, if any, on national security.

It also sought to establish a Committee on Foreign Investment to effectively guard against the risk to national security posed by certain type of foreign investment in financial services, critical infrastructure and technology sector and for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto, be taken into consideration.

Replying to the discussion, Thakur said that recognising the risk associated with foreign investments in certain sectors, the foreign direct investment policy of the Centre has already placed sensitive sectors under the approval route.

Regarding the proposed bill, which seeks to set up a committee on foreign investments, Thakur said the government in June 2017 abolished the foreign investment promotion board (FIPB) and hence setting up a committee (for screening foreign investments) will be a retrograde step.

Another private member bill, The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2014, was also withdrawn by the Congress member M V Rajeev Gowda.

The bill sought to remove the limits of election expenditure in the country.

Replying to the discussion on the bill, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that this is not the new debate. He stressed the government cannot accept this bill because elections should be fair, and the display of wealth cannot be allowed.

The minister said that sovereign element will be compromised if the government accepts this bill. 

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