Chair to decide whether bill pending in RS can be tabled in LS

RSTV Bureau

Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien on Tuesday said he would study the rules and give a ruling on whether legislation, pending in the Upper House, can be introduced in Lok Sabha, even as the bill to allow 49 per cent FDI in the insurance sector was tabled in Lok Sabha.

Kurien said he needed to study parliamentary rules and the constitutional provisions before deciding on the issue. “I reserve my ruling on this,” he said. The insurance bill is pending in the Rajya Sabha.

Raising the issue, Naresh Agarwal (SP) wanted to know if any Bill can be introduced in the Lower House of Parliament, if it has been introduced in Rajya Sabha but has neither been withdrawn, nor passed or rejected.

“When a Bill is introduced in Rajya Sabha, it becomes the property of this House,” he said, adding that bringing such a bill in Lok Sabha “is null and void”.

Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) said the government, using its “tyranny of the majority” in Lok Sabha, was bypassing Rajya Sabha in legislative business. “The property of Rajya Sabha is being snatched . . . it is an encroachment on the rights of this House,” he said.

“If withdrawing the bill (from Rajya Sabha) was not necessary (before introducing it in Lok Sabha), why did the government move (to withdraw them last week) and then withdraw the motion (to withdraw the bills),” he said.

Anand Sharma (Cong) said no new precedent must be created by allowing such a practice. “When a Bill is introduced in this House, the bill stays here because Rajya Sabha is permanent while Lok Sabha can be dissolved,” he said.

Without mentioning of the Insurance Amendment Bill that allows 49 per cent foreign direct investment in the sector, he said Rajya Sabha appointed a Select Committee to consider the bill and the panel has given its report.

“It is still pending before Rajya Sabha,” he said adding that moving a bill in Lok Sabha, similar to the one pending in the Upper House, will create an anomaly.

Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Law Minister should tell the House if the bill introduced in Lok Sabha was the same as the one pending in Upper House or not.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the bill in question has not been named and the government will seek cooperation and advice of the Opposition whenever necessary.

Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said it was “quite premature to say if it is the same or amended bill” which has been introduced in Lok Sabha. The opposition have a right to raise this issue when the Bill comes to Rajya Sabha, he said.

Kurien said the Chair does not have any jurisdiction over the other House. Also, “there is no rule preventing placing of any bill in the other House.”

“Whether the Bill presented there is the same or different, the Chair has no knowledge,” he said, adding that if a bill different from the one pending in Rajya Sabha has been introduced, then there should not be any difficulty”.

“If it is the same bill, I have to see the Constitutional provision. Only then I have to give a ruling. I reserve my ruling… I will see the rule book,” he said.