Venkaiah Naidu suggests wider debate around lapsed Bills in Rajya Sabha

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, who is also the Rajya Sabha Chairman, on Friday suggested a wider debate about rules relating to lapsed Bills in the Upper House.

Rajya Sabha being a continuous House, no Bill introduced in the Rajya Sabha ever lapses. Currently, the pendency in the Rajya Sabha stands at 33 Bills.

Naidu said some of the Bills have been pending for decades. The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 1987, has been pending for 32 years. Three bills are pending for more than 20 years, six bills have been pending for 10-20 years, and 14 bills for 5-10 years, he said.

“This is certainly not a happy situation. In order to streamline the process, I suggest that if a Bill is not taken up for consideration and passing in Rajya Sabha within five years of introduction, such pending Bills should be treated as deemed to have lapsed,” Naidu said.

Also, the Rajya Sabha Chairman suggested a rethink on whether Bills passed by the Lok Sabha and pending to be introduced in the Rajya Sabha lapse automatically at the dissolution of the Lok Sabha.

Following the provisions of Article 107 of the Constitution, Naidu said 22 Bills passed by the 16th Lok Sabha now stand lapsed. Naidu said the Lok Sabha would now have to take up these 22 Bills again for consideration and passing.

“I am afraid it would take a minimum of two sessions for doing so. And this means that the efforts of the Lok Sabha for passing these 22 Bills have been rendered a waste,” he said.

Naidu said there is a need to rethink the provision regarding the lapse of the Bills in the Rajya Sabha. "I suggest a wider debate on the matter of automatic lapsing of Bills in Rajya Sabha,” he said.

Some of the Bills the previous Lok Sabha passed, but have lapsed now are – the land acquisition Bill, factories (amendment) Bill of 2016, motor vehicles (amendment) Bill of 2017, consumer protection Bill of 2018, Arbitration and conciliation Bill of 2018, companies (amendment) Bill of 2019, Banning of unregulated deposit schemes Bill of 2019, Aadhaar and other laws (Amendment) Bill of 2019, the Triple talaq Bills of 2017 and 2018 and the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill of 2019.

The 33 Bills pending in the Rajya Sabha include the Provision of the municipalities (extension to the scheduled areas) amendment Bill of 2001, Seeds Bill of 2004, Pesticides management Bill of 2011, Mines amendment Bill of 2011 etc.

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