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Ruckus in RS over Constitution Amendment Bill

Ruckus in RS over Constitution Amendment Bill

New Delhi: Opposition created ruckus in Rajya Sabha Saturday against the hasty passage of a Constitution Amendment Bill regarding appointment of judges to higher courts, leading to two adjournments of the House before noon.

As soon as the House met for the day, Ravi Shankar Prasad (BJP) said Law Minister Kapil Sibal got the Constitution (120th Amendment) Bill, 2013 passed in haste in Rajya Sabha, despite a demand for referring it to the Standing Committee, but failed to take it up in Lok Sabha.

Demanding apology from Sibal, he said, "The Bill is very important. Though it should have been referred to the Standing Committee, the Minister had said it was very urgent and had to be passed...It was passed here, but not taken up in Lok Sabha.

"The Minister must come to the House and explain as to why he misled the House...Why was the bill rushed through in Rajya Sabha? He has taken us for a ride and owes us an apology," Prasad said.

Rajya Sabha had passed the bill on September 5 by 131 votes in favour and one against after a walkout by BJP rejecting its demand for referring it to a Standing Committee.

The bill paves the way for creation of a Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) to replace the present collegium system to appoint judges to higher courts.

As the issue was raised today, N K Singh (JD-U) rose to his feet in protest as also Naresh Agrawal (SP), Thaawar Chand Gehlot (BJP) and V Maitreyan (AIADMK). They, however, could not be heard in din.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said government was keen on taking the bill for passage in Lok Sabha. However, as a result of some patent and technical error, it could not be taken up.

"If process had been gone through, we could have taken it up (in Lok Sabha)," Nath said.

But, this did not pacify the agitated members and amid din Vice Chairman P J Kurien adjourned the House for 15 minutes.

When the House reassembled, similar scenes were witnessed as members wanted to know as to what was the error in the bill.

Shivanand Tiwari (JD-U) said Sibal should have made a suo motu statement. As din continued, Kurien adjourned the House till noon.

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