New Delhi: A day after the Government managed to pull off the passage of Right to Information (Amendment) Bill in Rajya Sabha despite walkout by the Opposition, as many as 17 Opposition parties together, on Friday, wrote to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on how bills were being passed “without any scrutiny in Parliament”. (Also read: Rajya Sabha Passes NIA Bill) Also Read - Budget 2021 Reflects Atmanirbhar Bharat, Not Opposition's False Narrative: Sitharaman in Rajya Sabha
In their letter, they said the process of passing bills in a “hurried” way was a diversion from the practice. The letter has been signed by Opposition parties like Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Trinamool Congress (TMC), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Telugu Desam Party (TDP), CPI, and CPI(M). Also Read - TMC MP Dinesh Trivedi Resigns From Rajya Sabha Over 'Violence' in Bengal, Says 'Feeling Suffocated'
They wrote, “We, the undersigned parties, wish to register our anguish and serious concern over the manner in which the Government is hurriedly passing legislation without any scrutiny by Parliamentary Standing or Select Committees. This is a fundamental departure from the established practice and healthy traditions of enacting legislation.” Also Read - Ladakh Row: India, China Begin Disengagement of Troops From Pangong Lake, Says Rajnath in Rajya Sabha
They went on to allege that while 60 per cent bills were sent for scrutiny during the 14th Lok Sabha session, 71 per cent bills were sent for scrutiny in the 15th session. Then, in the 16th Lok Sabha, only 26 per cent of bills were sent for scrutiny.
“Now, in the 17th Lok Sabha, 14 bills have already been passed in the first session. None of these bills has been referred to a Standing Committee or Select Committee for legislative scrutiny,” the letter said.
The letter comes a day after the Opposition staged a walkout while the Upper House passed the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The Opposition could get only 75 votes while the Government got 117 in the 245-member House.
The BJP Government got the votes of BJD, TRS, YSRCP and AIADMK to defeat the Opposition bid to force referral of the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019 to the select committee.
Meanwhile, the Parliament session has been extended by eight days. The session, which would have ended on July 26, will now go on till August 7.