August 10, 2017
Saugata Roy opposes the introduction of The Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017
Sir, Rule 74 states, when a Bill is introduced or on some subsequent occasion, the member in charge may make one of the following motions in regard to one’s own Bill, namely:—
(i) that it be taken into consideration; or
(ii) that it be referred to a Select Committee of the House; or
(iii) that it be referred to a Joint Committee of the Houses with the concurrence of the Council; or
(iv) that it be circulated for the purpose of eliciting opinion thereon:
Provided that no such motion as is referred to in clause (iii) shall be made with reference to a Bill 4[if it contains only provisions dealing with all or any of the matters specified in sub-clauses (a) to (g) of clause (1) of article 110 of the Constitution]:
Provided further that no such motion shall be made until after copies of the Bill have been made available for the use of members, and that any member may object to any such motion being made unless copies of the Bill have been so made available for two days before the day on which the motion is made and such objection shall prevail, unless the Speaker allows the motion to be made.
Here the Minister is referring to a Joint Select Committee under Rule 74(iii). My colleague had explained in detail as to how the whole principal of Standing Committee’s is being circumvented, superseded, bypassed by the Government in its quest to get majority in both Houses.
The same thing actually happened in the case of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. I remember when that Bill was brought in Lok Sabha I objected saying that it should not be passed. Then the Government felt that it would not get a majority in the Rajya Sabha. So they sent it to a Joint Select Committee, the fear being that it will not be passed in Rajya sabha. If the Joint Select Committee presents a report, then both Houses get morally bound by it.
Now in the whole process we are weakening the foundation of the Standing Committee system. Normally the practice is that, any legislation concerning any ministry, any department is automatically referred to a Standing Committee, unless it is a small amendment or an inconsequential amendment. Any Bill of a substantial nature is referred to the Standing Committee. As my esteemed colleague Bhartruhari Mahtab has so eloquently stated, that process should not be given a go by.
We have no complaint about the personnel of the Bill because we ourselves are members of both the Committees. We are conscious of the power of the Standing Committee. We have a Finance Committee headed by Veerappa Moily who has given important reports on most of the matters. Why should that Standing Committee be bypassed, be insulted, be overridden by the Government’s desire to bring a Bill?
And then look out how the Bills are coming. On the last but one day, you are bringing a Bill and then a Motion without any scope of discussion. Like, in the earlier Bill, our esteemed colleague NK Premachandran spoke eloquently on how he had no time to study the Bill so that proper opposition to introduction can be made.
You are sitting in the Chair, Sir, and you have long parliamentary experience. Please see that the niceties of parliamentary behaviour are maintained by the Government. If the Chair does not protect us, who will protect the House? Who will protect the Constitution? Who will protect the Rules?
That is why, we seek refuge in your infinite powers from the Chair to support us.