Rajya SabhaLok Sabha

January 9, 2019

Sukhendu Sekhar Ray speaks on The Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019

Sukhendu Sekhar Ray speaks on The Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Thank you Sir. Main bhi weaker section ka hoon. Weaker section ka matlab jin logon ke paas kam samay hai… us mein main bhi hoon <interruptions>

Main koi chunavi bhashan nahi dunga, naa hi main Bill ke virodh mein kuch bolna chahunga. Main thoda bahut clarification mangna chahta hoon Mananiya Kanun Mantri ji se.

Pehli baat hai ki nowhere in the Constitution ‘the economically weaker section’ has been defined. Article 46, Kanun Mantri ji ne ullkeh kiya, wahan pe weaker section zaroor bataya gaya lekin economically weaker section kahin bhi nahin hai. Yahan pe yeh explanation diya gaya us mein isko import kiya gaya for the purposes of this Article and Article 16.

Us mine isko import kiya giya ‘for the purposes of this article and the Article 16, “economically weaker section” shall be, as may be notified by the State, from time to time, on the basis of family income’, etc. a new definition has been imported and the Constitution has been redefined by this Government for this Bill. Iska clarification mujhe chahiye.

Number two hain, ki Cabinet mein shayad, mujhe malum nahin, since I am not a member of the Cabinet, lekin newspaper report nikla ki teen din pehle, Cabinet-approved 10 per cent reservation. Iske liye, who would fall in the category of economically weaker section if the total income per year is Rs 8 lakh or less. Toh aaj 8 lakh tak hain, agar kal sarkar ko yeh rawaiya hota is cheez ko badalna chahiye, toh 8 lakh ko 20 lakh bhi kar sakte hain. Yeh pravbdhan rakha gaya iss mein – ‘from time to time’. Toh 8 lakh baad mein 20 lakh ya 30 lakh bhi ho sakta hain. T

Humare Hindustan ka kya halat hain. Yahan pe World Economic Forum ne February 2018 mein jo report publish kiya on Development Index, un mein se pata chalta hain ki six out of 10 Indians live on less than $US3.20. Yani ki Hindustan ke 60 per cent logon ko mahina mein 6,700 rupiya bhi kamai nahin hota hain. Yeh World Economic Forum ka report hain. Ab Workd Bank ka report hain, jo October 2018 mein nikla, ki 20 crore Indians do not earn even Rs 4,000 per month. Toh in logon ke liye reservation zaroori hain ya 8 lakh walon ke liye zyada zaroori hain? Yeh mera sawaal hain, Kanoon Mantri ji se main jawab mangta hoon.

Teesri baat hain, aur yeh aakhri baat hoga mera. Yahan pe Indira Sawhney case ke barein mein bahut charcha hua, Kapil Sibal ji ke baad mujhe bolne ka mauka mila. Bahut saare pont unhone ne bola. Iss liye mein usme zyada nahin jaana chahta hoon. Sirf yeh, ki ek statement press mein nikla hain, by a former Chief Justice of India, Justice AM Ahmadi, who led the nine-judge bench that gave the judgement in 1992.

What he has said, as reported by the Indian Express: “Economic criterion cannot be the sole basis for determining the backward class of citizens contemplated by Article 16 of the Constitution. That is what we had decided in the majority judgment. This is in black and white. In my view, the government’s decision conflicts with the majority view of the Constitution bench of the Supreme Court.”

Then, he again says, “I think this 10 per cent reservation for general category requires a more deeper study.”

As other members have already pointed out, this Bill did not go through legislative scrutiny. Neither was a Select Committee constituted, not was a JPC formed. Public at large were also not informed by notification. Their opinion was not invited. Nothing happened and we are passing a Constitution Amendment in the Parliament.

So, what did he say, “It requires a more deeper study.” And then again he says, regarding the 50 percent cap, The Supreme Court had put a cap so that reservations are not introduced, and the limit increased, only for election purposes. With this decision, now what remains is just 40 per cent.” This is not my statement, Justice Ahmadi’s statement.

Finally he says, “Chances of employment for others will shrink. And within the 40 per cent, there is a big population of the country looking for employment. The government is not coming up with new jobs. Various statements were made that the government will create jobs. Make in India has not happened. If it had happened, there would have been jobs. So it seems to me that it is an election gimmick.”

So, we have to wait and watch how the courts will interpret this Constitution Amendment Bill, if it is challenged before the Supreme Court. Let the Hon Law Minister kindly clarify.

Thank you.