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File photo of Parliament
File photo of Parliament

RS passes bill to increase SC judges, defers bill that removes Cong president from Jallianwala trust

ANI | Updated: Aug 07, 2019 16:56 IST

New Delhi [India], Aug 7 (ANI) The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday approved a bill seeking to increase the number of judges in the Supreme Court without discussion while it deferred some bills including one that seeks to remove the Congress President as a member of the trust running the Jallianwala Bagh memorial.
The Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Bill, 2019, which was passed by the Lower House earlier, seeks to increase the strength of the Supreme Court judges from 30 to 33. With the approval of Rajya Sabha, the bill has got the nod of the Parliament.
The money bill was moved by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad for consideration and return to Lok Sabha. However, Congress raised its concern, saying the party wanted a discussion on the bill as it was related to the judiciary.
The main opposition Congress agreed to return the bill with the rider that a discussion on it will be held later.
"We rarely get opportunities to discuss matters related to the judiciary. We have no objection to the passage of the bill but we want to discuss it," he said.
Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said it was a Money Bill, to which the Law Minister said that he was willing to have a discussion on the judiciary in November.
After the minister's assurance of discussion, the bill was approved without discussion.
However, despite the government's efforts, the House could not take up the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019 due to lack of consensus.
The government wanted to pass the bill without any discussion but this was opposed by the Congress.
Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel proposed to pass the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill without discussion as a mark of respect to Sushma Swaraj but the Congress opposed this.
Congress' Anand Sharma suggested it be deferred until discussion take place as and when the House meets next.
He objected to the key provision in the bill that removes the Congress President as a trustee of the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the sky would not fall if the bill was taken up two or three months later. But Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi insisted on passing the bill without discussion, even though Congress was not ready for it.
Finally, it was decided to defer the bill after taking the views of various party leaders.
The other bills which were deferred are the Dam Safety Bill, 2019 and the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019.
Earlier, soon after the House met for the day, the Chairman made obituary reference to Sushma Swaraj and members observed silence to pay their respects.
The Rajya Sabha was later adjourned sine die. (ANI)