Today Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi in an address to the Nation has withdrawn three Farm Laws which were made after following due process of law as envisaged in Constitution of India.
BRIEF HISTORY OF LAWS THAT WERE EITHER ABANDONED /WITHDRAWN OR STAYED BY A COURT OF LAW IN THE LAST SEVEN YEARS.
THE RIGHT TO FAIR COMPENSATION AND TRANSPARENCY IN LAND ACQUISITION, REHABILITATION AND RESETTLEMENT ACT, 2013 (also Land Acquisition Act, 2013) passed by the Indian Parliament that regulates the land acquisition and lays down the procedure and rules for granting compensation, rehabilitation, and resettlement to the affected persons in India. The Act has provisions to provide fair compensation to those whose land is taken away, brings transparency to the process of acquisition of land to set up factories or buildings, infrastructural projects, and assures rehabilitation of those affected. The Act establishes regulations for land acquisition as a part of India’s massive industrialization drive driven by a public-private partnership. The Act replaced the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, a nearly 120-year-old law enacted during British rule.
The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011 was introduced in Lok Sabha on 7 September 2011. The bill was then passed by Loksabha on 29 August 2013 and by Rajya Sabha on 4 September 2013. The bill then received the assent of the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee on 27 September 2013. The Act came into force on 1 January 2014.
In May 2014, the present Narendra Modi NDA government promulgated an Ordinance to amend the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RFCTLARR) Act, 2013, which was enacted during the previous UPA regime referred to hereinabove under the caption titled which came into effect from January 1, 2014. The new law replaced /repealed the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, which had been in force for over a century.
On December 31, 2014, exactly one year after the new law had come into effect, the present NDA government sought to amend it by promulgating the RFCTLARR (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014. An amendment bill was introduced in Parliament to endorse and validate the Ordinance. Lok Sabha passed the bill but the same couldn’t be passed in Rajya Sabha as the present NDA government had no majority numbers to pass the said Bill. On 30 May 2015, the President of India promulgated the amendment ordinance for the third time
HOW WAS IT EVENTUALLY WITHDRAWN?
Considering continuing anger against the amendment, Prime Minister Modi announced the decision to withdraw the Ordinance in his Mann Ki Baat program broadcast on August 31, 2015, and the said Ordinance has lapsed.
(Courtesy India Times)
CCA- NRC THE CITIZENSHIP (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2019
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 was passed by the Parliament of India on 11 December 2019. It amended the Citizenship Act, 1955 by providing a gateway to Indian citizenship for persecuted religious minorities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, or Christians, and arrived in India before the end of December 2014. The law does not grant such eligibility to Muslims from these Muslim-majority countries. The act was the first time that religion had been overtly used as a criterion for citizenship under Indian law and attracted global criticism.
After the fall of the elected government in Afghanistan, we saw how important enactment it was. Even the majority faith of Afghan citizens was trying for refuge in India though there are 56 countries that follow Islamic faith and laws.
The amendment has been criticized as discriminating based on religion, particularly for excluding Muslims. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) called it “fundamentally discriminatory”, adding that while India’s “goal of protecting persecuted groups is welcome”, this should be accomplished through a non-discriminatory “robust national asylum system”. Critics expressed concerns that the bill would be used, along with the National Register of Citizens (NRC), to render many Muslim citizens stateless, as they may be unable to meet stringent birth or identity proof requirements. Commentators also question the exclusion of persecuted religious minorities from other regions such as Tibet, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar. The Indian government said that since Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh have Islam as their state religion, it is therefore “unlikely” that Muslims would “face religious persecution” there. However, certain Muslim groups, such as Hazaras and Ahmadis, have historically faced persecution in these countries.
The passage of the legislation caused large-scale protests in India. Assam and other northeastern states witnessed violent demonstrations against the bill over fears that granting Indian citizenship to refugees and immigrants will cause a loss of their “political rights, culture and land rights” and motivate further migration from Bangladesh. In other parts of India, protesters said that the bill discriminated against Muslims, and demanded that Indian citizenship be granted to Muslim refugees and immigrants as well. Major protests against the Act were held at some universities in India. Students at Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia alleged brutal suppression by the police. The protests have led to the deaths of several protesters, injuries to both protesters and police officers, damage to public and private property, the detention of hundreds of people, and suspensions of local internet mobile phone connectivity in certain areas. Some states announced that they would not implement the Act. In response, the Union Home Ministry said that states lack the legal power to stop the implementation of the CAA.
THE SHAHEEN BAGH PROTEST
It was a peaceful sit-in protest in Delhi, India, that began on 15 December 2019 and lasted until 24 March 2020. The protest was led by women who blocked a major road at Shaheen Bagh using non-violent resistance 24×7. Mainly consisting of Muslim women, the protest began in response to the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) on 11 December 2019 and the ensuing police intervention against students at Jamia Millia Islamia who were opposing the Amendment. Protesters agitated against the citizenship issues of the CAA, National Register of Citizens (NRC), and National Population Register (NPR), in addition to police brutality, unemployment, and poverty, and for women’s safety. The Delhi Police barricaded major roads in and around the area, affecting more than 100,000 vehicles a day and adding hours to some journeys. Following the North East Delhi riots, police presence in the area temporarily increased with over 1000 personnel being assigned to Shaheen Bagh. After the COVID-19 outbreak in India and subsequent government-enforced restrictions, the protest continued for several days in a more controlled manner. Following the complete lockdown imposed in Delhi on 23 March 2020, the remaining protesters were arrested or forcefully removed from the site by the Delhi Police.
STATUS OF CAA, NRC, AND NPR
Posted On: 10 AUG 2021 6:10PM by PIB Delhi
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 aims to facilitate grant of citizenship to migrants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian community from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who entered into India on or before the 31.12.2014 and who have been exempted by the Central Government by or under clause (c) of sub-section (2) of section 3 of the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 or from the application of the provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946 or any rule or order made thereunder. The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 has been notified on 12.12.2019 and has come into force w.e.f. 10.01.2020.
Till Now, the Government has not taken any decision to prepare National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) at National Level.
Further, Government decided to update the National Population Register (NPR) under the Citizenship Act, 1955 along with the first phase of Census, 2021. The demographic and other particulars of each family and individual were to be updated/collected during the exercise of updation of NPR. No document is to be collected during this exercise. However, due to outbreak of Covid-19, the updation of NPR and other related field activities have been postponed.
This was stated by the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Nityanand Rai in a written reply to question in the Lok Sabha today.
UIDAI (AADHAR) CHALLENGE :
Aadhaar is the world’s largest biometric ID system. World Bank Chief Economist Paul Romer described Aadhaar as “the most sophisticated ID program in the world”. It is considered a proof of residence and not a proof of citizenship, Aadhaar does not itself grant any rights to domicile in India.
In June 2017, the Home Ministry clarified that Aadhaar is not a valid identification document for Indians traveling to Nepal and Bhutan.
Prior to the enactment of the Act, the UIDAI had functioned, since 28 January 2009, as an attached office of the Planning Commission (now NITI Aayog). On 3 March 2016, a money bill was introduced in the Parliament to give legislative backing to Aadhaar.
On 11 March 2016 the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, benefits, and services) Act, 2016, was passed in the Lok Sabha.
Aadhaar project has been linked to some public subsidy and unemployment benefit schemes such as the domestic LPG scheme and MGNREGA. In these Direct Benefit Transfer schemes, the subsidy money is directly transferred to a bank account that is Aadhaar-linked. Previously, however, the direct-benefit transfer had been carried out quite successfully via the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) system, which did not depend on Aadhaar.
Erstwhile Prime Minister Late Shri Rajiv Gandhi once said when the government releases one rupee only 15 paise reach real beneficiaries. This linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts especially Jan-Dhan accounts has eliminated this problem. Another problem was black money. The linking of Aadhaar abated the problem to a considerable extent.
On 29 July 2011, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas signed a memorandum of understanding with UIDAI. The Ministry had hoped the ID system would help eliminate the loss of the subsidized kerosene and LPG. In May 2012 the government announced that it would begin issuing Aadhaar-linked MGNREGS cards. On 26 November 2012 a pilot program was launched in 51 districts.
Supreme Court Judgment:
The 5- Judge Bench of then CJI Dipak Misra and A.K. Sikri, A.M. Khanwilkar, Dr D.Y. Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, JJ., by a majority of 4:1, declared the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 to be valid and not violative of the fundamental right to privacy. However, certain orders and/or circulars making the citing of Aadhaar number mandatory have been held unconstitutional and struck down. Justice Sikri delivered the leading opinion for CJ Dipak Misra and himself and A.M. Khanwilkar, J. While Justice Chandrachud delivered a dissenting opinion and Justice Bhushan also delivered a separate opinion in which he broadly agreed with A.K. Sikri, J.
K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India (Aadhaar-5 Judge), (2019) 1 SCC 1, decided on 26-09-2018
The Indian Agriculture Acts of 2020, (the Farm Bills) was tabled in the Parliament of India in September 2020. The Lok Sabha approved the bills on 17 September 2020 and the Rajya Sabha on 20 September 2020. The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent on 27 September 2020.
The passage of the Bill was followed by protests against the new acts, which gained momentum in September 2020.
On 12 January 2021, the Supreme Court stayed the implementation of the farm laws and appointed a committee to look into farmer grievances related to the farm laws.
In a televised address on 19 November 2021, Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, announced that his government would repeal the laws in the upcoming parliamentary session in December.
(Courtesy DD News)
Article-107. Provisions as to introduction and passing of Bills.—(1) Subject to the provisions of articles 109 and 117 with respect to Money Bills and other financial Bills, a Bill may originate in either House of Parliament.
(2) Subject to the provisions of articles 108 and 109, a Bill shall not be deemed to have been passed by the Houses of Parliament unless it has been agreed to by both Houses, either without amendment or with such amendments only as are agreed to by both Houses.
(3) A Bill pending in Parliament shall not lapse by reason of the prorogation of the Houses.
(4) A Bill pending in the Council of States which has not been passed by the House of the People shall not lapse on a dissolution of the House of the People.
(5) A Bill which is pending in the House of the People, or which having been passed by the House of the People is pending in the Council of States, shall, subject to the provisions of article 108, lapse on a dissolution of the House of the People.
- Joint sitting of both Houses in certain cases.—(1) If after a Bill has been passed by one House and transmitted to the other House—
(a) the Bill is rejected by the other House; or
(b) the Houses have finally disagreed as to the amendments to be made in the Bill; or
(c) more than six months elapse from the date of the reception of the Bill by the other House without the Bill being passed by it,the President may, unless the Bill has elapsed by reason of a dissolution of the House of the People, notify
PROCESS OF MAKING BILL INTO AN ACT
(i) A Bill undergoes three readings in each House of Parliament. The First Reading consists of the Introduction of a Bill. The Bill is introduced after adoption of a motion for leave to introduce a Bill in either of the House. With the setting up of the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committees, invariably all Bills, barring Ordinance replacing Bills; Bills of innocuous nature and Money Bills, are referred to these Committees for examination and report within three months. The next stage on a Bill i.e., the second reading starts only after the Committee submits its report on the Bill to the Houses. The Second Reading consists of two stages: the ‘first stage’ consists of discussion on the principles of the Bill and its provisions generally on any of the following motions: that the Bill be taken into consideration; that the Bill be referred to a Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha; that the Bill be referred to a Joint Committee of the Houses with the concurrence of the Lok Sabha; that it be circulated for the purpose of eliciting opinion thereon; and the ‘second stage’ signifies the clause-by-clause consideration of the Bill as introduced or as reported by the Select/Joint Committee. Amendments given by members to various clauses are moved at this stage. The Third Reading refers to the discussion on the motion that the Bill (or the Bill as amended) be passed or returned (to the Lok Sabha, in the case of a Money Bill) wherein the arguments are based against or in favour of the Bill. After a Bill has been passed by one House, it is sent to the other House where it goes through the same procedure. However, the Bill is not again introduced in the other House, it is laid on the Table of the other House which constitutes its first reading there.
(ii) After a Bill has been passed by both Houses, it is presented to the President for his assent. The President can assent or withhold his assent to a Bill or he can return a Bill, other than a Money Bill, for reconsideration. If the Bill is again passed by the Houses, with or without amendment made by the President, he shall not withhold assent there from. But, when a Bill amending the Constitution passed by each House with the requisite majority is presented to the President, he shall give his assent thereto.
A Bill becomes an Act of Parliament after being passed by both the Houses of Parliament and assented to by the President.
NOTE: Every bill therefore goes before Standing Committee /Parliamentary Committee consisting of representatives and stake holders of all the concerned including opposition parties as also Chief Ministers of State country having federal structure.
POWER OF PARLIAMENT :
Article 368, of the Constitution of India confers upon Parliament the constituent power to amend by way of addition, variation, or repeal of any provision of the Constitution. The Swaran Singh Committee proposed that there , should be further clarified by the addition of a sub-clause in effect saying that no amendment shall be called into question in any court on any ground.
THE PERMISSIBILITY OF LEGISLATIVE OVERRIDE:
In India it should be in accordance with the principles laid down by Supreme Court in the as well as other judgments, which have been culled out as under:
- a) The effect of the judgments of the Court can be nullified by a legislative act removing the basis of the judgment. Such a law can be retrospective. The retrospective amendment should be reasonable and not arbitrary and must not be violative of the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution. Lohia Machines Ltd. & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors. (1985) 2 SCC 197
- b) The test for determining the validity of a validating legislation is that the judgment pointing out the defect would not have been passed if the altered position as sought to be brought in by the validating statute existed before the Court at the time of rendering its judgment. In other words, the defect pointed out should have been cured such that the basis of the judgment pointing out the defect is removed. c) Nullification of mandamus by an enactment would be impermissible legislative exercise Even interim directions cannot be reversed by a legislative veto See: Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and Medical Council of India v. State of Kerala & Ors.
- d) Transgression of constitutional limitations and intrusion into the judicial power by the legislature is violative of the principle of separation of powers, the rule of law, and of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
COST OF MAKING LAWS:
Every session costs nation’s exchequer approximately Rs.144 crores which do not include election expenses and perks, the salary of lawmakers.
Similarly, the nation pays to maintain law and order, police, army, and Judiciary.
The question is if all the laws are challenged by the Civil Society and opposition party, where do Nation stand?
During Gujarat and Rajasthan elections there was also a promise made to reverse GST laws.
Can a nation afford such tug of war between laws and in-laws?
In the last 8 years, we saw every decision is challenged. Even farm laws were challenged and stayed. There were riots in Gujarat for reservations for a particular community.
The nation cannot progress with stagnancy.
Farmer suicides is the national catastrophe of farmers committing suicide since the 1970s, often by drinking pesticides, due to their inability to repay loans mostly taken from private landlords and banks.
The National Crime Records Bureau of India reported that a total of 296,438 Indian farmers had committed suicide since 1995. Out of these, 60,750 farmer suicides were in the state of Maharashtra since 1995 and the remaining in Odisha, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh, all states with loose financial and entry regulations. Loan Waiver is not a good method to help them. In last 2 years farmer suicide has declined and they could sustain agitation for over a year.
The country needs a change and those who do not accept change for good are the cause of stagnancy of economic and growth of farming since independence. This is a country where 70% of the population depends on farming. If they study, learn to adopt innovative methods it would certainly boost to progress of the nation in general.
Earlier, governments had reported varying figures, from 5,650 farmer suicides in 2014 to the highest number of farmer suicides in 2004 of 18,241. The farmer’s suicide rate in India had ranged between 1.4 and 1.8 per 100,000 total population, over a 10-year period through 2005, however, the figures in 2017 and 2018 showed an average of more than 10 suicides daily. There are accusations of states manipulating the data on farmer suicides, hence the real figures could be even higher.
India is an agrarian country with around 70% of its people depending directly or indirectly upon agriculture. Agriculture had 15.4% share in the economy of India in the year 2017. Around 41.49% of total labor are associated with agriculture in year 2020. Farmer suicides account for 11.2% of all suicides in India. Activists and scholars have offered the number of conflicting reasons for farmer suicides, such as anti-farmer laws, high debt burdens, poor government policies, corruption in subsidies, crop failure, mental health, personal issues, and family problems.
Farmers’ income rose by 30 per cent while their debt surged around 58 per cent between 2013 and 2019. As a result, farmers’ debt as a percentage of their annual income shot up by 13 percentage points, according to latest data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation.
Today the nation has gone in reverse gear. It’s a moment to think seriously for all four pillars of democracy to stand together rather than one above.
QUESTION: If a law is passed in the temple of the law-making institution after going through several filters :
- The party opposing the law which is passed by Parliament which is the supreme lawmaking authority under Constitution, and they are also participants in law-making process, should they be made financially liable to the nation’s exchequer? Should they foot the bill first and oppose it?
- Should there by law to make them accountable for such actions because maybe they support law inside parliament but oppose outside parliament? Law should be such even they are opposed inside parliament they can oppose a law only after depositing the amount decided by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
- Should which is Court which protect interests of citizens and nation, stay a law without asking for a deposit of cost? Please note to file an Appeal under Section 34 of the Arbitration Act,1996 or under Section 138 of NI Act one has to deposit first after which the Appeal is listed for hearing.
- What should be the rights and liabilities of Civil Society to oppose an Act, which is generally notified in all newspapers, objections, and suggestions are invited and then passed in parliament? Can they still oppose?
- Those who block roads, for years that affect businesses of the resident and shop owners in the area should be asked to foot bills and EMIs of property owners and business owners?
The nation cannot bear such heavy expenses as the money belongs to taxpayers. All those who participate in the law-making process must be made accountable for such adversarial acts. There cannot approbate and reprobate on national interest.