17 Opposition parties have written to Rajya Sabha chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu expressing concern over the number of bills that have been brought in for consideration and passage a day after Opposition parties staged a walkout over the passage of the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Rajya Sabha.
On Thursday, the Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) verbally criticized the bill in the Upper House after the motion to send the RTI Bill to a select committee for review was negated.
The opposition members have asked Naidu to look into the rushed passage of crucial Bills in the Rajya Sabha.
The letter by the members of Parliament (MP) says, “In the 14th Lok Sabha, 60% of Bills were sent for scrutiny to Parliamentary Committees. In the 15th Lok Sabha, 71% of Bills were sent for scrutiny. In the 16th Lok Sabha, only 26% 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 have been referred to a Standing Committee or Select Committee for legislative scrutiny."
With crucial bills like Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, the National Investigation Agency Bill and the RTI Bill are being passed by both Houses, Opposition party leaders -- Derek O’Brien (Trinamool Congress), Ramgopal Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Tiruchi Siva (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) and Manoj Kumar Jha (Rashtriya Janata Dal) among others — have urged the chairman to intervene in the matter.
The letter added: “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."