The Union government has lined up the key legislative agenda for the first session of the newly constituted Lok Sabha. The key bills to be introduced in the session starting on June 17 will be the Triple Talaq Bill and Aadhar Amendment Bill.
The bills were approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union cabinet which met in New Delhi on Wednesday. This is the second cabinet meeting of the government after it was sworn in. In another key decision, the cabinet approved the extension of President's Rule in Jammu and Kashmir by another six months.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said the government will introduce the bill titled Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 again in the parliament. Most of the bills approved by the cabinet were those in which an ordinance is already in force. The bills will replace the ordinances.
The Triple Talaq Bill could not get enough support in the Rajya Sabha last time. The government is hopeful of the passage of the bill this time. The bill proposes to make the practice of instant triple talaq void and illegal. It carries punishment upto three years imprisonment and fine.
The bill also has provision of making the offence cognizable if the affected woman or any person related to her complains to the police. Even the magistrate will hear out the affected woman first before bail is granted to the accused.
The bill got support from many women organisations including those of Muslims, but a few other Muslim bodies opposed it saying it was an interference in the matters of faith and tradition.
Another bill which will replace the ordinance is the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers' Cadre) Bill, 2019, which is aimed at the inclusion of 10 per cent reservation to the economically weaker sections, apart from addressing the demands of persons belonging to SCs/STs.
The bill will allow immediate filling up of more than 7,000 existing vacancies by direct recruitment in Teachers' Cadre with 200 point roster. The key point in this bill is that it will consider the university or college as one unit, restoring earlier reservation system based on 200 point roster. Now, the 'department or subject' will no longer be treated as one unit.
The cabinet also approved three bills in the health ministry including those on dental council and homoeopathic council. The government will bring the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the upcoming session. It provides for the supersession of Medical Council of India for a period of two years. During this period, the Board of Governors shall exercise the powers and functions of the MCI as assigned under the IMC Act, 1956. Even the number of members in the Board of Governors will be increased from existing 7 to 12.
The cabinet also approved Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Bill, 2019, which aims to provide relief for persons in J&K residing in areas adjoining International Border. They can now avail reservation in direct recruitment, promotion and admission in different professional courses. The government said it was a pro-people move which would remove the shortcomings in the earlier Act of 2004. The Act provided for reservation in appointment to state government posts to socially and educationally backward classes including those living along the Line of Actual control. The new bill include those persons living in areas adjoining International Border, too, within the ambit of this reservation.
Other bills approved by the cabinet included New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC) Bill, 2019 which aims to set up of an independent autonomous body for institutional arbitration and to acquire and transfer the undertakings of International Centre For Alternative Dispute Resolution (ICADR) to New Delhi International Arbitration Centre. The body will resolve the international and domestic commercial disputes expeditiously by alternative dispute resolution mechanism.