The current Lok Sabha session saw the introduction of many private member bills. Rakesh Dubbudu has a compilation of some of the interesting ones.
A member of the Lok Sabha other than those part of the Union Council of Ministers is treated as a Private Member for introduction of any legislation. A private member desirous of introducing a legislation can do so on a day dedicated to such business. But any legislation seeking to amend the Constitution has to be approved by the standing committee on Private Members bills. Here is a compilation of some interesting private member bills introduced in the current Lok Sabha session.
Prevention of Discrimination of all Kinds – Shashi Tharoor
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor introduced the Anti-Discrimination and Equality Bill, 2016 to ensure equality to every citizen of the country by providing protection against all forms of social discrimination. This is one of the most comprehensive private member bills introduced.
The bill seeks to prevent any form of discrimination based on caste, race, ethnicity, descent, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, sexual orientation, religion and belief, tribe, disability, linguistic identity, HIV status, nationality, marital status, food preference, skin tone, place of residence, place of birth, age, etc. The bill defines direct and indirect discrimination, apart from providing for Central & State Equality Commissions to deal with cases of discrimination.
Recall of elected representatives – Varun Gandhi
BJP MP Varun Gandhi introduced a bill seeking to amend the Representation of the People Act, 1951 that contains proposals for recall of elected representatives. The bill proposes that any voter of a particular constituency can file a recall petition with the speaker of the relevant house, provided the petition is signed by at least 1/4th of the total number of voters in that constituency. It also proposes some conditions as to when this petition can be filed.
Once the genuineness of the petition has satisfied the speaker, he transfers it to the ECI to validate the signatures of the voters. Once the ECI carries out the due diligence process, it then proceeds to conduct the recall process. One can call the recall petition successful if the recall petition receives at least 3/4th the number of votes that person received in his election.
Give property of the guilty to the Rape Victim – Parvesh Sahib
BJP MP Parvesh Sahib introduced a bill to amend the Indian Penal Code, 1860 that seeks to insert a new section 376F in the Indian Penal Code. The new section seeks to confiscate the movable and immovable property of the person convicted of rape, and give the same to the rape victim. The bill also mentions provisions for married rape convicts with children. There, the court shall distribute the property equally between the victim of rape and the convict’s wife and children.
Penalising Public Urination, Defecation, etc. – Maheish Girri
BJP MP Maheish Girri introduced the Maintenance of Cleanliness Bill, 2016. It seeks to prohibit littering, spitting, and urinating in public places. Thus, it hopes to ensure maintenance of clean, hygienic, and healthy atmosphere in and around public places. The bill proposes prohibition of spitting, littering, urinating, defecating, defiling, or defacement in any public place. Anybody who violates the prohibition shall receive a fine of not less than ₹1,000. The bill puts the responsibility of implementation on the local authorities. One must note that such legislation prohibiting defacement of public places already exists in some states.
Protecting the Whistle Blowers – Baijayant Panda
BJD MP Baijayant Panda introduced the Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2016 that seeks to amend the Whistle Blowers Protection Act, 2011. This bill provides for specific provisions to protect whistle-blowers and witnesses against physical attacks and any other reprisals.
The bill seeks to expand the scope of ‘injury’ to a whistle blower. It includes disadvantages like dismissal of an employee, alteration of an employee’s position to his detriment, or discrimination. It also defines a witness as any person who possesses information about any crime with respect to this principal act. The bill also seeks to categorize witnesses into three groups based on threat perception and extend adequate protection to them.