Is the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2013 to be considered in the winter session?
The Lok Sabha Secretariat has released the List of Government Bills that are pending in the Lok Sabha that may be taken up for consideration and passing during the winter session starting 5th December (see attachment). Interestingly, the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2013 (RTI Amendment Bill) which seeks to keep political parties out of the ambit of the RTI Act does not figure in this list. However the Government may bring this on to the agenda of the Lok Sabha after the Standing Committee submits its report on this Bill.
1) The Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority Bill, 2011 which seeks to amend the RTI Act in two places by introducing a new exemption and placing under Section 24 (Schedule 2) of the RTI Act all nuclear safety regulatory bodies connected with defence or state security purposes that this legislation will establish- for consideration and passing.
2) The Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011(Grievance Redress Bill) for consideration and passing.
3) The Electronic Services Delivery Bill, 2013 for replacing the Electronic Services Delivery Bill, 2011.
4) The National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010 - seeking statutory status for the Unique Identification Authority of India which wants to database all Indians by claiming to provide them with an Aadhaar identity (apparently we have all been identity-less so far and the UIDAI wants to correct this 'anomaly') for consideration and passing.
5) The Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Officials of Public International Organizations Bill, 2011 - to meet an important requirement under the UN Convention Against Corruption- for consideration and passing.
6) The Direct Taxes Code Bill, 2010- to replace the Income Tax Act and other related laws- for consideration and passing.
7) The Multi-State Co-operative Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2010- for strengthening the statutory regime for regulating multi-State Coops- for consideration and passing.
8) The Constitution (108th Amendment) Bill, 2008 (Women's Reservation Bill) for consideration and passing.
9) The Constitution (120th Amendment) Bill, 2013- for establishing the Judicial Appointments Commission- for consideration and passing.
10) The Constitution (110th Amendment) Bill, 2009- for increasing reservation for women in Panchayat from 1/3rd to 1/2 of the seats- for consideration and passing.
The List of Business for the Rajya Sabha during the winter session is awaited. The Whistleblowers Protection Bill, the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill and the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013 are amongst the important Bills pending before the Upper House.