Bills Passed in the Lok Sabha Without Discussion Amidst Oppositions' Protests

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Amid Opposition protests, the Lok Sabha has passed three bills without any discussion on Monday, August 9, 2021. The three bills are - the Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2021, the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021, and the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

The first bill among the aforementioned list of bills aims at amending the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008, which proposes to decriminalise 12 offences and convert the nature of punishment, from fines to monetary penalties, to facilitate the ease of business between big corporates and smaller partners. As the name suggests, this act now aims at limiting the liabilities among some or all partners, meaning that one partner will not be responsible for the negligence of another, as opposed to all partners held equally responsible for the action(s) of any single partner. This Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha last Wednesday and is among the list of Bills that push the country further towards privatisation and corporatisation.

The act was passed after Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister, moved it, amidst massive protests from the Opposition about the Pegasus Project. Another bill that was passed in this same situation is the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which tries to provide depositors time-bound access to their insured deposit amount, if they are somehow restricted from accessing their bank deposits.

The third bill that was passed in the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which aims at amending the constitutional list of Scheduled Tribes, as per the recommendations by Arunachal Pradesh. This removes the Abor tribe as an identified ST in that state and replaces certain STs with other tribes. It also proposes a provision to the states of identifying social and economically backward classes.

The first two Bills were passed without any discussion in the Lok Sabha because the Opposition parties demanded that the Pegasus spyware and snooping issue be addressed first. The third Bill was briefly discussed, and supported by some Opposition MP-s. However, some MP-s demanded a proper and thorough discussion, which was missing in these cases, before passing a Bill. All three of these Bills were passed within just 10 minutes, and few Congress Leaders alleged that the democracy of the country is being "murdered" in this way.

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