The Rajya Sabha on Monday passed the Constitutional amendment Bill on the Indo-Bangladesh land boundary agreement all over again to rectify drafting errors in the landmark legislation, but not before Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the mistake has “caused a great embarrassment for the entire House.”
The Upper House had passed the Bill last Wednesday, a day after it received the Lok Sabha’s assent. But then a drafting error was spotted. It was the 100th Constitutional amendment that Parliament had passed but the Bill at seven places carried it as 119th amendment.
When the Bill was originally introduced, it was numbered ‘119th Constitutional amendment’ because that list included proposed legislations as well.
Before passing, the number should have been changed to 100. While the number was changed from 119th to 100 in the short title of the legislation, it remained 119th in the Schedules of the Bill.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said: “We had amended the title. And we were told that after amending the short title of the bill, wherever it is written 119th, consequential amendment will happen. And you don’t need to carry out amendments in every section….But in Lok Sabha, they insisted that since it is a Constitutional amendment everywhere you will have to do it.”
The Bill, as amended by the agreements agreed to, was then passed unanimously.