After recent events in the Lok Sabha and Delhi Assembly, a free-for-all party meeting was held to discuss amendments to Article 79, which relates to the formation of the respective Houses and its conduct. With passage of Bills at an all time low and emotions running correspondingly high, some amendments were thought necessary. Here they are.
Extremities Act: It was decided that henceforth, approval or disapproval of a Bill will be done by a show of hands, and feet. Some members felt that they were not being allowed to give free rein to their expressions, and the additional show of feet would kickstart a process where minority views made maximum impact since screaming and yelling was not getting a fair hearing. The suggestion to allow members to use their heads and permit head-butting was rejected on the grounds that most members have not used their heads for some years now.
Rajagopal Act: Many members also felt that since the signs on the boundary walls of Parliament say “pass no bills”, there needs to be another way to spice up the proceedings than mere tearing up documents and not allowing the Speaker to speak. Despite some members calling it a crying shame, it was decided that MPs will be allowed to bring their own assault and pepper shakers. In parliamentary language, the eyes have had it.
The Telling-gana Act: Thus far, to be eligible for membership in the Lok Sabha, a key criterion was that the person must be mentally sound, should not be bankrupt and not be criminally convicted. Since many tables have been overturned and mentally bankruptcy has been in evidence, the new Act says it would be criminal to convict MPs for excessive sound, disabling proceedings and making a big nach gana over issues that cause a division in the House. Like in most other cases, like security checks, land ceiling act, illegitimate assets and trashing toll booths, they will be exempt.
The Paste-Retirement Act: It was observed that traditionally, one-third of the members of the Upper House retire every second year. Since the Upper House standards have been lowered, and members are now passing out or being carried out after getting a pasting through frequent and life-threatening physical confrontations, it may be necessary to shorten the retirement deadline. The Paste-Retirement Act will ensure that there are no heart-stopping moments.
The Lose Motion Act: It has been observed, on Lok Sabha TV, that many motions are being lost, thanks to frequent adjournments and disruptions. To prevent lose motions, it has been suggested that all options be passed in between sessions so that there is a clear passage of business in the House.
The Well Act: Now that jumping into the well of the House has become commonplace, it has been suggested that an Act be passed for additional wells to be dug in Parliament House to accommodate the large number of people involved in such acts. It will be listed under drain water harvesting.
Vote on account: This generally refers to finance and budgetary allocations, but now that electoral bases have shrunk and every vote needs to be accounted for, the new Act will replace the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, so that linguistic criteria take a back seat to electoral imperatives.
Unlawful Assembly Amendment: This was suggested after the chaos and confusion in the Delhi Assembly over the Jan Lokpal Bill. It was a battle that pitted Morality against Constitutionality. Going by Arvind Kejriwal’s record, morality won and he declared it an unlawful assembly, leaving the Capital without a proper government, which, the Opposition says, has been the case for the last 49 days.
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