Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday urged members to sort out differences over sending a Bill related to persons with autism and multiple disabilities to the Select Committee within a couple of days, saying it was a sensitive issue.
Naidu’s remarks came after Opposition MPs objected to certain provisions of the Bill to amend the 1999 National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, which was moved for consideration and passage by Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot.
Congress leader Anand Sharma said the issue concerned millions and alleged that the government was not serious. Questioning how the government was not able to select a suitable chairperson for the Trust for four years, he said many eligible persons had applied for the post but they were not called for interview.
Objecting to a clause in the amendment that in the absence of suitable candidate, officials could be directed to perform as the Chairperson, he said the Bill should be sent to a Select Committee.
Satish Chandra Misra of the BSP, Ram Gopal Yadav (SP), D Raja (CPI), T K Rangarajan (CPM) were among the members who demanded that the consideration of the Bill be deferred and it be sent to Select Committee.
Gehlot urged the House to consider the Bill, saying the Act came in 1999 and such tough rules were framed that despite seeking applications for the post of Chairperson four times, no eligible candidate came forward. He said there was a provision in the Act that the chairperson will continue till a successor comes.
Naidu then remarked, “This is an important Bill and the issues should be sorted out in a day or two.” The Bill has been passed by Lok Sabha.