The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Bill providing reservation for the socially and educationally backward classes, besides the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, in private unaided educational institutions.
The Constitution (104th) Amendment Bill, piloted by Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh, first such exercise by the United Progressive Alliance Government, was passed with a majority of the members present and voting. Of the 381 members present, 379 voted in its favour, one member voted against it and one member abstained.
Prior to the passage, the House rejected an amendment moved by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra demanding that the Bill should not exclude minority institutions. While 110 members voted for the amendment, 272 voted against and three members abstained.
Though it pressed for an amendment, the BJP supported the Bill as it was not against reservation, Mr. Malhotra said. His references to the role of the Congress during Partition led to a brief commotion as the ruling coalition benches joined issue. Mr. Arjun Singh, who initially refused to entangle himself, had the last word, saying the BJP president, during his Pakistan visit, described the person, who was behind Partition, as secular.
105 amendment :
The Lok Sabha today passed the Constitution (One Hundred and Fifth Amendment) Bill, 2006 that seeks to provide for tribal ministers in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh, while excluding Bihar from the mandatory provision.
The Bill was passed by 351-0 votes with no abstension.
Giving the objects and reasons of the Bill, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said it would now be mandatory to have tribal ministers in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand where the tribal population was 36.8 per cent and 26.3 per cent, respectively.
Madhya Pradesh, with 20.3 per cent tribals, would continue to have the provision, while Bihar, with 0.9 per cent tribal population, would now not be bound by it, Mr Patil said.
The Union Cabinet today gave its approval for moving certain official amendments in the Constitution (One Hundred and Sixth Amendment) Bill, 2006 pending in Lok Sabha.
This decision will give benefits like empowerment of cooperatives by inserting article 43B in Part-IV of the Constitution providing for their voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control and professional management.
Audit by independent auditors or Auditing firms out of the panel approved by State Government or an authority authorized by the Government in this behalf.
Free and fair elections to be conducted by an independent body.
The Directors in the Cooperative Societies will also include two women and one Scheduled Caste representatives.
107 amendment :
Highlights of the Bill
- The Constitution (One Hundred and Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2007 and the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2007 seek to amend the Constitution to include Gorkha Hill Council, Darjeeling in the Sixth Schedule.
- The Sixth Schedule provides for the creation of autonomous District Councils in certain tribal areas of the North-Eastern states. The Bill seeks to form a District Council for the hill areas of Darjeeling in West Bengal called the Gorkha Hill Council, Darjeeling (GHC).
- All District Councils have the power to make laws on a range of subjects such as the allotment of land, use of water course, and inheritance of property. The GHC has the power to make laws on 45 additional subjects such as agriculture, education and transport.
- The laws made by GHC cannot nullify the existing rights and privileges of any Indian citizen, including land rights, if such citizen is otherwise eligible to acquire land within that area.
Key Issues and Analysis
- Due to the prevailing situation in Darjeeling, the Standing Committee was unable to verify facts on the ground. Therefore, it accepted the views of the central and state governments and recommended that the Bills be passed with some amendments.
- The original purpose of the Sixth Schedule was to provide autonomy to the predominantly tribal areas of north-east India. Thirteen per cent of the people living in Darjeeling district belong to Scheduled Tribes.
- Scheduled Castes constitute 16 per cent of the total population of Darjeeling. The Standing Committee has recommended reservation for Schedule Castes and women in the GHC.
- the Bill does not address any of the structural issues highlighted by various official reports related to the Sixth Schedule.
- The powers devolved to the District Councils are not identical. An expert committee has recommended that the minimum powers should be stated in the Constitution.
108 amendment :
Highlights of the Bill
- The Constitution (One Hundred and Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2008 seeks to reserve one-third of all seats for women in the Lok Sabha and the state legislative assemblies. The allocation of reserved seats shall be determined by such authority as prescribed by Parliament.
- One third of the total number of seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes shall be reserved for women of those groups in the Lok Sabha and the legislative assemblies.
- Reserved seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in the state or union territory.
- Reservation of seats for women shall cease to exist 15 years after the commencement of this Amendment Act.
Key Issues and Analysis
- There are divergent views on the reservation policy. Proponents stress the necessity of affirmative action to improve the condition of women. Some recent studies on panchayats have shown the positive effect of reservation on empowerment of women and on allocation of resources.
Opponents argue that it would perpetuate the unequal status of women since they would not be perceived to be competing on merit. They also contend that this policy diverts attention from the larger issues of electoral reform such as criminalisation of politics and inner party democracy.
- Reservation of seats in Parliament restricts choice of voters to women candidates. Therefore, some experts have suggested alternate methods such as reservation in political parties and dual member constituencies.
- Rotation of reserved constituencies in every election may reduce the incentive for an MP to work for his constituency as he may be ineligible to seek re-election from that constituency.
- The report examining the 1996 women’s reservation Bill recommended that reservation be provided for women of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) once the Constitution was amended to allow for reservation for OBCs. It also recommended that reservation be extended to the Rajya Sabha and the Legislative Councils. Neither of these recommendations has been incorporated in the Bill.
109 amendment act of India
A Constitutional amendment bill seeking to extend by another 10 years reservation of seats for SCs and STs in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Monday.
The Bill also seeks to extend nomination of Anglo-Indian communities to the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies by another 10 years. The Constitution (109th Amendment) Bill 2009 moved by Law Minister M Veerappa Moily seeks to extend the reservation beyond January 25, 2010 when the time period of 60 years under Article 334 of the Constitution lapses.
“Although the SCs/STs have made considerable progress in the last 60 years, the reasons which weighed with the Constituent Assembly in making provisions with regard to reservation of seats and nomination of members have not ceased to exist,” the statement of objects and reasons of the amendment bill said. It was, therefore, proposed to continue this reservation and nomination for another 10 years, it said. As there was an amendment to the Bill by the government, it was passed by a division of votes with none of the members opposing the provisions. Being a key bill, several political parties, including the ruling Congress, had issued a three-line whip to its members to be present in the House and vote in its favour.
The SC/ST quota in the legislature is given on the basis of proportion to their population. Besides, President can nominate two members belonging to Anglo-Indian communities to the Lok Sabha.
110 amendment act of India
On October 29, 2009, India’s Union Cabinet gave its approval to the proposal of Department of Agriculture and Cooperation to introduce the Constitution (One Hundred and Tenth Amendment ) Bill, 2009 in the Winter Session of Parliament for incorporation of special provisions relating to Cooperative Societies in the Constitution.
Following are the salient features of proposed amendment:
- Insertion of new article 43 B in Part IV of the Constitution providing for the State obligation to promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control and professional management of the cooperative societies;
- Incorporation of cooperative societies on the principles of voluntary formation, democratic member control, member economic participation and autonomous functions;
- Conduct of election of a cooperative society by an independent authority;
- Fix term of five years of office bearers of the cooperative society;
- Super session of Board of cooperative society for a period of not exceeding six months;
- Independent professional audit of the cooperative societies;
- Convening of the General Body meeting of every cooperative society within a period of six months of the close of the financial year;
- Access to every member of the society to the books, information and the accounts of the cooperative society;
- Filing of the returns by every cooperative society within six months of the close of every financial year;
- Free, fair, impartial and timely elections of cooperative societies by the State Election Commission or by any other appropriate and independent body as may be provided by State law;
- Audit of the cooperative societies to be carried by the auditors from the government approved panel of auditors or firms;
- Maximum number of 21 Directors to be applicable to all cooperative societies irrespective of their size;
- Co-opted members not to be eligible to be elected as office-bearers of the Board.
111 th amendment : (co-operative societies) :
- The Constitution (One Hundred and Eleventh Amendment) Bill, 2009 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on November 30, 2009 by the Minister of Agriculture, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution System, Shri Sharad Pawar.
- The Bill was referred to the Department related Standing Committee on Agriculture (Chairperson: Shri Basudeb Acharia), which is expected to submit its report within three months.
- The Bill adds a new Directive Principles of State Policy stating that the “State shall Endeavour to promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control and professional management of co-operative societies.”
- It further inserts a new part IX B in the Constitution (adding Articles 243ZH through 243ZT), which outlines certain guidelines for running co-operative societies.
- The state legislature shall specify the number of members of the Board of Directors of a co-operative society.
- The number is limited to 21.
- The term of the Board is for a period of five years.
- On every Board of a co-operative society, one seat shall be reserved for a person who is a Scheduled Caste or Schedule Tribe and two seats shall be reserved for women.
- The election of members to the Board must be conducted before the expiry of the previous one.
- The state legislature would outline the guidelines for conducting such elections.
- The state legislature shall make provisions for co-opting any person having experience in the field of banking, management, finance or specialization in a field related to a particular co-operative society as members of the Board.
- A maximum of two people can be co-opted to the Board.
- The co-opted member would not have the right to vote in any election of the co-operative society or be eligible for election as Chairman, President, Vice-Chairman or Vice-President.
- The Board of a co-operative society can be superseded in case of
- (a) persistent default
- (b) negligence in the performance of its duties
- (c) commission of any act prejudicial to the interest of the co-operative society or its members
- (d) there is a stalemate in the constitution or function of the Board; or
- (e) the general body has failed to conduct the elections as per the required procedure.
- A Board cannot be superseded or suspended for more than six months.
- In case a Board has been superseded, the administrator appointed to manage the affairs of such a co-operative society shall arrange for conducting elections within the specified time period.
- The Board of a co-operative society which does not have any shareholding or guarantee or loan or financial assistance from the government cannot be superseded.
- The provisions of the Banking Regulations Act, 1949 will be applicable to banking co-operative societies.
- The state legislature may define the offences and penalties related to co-operative societies.
- An offence would be committed if :
- (a) a co-operative society files a false return,
- (b) willfully disobeys any summon or requisition issued under the state Act,
- (c) any employer who, without sufficient cause, does not pay to the co-operative society the amount deducted from an employee within a period of 14 days,
- (d) any officer who willfully does not hand over custody of books, accounts or cash of a co-operative society to an authorized person, and
- (e) any person who adopts corrupt practices before, during or after the election of Board members or office bearers.