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Dec 21, 2002
Parliament sets a record

India’s Parliament, --often an object of derision-- has set a new record for legislative business cleared. In the just concluded winter session, a record number of 42 bills were passed by the Lok Sabha and more than half of them were passed by the Rajya Sabha too.

Read this article together with the story on Parliament that appears elsewhere.

Of particular interest are the following [--with a brief non rigorous review of each]:
--Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill decrees the prison term for convicted poachers to be a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 7 years.
--Securities and Exchange Board of India (Amendment) Bill, gives SEBI greater punitive powers than before to do more than just find out the wrong-doers in the financial markets.
--Representation of People (Second Amendment) Bill requires that candidates standing for elections should declare their criminal records, if any.
--Indian Evidence (Amendment) Bill bars the cross-examination of a rape victim to determine her ‘character’.
--The significance of Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Bill has been elaborated in a separate article.
--Biological Diversity Bill sets up a statutory body to preserve India’s bio-diversity by watching over bio related IPR violations abroad.
--Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Bill requires cable TV operators to collect from consumers subscription for only the channels they watch.
--Freedom of Information Bill forces government departments to provide documents sought by the public within 30 days. Competition Bill seeks to curb abuse of dominance of the markets by a company rather than dominance itself.
--Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse Amendment Bill increases the fine imposed on pregnancy screening services that facilitate female foeticides.

For those with an academic interest, here is the full list of bills passed:
--Constitution (Ninety-third Amendment) Bill, 2002, renumbered as the Constitution (86th Amendment) Act, 2002;
--Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2002;
--Securities and Exchange Board of India (Amendment) Bill, 2002;
--Unit Trust of India (Transfer of Undertaking and Repeal) Bill, 2002;
--Countess of Dufferin’s Fund Act (Repeal) Bill, 2002;
--Mysore State Legislature (Delegation of Powers) Repeal Bill, 2002;
--Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2002;
--Representation of People (Second Amendment) Bill, 2002;
--Transfer of Property (Amendment) Bill, 2002;
--Indian Evidence (Amendment) Bill, 2002;
--Delhi Metro Railway (Operation and Maintenance) Bill, 2002, (Ordinance Replacement);
--Salaries and Allowances of Officers of Parliament and Leaders of Opposition in Parliament (Second Amendment) Bill, 2002;
--Homeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2002;
--Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2002;
--Petroleum (Berar Extension) Repeal Bill, 2002;
--Prevention of Money Laundering Bill, 2002;
--Prevention of Food Adulteration (Extension to Kohima and Mokokchung Districts) Repeal Bill, 2002;
--Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2002;
--Refugee Relief Taxes (Abolition) Repeal Bill, 2002;
--Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Bill, 2002;
--Negotiable Instruments (Amendment and Miscellaneous Provision) Bill, 2002;
--Biological Diversity Bill, 2002;
--Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2002;
--Consumer Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2002;
--Offshore Areas Mineral (Development and Regulation) Bill, 2002;
--Constitution Scheduled Castes Orders (Second Amendment) Bill, 2002;
--Imperial Library (Indentures Validation) Repeal Bill, 2002;
--Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms of Continental Shelf Bill, 2002;
--North-Eastern Council (Amendment) Bill, 2002;
--Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2002;
--High Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2002;
--Appropriation (Railways) No. 5 Bill, 2002;
--Merchant Shipping (Amendment) Bill, 2002;
--Representation of the People (Third Amendment) Bill, 2002;
--Freedom of Information Bill, 2002;
--Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2002;
--Companies (Second Amendment) Bill, 2002;
--Appropriation (No. 6) Bill, 2002;
--Control of National Highways (Land and Traffic) Bill, 2002;
--Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Order (Amendment) Bill, 2002;
--Competition Bill, 2002; and
--Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse Amendment Bill, 2002.

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