In a resilient display, the government forged ahead with its legislative agenda on Tuesday in the Lok Sabha, tabling and successfully passing three bills while engaging in discussions on three others late into the evening. The proceedings resumed post-lunch at 2 pm, with an unoccupied opposition bench.
The morning session had witnessed repeated adjournments due to opposition protests, resulting in the suspension of several MPs. Despite the empty benches on the opposition side, the House managed to pass significant bills, including the NCT of Delhi Laws (special provision) Amendment Bill, the Central GST Amendment Bill, and the Provisional Collection of Taxes Bill. Later in the day, Home Minister Amit Shah presented three crucial bills—the Bharatiya Nagrik Suraksha Sanhita, Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, and Bharatiya Sakshya Bills—for discussion and approval. These bills aim to replace outdated colonial-era laws, namely the Criminal Procedure Act (CrPC), Indian Penal Code (IPC), and the Evidence Act.
The debate on these three bills continued late into the evening, with active participation from members predominantly affiliated with the BJP, BJD, and Shiv Sena. At 8 pm, the House extended its sitting for an additional hour to allow more members to express their views on the Bharatiya Nagrik Suraksha Sanhita, Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, and Bharatiya Sakshya Bills. Voting and the home minister’s response are scheduled for Wednesday, after which the bills will be presented in the Rajya Sabha for further consideration.
During the discussions, BJP MP and former Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad underscored the bills’ significance, emphasizing their role in delivering justice to the people. He highlighted the bills’ departure from colonial-era laws designed to punish citizens, pointing out the historical context of the IPC’s implementation post the Mutiny of 1857. Prasad took a swipe at the Congress regime, accusing it of neglecting colonial history while writing ‘Discovery of India.’
The government’s ability to advance its legislative agenda in the absence of opposition members underscores its determination, with past instances of passing bills without opposition support, sometimes involving measures such as the closure of opposition microphones.