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Parliament today: Arbitration amendment introduced in LS; Bribe-giving bill, others discussed

PRS Legislative Research’ Trina Roy reports that the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha. The Bill seeks to make the process of arbitration simpler to ensure timely disposal of cases.

The Lower House discussed the Bureau of Indian Standards Bill.  The Bill replacing the 1986 Act, establishes the Bureau of Indian Standards that will be a national body to formulate, implement and certify certain standards of quality for goods, services, articles, processes and systems. The Minister was replying to the debate at the time of sending this diary.

The Home Minister, Rajnath Singh replied to the debate that the Upper House had undertaken yesterday on the extent of damage caused by the North West Monsoon in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. He informed the House about the steps being taken by the government for tackling the flood situation. Members were informed that the Prime Minister was visiting the region today to aerial survey the extent of damage. 

The Home Minister also made a similar statement in the Lower House informing the members about the flood situation in Tamil Nadu and the measures being taken by the government.

In Rajya Sabha, Pavan Verma, called the attention of the Minister of External Affairs to the situation in Nepal and the state of Indo-Nepal relations. However, it was decided by the sense of the house to have a short discussion on the same later, as a number of members wanted to participate in the debate. 

The Upper House also initiated discussion on the Prevention of Corruption (PCA) (Amendment) Bill, 2013.

The Bill amending the 1988 Act makes giving of a bribe a specific offence. There are diverging views on whether bribe giving under all circumstances must be penalized. It has been argued that a coerced bribe giver must be distinguished from a collusive bribe giver. For a detailed understanding of the featuresof the Bill and international comparison of anti corruption laws you can take alook at this document.

The PCA Bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha in August 2013. Since then, there have been several changes proposed to the 2013 Bill. There are some issues in the proposed 2015 amendments that require consideration. These include: (i) exempting honest actions of persons from the offence of taking a bribe, and (ii) requirement of prior sanction for investigation. Details of issues that remain in the Bill may be found here.

Comparison of the 1988 Act, 2013 Bill and the proposed 2015 amendments may be found here.

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