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Parliament today: Busy lawmaking with GST constitutional amendment passed by LS & more

PRS Legislative Research’s Trina Roy reports:

Lok Sabha passed the Constitutional (122ndAmendment) Bill, 2014 to rollout the Goods and Services Tax (GST).  19 members had participated in the debate yesterday. The Finance Minister in his reply today addressed the concerns of the members with regard to compensation, additional 1% tax levied, among other things.

The Bill was finally passed by the Lower House with 352 ayes and 37 noes, securing more than 2/3rd majority present and voting.  Such a special majority, for constitutional amendment bills is a requirement as per Article 368. The Bill will now have to be passed by the Upper House with the same 2/3rd majority, present and voting and then be ratified by not less than one half of the State legislatures.

Yesterday Lok Sabha had begun discussions on GST amendment. At the beginning of the debate several members asked that the Bill be sent to a Standing Committee for greater scrutiny. Some members also pointed out that there may be constitutional issues pertaining to certain provisions. To this, the Chair replied that issues related to constitutional validity of a Bill are to be decided by the courts . Further, with regard to referring the Bill to a committee, the chair reiterated that the Speaker has already ruled that the Bill will not be sent to a Standing Committee and should be taken up for discussion.

During the debate members welcomed the Bill but also made certain recommendations. Some members sought that alcohol which is kept outside the purview of GST should be included.  A number of members also raised their concerns about the additional 1% tax for the producing states in the course of interstate trade and commerce of goods and services. Expressing reservations other concerns raised by members were related to compensation given to states and loss of revenue suffered by manufacturing states.

Click here to find out what the GST means

Juvenile Justice Bill

Discussion on the Juvenile Justice Bill began in Lok Sabha. The Bill replaces the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.  It addresses children in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection.  Several members during the debate raised concerns about the constitutional violations in the Bill regarding separate treatment of juveniles based on date of apprehension (Right to equality). Members also pointed out that differential treatment to juveniles is not in accordance with the UNCRC, ratified by India, and mentioned in the Bill’s Statement of Objective Reasons.


Rajya Sabha passed the Constitution (119thAmendment) Bill, 2013. The Bill amends the First Schedule of the Constitution to ratify an agreement entered into by India and Bangladesh on the acquiring and transfer of territories between the two countries on May 16, 1974.

Strike off

To the joy of Delhi’s striking lower bar, The Delhi High Court (Amendment) Bill, 2014 was also passed by Rajya Sabha.  The Bill increases pecuniary jurisdiction of the high court of Delhi. The Delhi high court as the Bill provides will now have jurisdiction over suits which are above the value of Rs 2 crore.

Real estate bill

The Upper House decided that the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill be sent to a Select Committee.  The Committee must submit its report by the first week of the Monsoon Session.  To know more about the features and related issues you can read our detailed analysis here.

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