There was an error in numbering of the bill because of which it had to be approved again
New Delhi: The historic India-Bangladesh land boundary agreement bill, which was ridden with some drafting errors when passed by Parliament last week, was again passed by Rajya Sabha on Monday but not before the opposition asked the government to avoid such mistakes again.
The Constitution (119th Amendment) bill to allow the operationalization of the 1974 India-Bangladesh land boundary agreement was cleared by both the houses unanimously last weeek. But there was an error in numbering of the bill because of which it had to be approved again.
The official amendment was carried out in the short title of the bill. But due to an oversight, the same amendment could not be carried out in the schedules of the bill.
While it was introduced as the 119th amendment bill 2013, it should have been passed as the 100th Amendment Act 2015. This is because several constitution amendment bills are introduced but the number of those which clear Parliament is less.
The bill was passed in 15 minutes after external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj moved it in the house. Leader of opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said “it has caused an embarrassement for the house", more so as it concerns international agreements. He said the officials concerned in drafting the bills should go line by line" to avoid errors.
Sitaram Yechury (CPIM) said this shoud be a “warning" for the government.
Swaraj said the Lok Sabha had passed the bill with the necessary amendments and therefore it was moved in the Rajya Sabha once again on Monday. “We were of the understanding that by amending the short tile of the bill, the other amendments in the bill will be carried out consquentially. But when the Bill was taken up in Lok Sabha, the House insisted on carrying out the necessary amendments in section 3. Section 3 was amended accordingly and therefore it had to be taken up by Rajya Sabha today," she said.
Swaraj hailed both the houses for unanimously passing it. The bill seeks to settle India’s 41-year-old border issue with Bangladesh and will help operationalize and ratify the boundary agreement that provides for exchange of territories.
Under the pact, India will get 510 acres while Bangladesh will get 10,000 acres. The measure, apart from demarcating the boundaries, would also help checking illegal immigration. After the error came to light, vice-president Hamid Ansari, who is also chairman of the Rajya Sabha, was upset that the officials of the concerned departments failed to carry out the amendment.