The High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Bill was to be taken up when the House met after lunch at 2.15pm.
NCP leader Sharad Pawar with other MPs at Parliament House on Friday
B B Yadav
The government faced some embarrassing moments in Lok Sabha over lack of quorum, at the fag end of a week that recorded over 100 per cent productivity in the House.The High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Bill was to be taken up when the House met after lunch at 2.15pm. The government was keen on getting the bill passed on Friday itself and 45 minutes were allotted for it. However, because of lack of quorum, the minimum ten per cent strength required for the 545-member House to conduct business, members waited for a while.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When the House met, most of the treasury benches were empty, and even after members trooped in, there were less than 30 MPs. The government floor managers, including minister of state for parliamentary affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy, were seen trying to get in MPs but minutes later, on the directions of Deputy Speaker Thambidurai, his staff adjourned the House till 2.45pm.The lack of quorum of 54 members prompted opposition members to question the government’s floor management. “What is this? This is not the first time. It happens every week. How serious is this government?” Congress MP KC Venugopal said.Later, talking to dna, Venugopal said it was the government which wanted the bill to be passed the same day. “It is unfortunate… Its the duty of the government to ensure the numbers and run the House,” he said.However, government sources played down the matter saying it was just two persons less than the required quorum. They said it was a Fridayafternoon when MPs leave for their constituencies to spend the weekend there. “Its not such a big deal,” a minister said.When the House met again, the debate on the bill, seeking to ensure uniformity in pensions and other conditions of services of Supreme Court and High Court judges, began but its passage has been pushed to Monday. MPs, cutting across party lines, sought judicial accountability in the wake of the Supreme Court invalidating the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act passed by both Houses of Parliament.Earlier in the day, Modi had said, “It’s good news” that Parliament was running. He gave the credit for it to all political parties. The Prime Minister has been emphasising on regular attendance in the House, in BJP’s parliamentary party meetings.Unlike, the previous session which was a washout, the first week of the Winter Session recorded productivity of Lok Sabha is at 113%, while Rajya Sabha’s is at 76%, as of Thursday, according to PRS legislative research statistics.
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