Daily NEWS Summary | 28-07-2021; In total failure, the Standing Committee on Information Technology headed by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor was unable to deliberate on “the security and privacy of citizens’ data” because none of the officials from the Ministry of Interior (MHA), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITy) and Department of Telecommunications attended the meeting, citing various reasons for their absence.
- A discussion of data security and privacy reportedly involved questions about Pegasus’ alleged cyberattack on more than 300 people in India.
- BJP members, for the second day in a row, went on strike, refusing to sign the attendance list, forcing the meeting to be canceled due to lack of quorum.
- Sources said that from the beginning, members of the BJP began to protest. They accused Tharoor of managing “the congressional agenda” and not discussing the meeting with members before finalizing it. This sparked a heated exchange of words between the opposition and members of the BJP.
- BJP’s Nishikant Dubey complained that TMC’s Mahua Moitra called him “Bihari goonda,” or thug. Addressing Lok Sabha chairman Om Birla Dubey in a Hindi tweet, he said that in his 13 years as a MP he was attacked for the first time during a standing committee meeting. “TMC MP Mahua Moitra called me ‘Bihari goonda’ three times,” he said. He also accused Tharoor of having signed a “contract to break the parliamentary tradition of standing committees.”
- Earlier today, Dubey gave notice to file a motion of privilege against Tharoor. In the notice, he said that the meeting’s agenda had not been discussed with members. He also alleged that even before it aired among the members, Tharoor announced it to the media.
- In response to this, Moitra said in a tweet that the motion of privilege showed the BJP’s desperation to evade any investigation into Pegasus. “Nishikant Dubey files a motion of privilege against @ShashiTharoor just to prevent the IT committee from questioning MHA on Pegasus. I filed a motion of privilege against the Minister of Information Technology on 7/23 for lying at home. How was it not picked up? she stated.
- At a panel meeting Tuesday to deliberate on the 2021 Cinematography Bill, BJP members went on strike alleging the same issues.
Amid the din, parliament passes major bills without debate
Daily NEWS Summary | 28-07-2021 Both houses of parliament approved important bills without debate on Wednesday amid continued protests from opposition members over the issue of Pegasus espionage and the three contentious farm laws, which farmer groups are protesting against for months.
- Lok Sabha, witnessed rebellious behavior in the form of ripping papers and throwing them into the chair of the president and Treasury banks, saw the passage of the Insolvency Bill and bankruptcy (amendment) 2021, as well as the first batch of the Supplemental Grant Application and Assignment Law Project, numbers 3 and 4, without debate and with voice vote.
- Although President Om Birla managed to organize Question Time even amid the din, the first time in the current session, as soon as Rajendra Agarwal replaced him as president, protests escalated and opposition from members such as Gurjeet Aujala, TN El Congressman Prathapan and Hibi Eden, along with a few others, tore up papers and threw them into the air.
- Interestingly, Congressman Jasbir Singh Gill mentioned the slogan “Khela Hobe” (go ahead) used by Congress in Trinamool during the latest assembly votes in West Bengal. The House was suspended several times before legislative business was conducted amid the din and was suspended for the day.
- Also in Rajya Sabha, the important Juvenile Justice (Child Care and Protection) Amendment Act, 2021 was passed without debate and the House was suspended the day before at 3pm.
Rahul rejects government accusations of disrupting parliament, says united opposition on Pegasus
Daily NEWS Summary | 28-07-2021; Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that the opposition was united to demand a discussion on the Pegasus spy line in parliament in the presence of the prime minister or interior minister.
- He rejected the government’s accusations of disrupting Parliament, saying the opposition was only fulfilling its responsibility. He also attacked the government over the Pegasus spy conflict, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Interior Minister Amit of “touching the soul of Indian democracy.”
- The voice of the opposition was stifled in parliament, he said. “We are only asking if the government bought Pegasus and spied on the Indians. We are not disturbing Parliament, we are just fulfilling our responsibility, ”he said.
- He also said that the Pegasus dispute “is for us a question of nationalism, of treason. It is not about confidentiality. It is an anti-national job ”. He said the opposition was united on the issue. The government has dismissed all accusations from the opposition in this regard.
- In Parliament, several Members have expressed concern. RJD MP Manoj Jha and Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said that the IT minister himself was being spied on. “The problem is not with information technology, but with national security and that is why the interior minister must sit down and discuss,” they said.
- DMK MP T.R. Baalu said: “The government gives the impression that the assembled opposition opposes any discussion. Are not. Every day we make announcements. The government does not want to argue. Democracy is in danger. Pegasus affects not only politicians and the judiciary, but even you. “
Lawmakers who commit vandalism cannot claim immunity, says SC
Daily NEWS Summary | 28-07-2021; On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled that lawmakers who indulge in vandalism and widespread chaos cannot claim parliamentary privileges and immunity from criminal prosecution, as it rejected appeals from the Kerala government and the ruling left-wing Democratic Front (LDF) leaders, who destroyed public property and disrupted a budget speech in the State Assembly in 2015.
“Parliamentary privileges and immunities are not ‘gateways’ for legislators to demand an exception to the country’s law, especially criminal law,” said a D.Y. Chandrachud and M.R. Shah observed during a trial.
Vandalism on the Assembly floor cannot be equated with the opposition lawmakers’ right to protest. The destruction of public property cannot be equated with the exercise of freedom of expression.
Legislators must act within the parameters of the public trust imposed on them to fulfill their duty. They had assumed their functions swearing allegiance to the Constitution. They had to defend the sovereignty and integrity of India and they had to fulfill the duty imposed on them by the people who elected them, he said.
Participation in acts of violence within the Assembly could hardly be in the “broad public interest” or be considered a “legitimate” protest, as the state government and the accused leaders claim, the Supreme Court noted.
The chief magistrate of the judiciary, Thiruvananthapuram, justified himself by rejecting the prosecutor’s request to withdraw the criminal proceedings against the accused heads of the LDF, including the current Minister of State Education, V. Sivankutty.
The Supreme Court agreed with the magistrate that the withdrawal request was not submitted in good faith. Criminal law must run its normal course, the court ordered.
Television footage from the day of the incident shows lawmakers hitting the floor of the House and throwing chairs, computers and other public goods shortly after Finance Minister KM Mani began his speech on the budget during the government’s tenure. of the UDF Members of Parliament face charges of trespassing, mischief and destruction of public property.
India’s democracy is fueled by its free-thinking citizens: Blinken
Daily NEWS Summary | 28-07-2021; Democratic values and free citizenship define India, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday.
Speaking at a press conference after holding bilateral talks, Secretary Blinken said the United States viewed India through the prism of shared democratic values and that there were potentially “unpleasant” challenges that needed to be done, be resolved by “corrective mechanisms”. Blinken also warned the Taliban not to attack the civil liberties of the Afghan people.
The issue of the human rights condition and the apparent erosion of democracy has featured prominently in bilateral conversation at the official level since the arrival of the Biden administration in January. The State Department had announced that Blinken would raise the issue during his visit here, particularly amid shrinking democratic space and pressure on free media.
Covid Updates: The number of coronavirus cases reported in India was 3,15,10,911 at the time of publication of this bulletin, with a death toll of 4,222,255.