Rajya Sabha passes Family Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2022

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The Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed the Family Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2022 by voice vote amid sloganeering by the Opposition. The Bill makes a provision to grant statutory cover to family courts set up in Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland.

Lok Sabha passed the Bill last week.

The Bill seeks to insert a provision in sub-section 3 of section 1 to provide for the establishment of family courts in Himachal Pradesh with effect from February 15, 2019 and in Nagaland with effect from September 12, 2008. It also seeks to insert a new section 3A to retrospectively validate all actions under the act taken by the governments of Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland and the family courts of these states.

Meanwhile, Congress MP Jairam Ramesh, who tried to raise a point of order in the Rajya Sabha but was denied by the Deputy Chairman, stated that the government was raising “points of disorder” outside Parliament. The Opposition has been demanding a discussion on the “misuse” of Central agencies by the government in the wake of the ED’s searches of the National Herald offices.

Amid the debate over the appropriateness of raising points of order, TMC MP Derek O Brien said that subject to the Constitution and the rules of the Parliament, every member has the right to freedom of expression. Union Minister Bhupendra Yadav responded to this saying, “The members have freedom of speech. The Constitution doesn’t give freedom of hungama (chaos)”.

Earlier, Congress MP and the Leader of Opposition in the Upper House, Mallikarjun Kharge, and Union Minister Piyush Goyal exchanged barbs over the ED’s probe into the National Herald Case.

The Upper House was adjourned till tomorrow after passing the bill. As the Opposition demanded a discussion over the ‘misuse’ of central agencies, Union Minister Kiren Rijuju had moved the Bill for discussion in the Rajya Sabha.