Constitution & Law Current Affairs - 2019

Summary of latest bill and acts passed or pending in 2019 in Parliament of India with their salient features and issues for Current Affairs 2019 preparation for various examinations such as UPSC, SSC, State Civil Services, CLAT, Judicial Services etc.

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Lok Sabha adjourned sine die

The 1st session of 17th Lok Sabha was adjourned sine die, a day ahead of scheduled conclusion, as 99% of government business has been completed. The announcement in this regard was made by Speaker Om Birla after adopting resolution and a Bill related to Jammu and Kashmir.

After 17th Lok Sabha elections, the Budget session of Lok Sabha which was scheduled to end on 26 July was extended till 7 August.

Key Highlights

Productive Session: In his parting address to the house, Speaker termed it the most productive session since 1952. In this session, House passed 35 Bills, surpassing previous record of Bills passed in 1952 session (in it 24 bills were passed in 67 sittings). This Budget session of Lok Sabha had 37 sittings and sat for 280 hours. The productivity of the House remained 125%. Also in order to make it more productive, Lower House sat for 75 hours late in evening.

Proceeding undertaken: During session, 35 bills were passed, total 183 starred questions were orally answered, 1,066 issues of urgent importance taken up, and 488 issues taken up under rule 377 (of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha). As per rule 377 members are allowed to raise matters which are not points of order or which cannot be raised under any other rule.

Adjournment Sine Die

Its literal meaning in latin is without day i.e. without assigning a day for a further (or next) meeting or hearing. In terms of Legislative procedures it means to adjourn an assembly for an indefinite period.

Power of adjournment sine die lies with presiding officer of House. Also, presiding officer of a House can call a sitting of House before date/time to which it has been adjourned or at any time after House has been adjourned sine die.

Lok Sabha passes Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Bill, 2019

Lok Sabha has passed Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Bill, 2019 to increase the number of Supreme Court judges from the present 30 to 33 (excluding Chief Justice of India). The Bill amends Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Ac, 1956. It helps to meet long standing demand of increasing strength of Supreme Court judges to resolve number of pending cases can be brought down substantially.

Salient features of Bill

The Bill to increase strength of Supreme Court judges by 10% i.e. to 33 from present 30 (excluding Chief Justice of India).

As of now full sanctioned strength of SC is 31 (including CJI). Once this bill gets in Rajya Sabha also and gets full parliamentary nod and presidential assent, the number of judges would go up to 34, including the CJI.

The purpose of increasing in number of judges is to allow Supreme Court to function more efficiently and effictively towards attaining the ultimate goal of of rendering speedy jusstice to the litigants.

Background

The strength of Supreme Court is fixed by law enacted Parliament as per Article 124 (1) of Constitution of India. Therefore, strength of Supreme Court judges can be increased by way of parliamentary legislation. For this purpose Parliament has enacted Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act, 1956, which originally provided for maximum of 10 judges (excluding CJI). This number was increased to 13 by Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Act, 1960 and to 17 in 1977.

However till the end of 1979, the working strength of Supreme Court was restricted to 15 judges (excluding CJI) by cabinet. But the restriction was later withdrawn at request of CJI. In 1986, strength of Supreme Court was increased to 25, excluding CJI. Subsequently, Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Act, 2009 further increased strength of Supreme Court judges from 25 to 30 (excluding CJI).