Bhartesh Singh Thakur
Today News Online Service
Chandigarh, March 9
The Legal Remembrancer (LR) informed Chief Minister that under Rule 36 of Rules of Business, Government of Haryana, the Assembly is competent to enact the Congress’ private member bill on Haryana Agricultural Produce Markets (Haryana Amendment) Bill, 2021—which intends to guarantee MSP to farmers.
LR reasoned, in its letter dated February 17, “The subject matter of the proposed legislation is relatable to entry 14 of the State List in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India, and the State Legislature is, therefore, competent to enact the proposed measure. It is not a Money Bill.”
Under Rule 36, the LR added, that “It would be necessary to embark upon legislation as the purpose in view cannot be achieved otherwise, and It will be necessary to reserve the Bill for the consideration of the President of India after it being passed by the State Legislature as required under the provisions of Article 254 (2) of the Constitution of India”.
It adds that the “proposed measure would not be inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution of India including those relating to Fundamental Rights”.
However, while rejecting the Bill, Haryana Assembly had told 24 Congress MLAs, including former CM BS Hooda, dated March 5, that it was intending to amend central laws through an amendment in state law on the matter which is subjudice and provisions under Article 254 and 246 are very clear in this regard.
Therefore, it will not be legally appropriate to consider the Bill, as advised by the agriculture department, read the letter from Assembly to the MLAs.
Rohtak Congress MLA BB Batra, who had led the party’s arguments in the Assembly against rejection, said: “It is nowhere intimated by the LR that the bill couldn’t be moved. The agriculture department is not competent to decide on it.”
When contacted, Speaker Gian Chand Gupta said, that they acted as per the state government’s letter to them.
“Chief Secretary and Agriculture Secretary told us that Bill was not legally appropriate when it is subjudice,” he said.
The LR has opined that according to rule 37 of the Rules of Business, the Bill is needed to be first submitted to the Council of Ministers for obtaining their approval and after that to the Law Department.
It was recommended to the administrative department to submit the case to the Council of Ministers first.
The LR also said that in the proposed Bill, under clause 8J, neither the “description of any Central Act nor of APMC Act has been provided, which specifically needs to be clarified, particularly by mentioning the name of the said Act”.
Regarding another anomaly, the LR said that clause 8K of the Bill said that it will have an “overriding effect” on Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services (Haryana Amendment) Act, 2020 but no such Act existed in the state.