The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Indian Trusts (Amendment) Bill, 2015, amid chaos as the opposition Congress created ruckus in the house over the National Herald case involving Sonia and Rahul Gandhi for the second consecutive day.
The bill, which seeks to amend the Indian Trusts Act, 1882 (Principal Act), was introduced in the Lok Sabha by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 13th August. The Bill regulates functioning of private trusts and trustees. It also outlines the manner in which surplus funds of the trust may be invested for future use of the trust.
As the house met at 2.15 p.m. after lunch, leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said how bills could be discussed and passed "when the house was not in order".
He appealed to the speaker not to allow any discussion on the bill as nothing could be heard.
As Kharge was making his point, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu got up and said the Congress and other opposition parties do not respect the rules.
"Since they do not respect the rules, let's take up business," Naidu said.
Kharge and Naidu were engaged in heated exchanges while putting forth their points of view.
"Today (Wednesday) we are protesting as the government is disregarding and disrespecting the opposition. The bills should not be passed (in situation like this)," Kharge said, adding that if the government is so interested in normal business of the house "they must sack V.K. Singh".
The Bill lists seven categories of securities in which trust money can be invested. These include some pre-Independence references such as securities issued by the United Kingdom, by municipalities of Presidency towns, Rangoon, and port trust of Karachi. In addition, the Act allows investment in any security expressly authorised by the instrument of trust or by the central government by notification, provided that consent is taken of any person who is competent to contract and entitled to receive the trust income for his life.
The Bill amends the Principal Act to retain only the last item, and deletes all the other investment avenues specified in the Act.
The bill was passed by a voice vote amid sloganeering.
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