TOPIC – Pointing the finger at parliamentary scrutiny

The new Farm Bills passed by Parliament in the last monsoon session have evoked a scale of protest unforeseen by the government. Negotiations between the government and the farmers seem to have produced no result, and the farmers are determined to scale up their agitation in the coming days. The country seems to be heading toward a serious confrontation between the government and the agitating farmers.  A noteworthy aspect of the negotiations is that many of the proposals put forward now by the government for the consideration of the farmers are issues that were more or less rejected by the government when those Bills were debated in Parliament. The government is reportedly willing to amend these Acts now in order to meet the demands of the farmers. It is another matter that the farmers have rejected these proposals. They have made it clear that they want these laws to be repealed and if necessary, fresh laws to be enacted after discussions with the farmers and other stakeholders. The demand for the repeal of the laws passed by Parliament only recently essentially points to a serious lapse in the management of the legislative work in Parliament. Parliament is the supreme lawmaking body which has put in place large machinery of committees to scrutinise the Bills which are brought before it by the government as a part of its legislative programme. Rules of the Houses leave it to the Speaker or the Chairman to refer the Bills to the Standing Committees for a detailed scrutiny thereof. After such scrutiny is completed, the committees send their reports containing their recommendations on improvements to be made in the Bills to the Houses. While undertaking such scrutiny, the committees invite various stakeholders to place their views before them. Only after elaborate consultation do the committees formulate their views and recommendations. Under any circumstances, the Bills which come back to the Houses after the scrutiny by the committees will be in much better shape in terms of their content. This is a common experience. That is the reason why the Rules of the Houses provide for reference of the Bills to the committees. Although, technically, the reference to the committees is within the discretion of the Speaker or the Chairman, the intendment of the Rules is that all-important Bills should go before the committees for a detailed examination.  However, every Bill which comes before the Houses need not be sent to the committees. For example, some minor Amendment Bills or Bills which do not have any serious ramifications need not be sent to the committees. That is precisely why the Presiding officers have been given the discretion in the matter of reference of Bills to committees. But it does not mean that they can exercise their discretion not to refer to the committee an important Bill that has serious implications for society. Such an action only defeats the purpose of the Rules. Data show that very few Bills are referred to the Parliamentary Committees now. Ministers are generally reluctant to send their Bills to the committees because they are in a hurry to pass them.

The Hindu Editorial Words with meanings, synonyms, and antonyms 

Evoke (verb) – To produce a memory, feeling, etc. in somebody

Synonyms – elicit, arouse, raise, stir, kindle

Antonyms – halt, repress, stop, stifle, quell


Negotiation (noun) – A discussion intended to produce an agreement

Synonyms – talks, dialogue, diplomacy, deal, parley

Antonyms – disagreement, altercation, clash, defiance, contestation


Confrontation (noun) – A bold challenge

Synonyms – clash, encounter, skirmish, combat, altercation

Antonyms – agreement, calm, peace, union, unanimity


Repealed (verb) – Cancel officially

Synonyms – revoke, annul, nullify, overturn, abrogate

Antonyms – approval, enact, ratify, passage, sanction




Lapse (noun) – A mistake resulting from inattention

Synonyms – slip, regress, backsliding, oversight, retrogression

Antonyms – continue, perfection, develop, shifting, achievement


Scrutinize (verb) – Examine carefully for accuracy with the intent of verification

Synonyms – examine, inspect, probe, regard, review

Antonyms – ignore, glance, glimpse, forget, slight


Elaborate (adjective) – Marked by complexity and richness of detail

Synonyms – intricate, complex, ornate, embellish, lucubrate

Antonyms – simple, bare, contract, austere, unadorned


Discretion (noun) – Knowing how to avoid embarrassment or distress

Synonyms – prudence, discernment, discernment, delicacy, wariness

Antonyms – paranoia, carelessness, insanity, affinity, intemperance


Intendment (noun) – The sense in which the law understands or interprets something

Synonyms – purpose, intention, purport, significance, animus

Antonyms – pish posh, beginning


Ramification (noun) – One of the many complicated or unexpected results of an action or decision

Synonyms – effect, result, complication, furcation, repercussion

Antonyms – cause, inception, precursor, antecedent, juncture


Reluctant (adjective) – Unwillingness to do something contrary to your custom

Synonyms – unwilling, disinclined, hesitant, loath, indisposed

Antonyms – eager, keen, enthusiastic, inclined, resolute