Dividing BBMP: Select panel can only delay the inevitable?

Assembly can ratify bill without including panel suggestions
Bengaluru: The combined Opposition’s success in ensuring a scrutiny of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations (Amendment) Bill, 2015, by a select committee of the upper House could only delay the division of BBMP because the Legislative Assembly has the privilege to ratify the controversial bill sans recommendations or modifications suggested by the committee.
Speaking to this newspaper, V Shreesha, Secretary, Legislative Council, said the select committee has powers to recommend changes to the amendment bill to the upper House, but MLCs could either accept or reject them. I
n case the recommendations are accepted, the Bill would be returned to the Assembly for approval. Under such circumstances, the Assembly has the right to reject modifications suggested by the Council. If the Assembly ratifies the bill in its original format, then it would again to the Council for approval. And, irrespective of whether the upper House accepts or rejects the bill, it would be deemed as accepted.
Though it seems certain that the select committee would suggest changes to the bill, the Assembly could reject them and pass the bill in its original form. For now, the Opposition has created history by ensuring submission of the bill to the select committee. In the 80s’, the Lokayukta bill was referred to the select committee when Mr Ramakrishna Hegde was the Chief Minister, but it was done with the consent of the state government.
Meanwhile, the Legislative Council has commenced the process of constituting the select committee. While leaders of BJP and JD(S) have given the list of their members for the select committee, the process would be completed after obtaining a list of Congress members and one independent candidate.
“We are in the process of forming the select committee in a day or two. Minister of the concerned department or recommended by the government will be the chairman of the 15-member select committee,” Mr. Shreesha added.
The amendment bill was referred to the select committee on Monday following a joint plea submitted by leader of Opposition K S Eshwarappa and JD (S) floor leader Basavaraj Horatti.
This select committee has to submit its report to the Legislative Council within three months as per the rules of procedure of the upper House. Mr. Eshwarappa, however, has not ruled out seeking more time to submit the report as the members of the committee are likely to visit and study the functioning of other city corporations.
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