The Private Member’s Bill of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor to amend Section 377 that was introduced in Lok Sabha failed to move ahead, with 71 MPs voting against its introduction, and only 24 voting in favour of it. As Mr. Tharoor began introducing his bill, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey stood up to oppose it and started quoting passages from Supreme Courts judgement of 2013 in support of Section 377. Mr. Tharoor countered the BJP MP by saying that he was quoting in a very partial manner, and read out the part of the judgement where the judges had put the onus on Parliament to amend or repeal Sec 377.

Following this, the Bill was put to vote first via voice vote and then via division to decide if the bill would be admitted for debate or discussion. Only 24 members voted in favour of the introduction, with 71 voting against it and 1 MP abstaining from the vote.

Taking to twitter later, Mr. Tharoor said he was surprise at the intolerance shown, and promised to introduce the bill again in the future. He also pointed out that the notice of intent to oppose the introduction of bill came at the last minute and so he couldn’t rally the support of MPs.

Detailing the procedure on How a Bill becomes an Act, the official website of Parliament states: “ It is necessary for a member-in-charge of the Bill to ask for leave to introduce the Bill. If leave is granted by the House, the Bill is introduced. This stage is known as the First Reading of the Bill. If the motion for leave to introduce a Bill is opposed, the Speaker may, in his discretion, allow brief explanatory statement to be made by the member who opposes the motion and the member-in-charge who moved the motion. Where a motion for leave to introduce a Bill is opposed on the ground that the Bill initiates legislation outside the legislative competence of the House, the Speaker may permit a full discussion thereon. Thereafter, the question is put to the vote of the House. However, the motion for leave to introduce a Finance Bill or an Appropriation Bill is forthwith put to the vote of the House


Sukhdeep Singh