New Delhi: The Supreme Court in the case National Federation of Indian Women versus Union of India observed and has issued a notice on a petition filled by the NGO National Federation of Indian Women, wherein seeking re-introduction of the Women’s Reservation Bill, 2008 for securing 33% quota for women in the Lok Sabha and the legislative assemblies.
The bench comprising of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice J. K. Maheshwari observed and has stated that the petitioner “has raised an issue which is of considerable importance.
In the present case, the counsel, Advocate Kanu Agrawal appearing for the Union Of India submitted that a serious issue of maintainability arises in the matter which has been agreed by the court to hear on the next date and has sought the response of the Union of India on the issue. The counsel, Advocate Prashant Bhushan represented the petitioner.
However, the bench asked the Centre for filling its response with a period of six weeks and has further granted time of three weeks to the NGO to file its rejoinder affidavit.
An amendment is proposed by the Women’s Reservation Bill for introducing 1/3rd reservation for women in Parliament and all State Assemblies.
Before the court, it is submitted in the petition that it has been 25 years since the first women’s reservation bill was introduced. It was also pointed out in the plea that the Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha in 2010 but lapsed after the dissolution of the Lok Sabha, it was not placed before the Lok Sabha even though the bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha
Further, it is submitted in the petition that, the non-introduction of the Bill is illegal, arbitrary and the same will lead to discrimination. It was also stated that in 2010, the bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha and has been crystallized so as to its aims and objectives to a large extent. Thereof, it is submitted that non-introduction of such an important and beneficial Bill, on which there is a virtual consensus of all major political parties will be arbitrary.
In the plea, it was stated that the bill and the objective of bill has been supported by the political parties and the manifestoes of the parties like that of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Indian National Congress (INC), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Shiromani Akali Dal, Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPIM), Biju Janata Dal, Samajwadi Party, National Congress Party (NCP) have promised the passing of the bill.
Accordingly, the bench listed the matter to be next heard in the month of March 2023.