P Chidambaram Appointed as Member of Parliamentary Panel on Home Affairs: Latest Development

Senior Congress Rajya Sabha member of Parliament (MP) P Chidambaram has been appointed as a member of the 8th Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs (SCOHA) by Rajya Sabha chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar. This appointment comes as P Bhattacharya’s term as a Congress leader in the Rajya Sabha ended on August 18.

The Rajya Sabha chairman has also named Congress MP Jairam Ramesh as the chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests, and Climate Change.

A notification from the Rajya Sabha stated, “The Chairman, Rajya Sabha, has in consultation with the Speaker, Lok Sabha, re-constituted the eight Department–related Parliamentary Standing Committees, coming under the administrative jurisdiction of the Chairman, Rajya Sabha, w.e.f. September 13, 2023.”

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs (SCOHA) is a department-related standing committee (DRSC) comprising selected members of Parliament, established by the Parliament of India. Its purpose is to exercise legislative oversight over domestic policy, internal security, and decision-making within the Ministry of Home Affairs. Currently chaired by Brijlal, a member of the Rajya Sabha from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the committee consists of 31 other members from various political parties in both Houses of Parliament.

Chidambaram’s appointment is timely as the SCOHA is currently deliberating on three proposed bills aimed at replacing the existing criminal justice laws. On August 11, the concluding day of the monsoon session of Parliament, Union Home Minister Amit Shah introduced three new bills in the Lok Sabha. These bills include the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) Bill, 2023, intended to replace the Indian Penal Code, 1860; the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita Bill (BNSS), 2023, aimed at replacing the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898; and the Bharatiya Sakhshya Bill (BSB), 2023, which seeks to replace the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

SCOHA initiated discussions on these three bills, and according to reports, several members of the INDIA bloc raised objections to the Hindi titles of the Bills, citing violation of Article 348, which mandates the use of English for all Bills and Acts.

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