The Arunachal Pradesh government on Friday clarified that a so-called Bill on the marriage and inheritance of property of the state’s tribal people is actually a proposed draft prepared by an advisory body on its volition without consulting the state government and it will not be tabled in the upcoming assembly session. It would not be appropriate to label it as a Bill at this stage as the draft submitted is at a very nascent stage, state Home Minister Bamang Felix told a press conference.
A delegation of the Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for Women (APSCW) led by its chairperson Radhilu Chai (Techi) had met Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Wednesday requesting him to consider tabling the Arunachal Pradesh Marriage and Inheritance of Property Bill, 2021 in the forthcoming session of the assembly beginning from August 27. It must be made very clear at this stage that while the Commission has titled it as Arunachal Pradesh Marriage and Inheritance of Property Bill, 2021′, but this is a draft proposal. It does not qualify as a Bill, till such time a due procedure is followed to elevate the proposal to a Bill, Felix, who is also the government spokesperson, said. The proposal has to be approved by the minister concerned and thereafter it needs to be examined thoroughly by the law department, which will assess it clause by clause. The cabinet shall thereafter deliberate upon the relevance and consequences of such examined proposal and if agreed upon by the cabinet, only then the proposal shall be qualified as a Bill, which will be tabled in the Assembly for further debates and discussions. Consequently the fate of the Bill will be decided as per the government procedure, Felix pointed out.
The matter of taking up the proposal in the ensuing assembly session is out of the question, he said If the government decides to take up any such matter, before starting a process, wide consultations with all stakeholders including community-based organisations (CBOs), civil societies, and intellectuals, would be done to deliberate on the pros and cons of the draft. We are all witness that decisions on important social issues are always taken by engaging CBOs, civil societies and intellectuals, and other stakeholders, Felix said.
He clarified that the so-called Bill has been drafted by the APSCW on its volition, without any consultation with the state government and the government was unaware of any such draft proposal being prepared and came to know about its existence only after submission of the draft. The APSCW is a statutory body of the government and an advisory body. The advice of the Commission, like the proposal for introducing a statute for the inheritance rights of the women, is not binding on the government, he said adding, taking up the proposal in the ensuing assembly session is out of the question. The content of the proposed draft could not be ascertained.