Nuclear liability bill tabled, Oppn walks out

Nuclear liability bill tabled, Oppn walks out

The tabling of the bill saw walkout by Left and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs.

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  • Last Updated: May 7, 2010, 1:52 PM IST
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New Delhi: The government introduced the contentious civil nuclear liability bill in the Lok Sabha on Friday, the last day of the current parliament session, amid uproar from opposition benches and a walkout by Left and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs.

"It's contrary to articles of the constitution. It's illegal and unconstitutional," BJP leader Yashwant Sinha told the house.

Sinha, also a former foreign minister, also accused the government of acting under US pressure.

BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi questioned the competence of the legislation.

"I am opposing it tooth and nail," added Gurudas Dasgupta of the Communist Party of India.

The government had deferred the tabling of the bill in the first half of the budget session in March in the face of a hostile opposition.

The passing of the legislation is one of the last remaining steps required to operationalise the 2008 India-US 123 civil nuclear cooperation agreement.

The bill fixes the maximum amount of liability in case of each nuclear accident at Rs.500 crore to be paid by the operator of the nuclear plant.

The government has rejected the opposition charge that the nuclear liability bill was being brought under foreign pressure. The bill may be referred to a Parliamentary Standing Committee for scrutiny.

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