The Women Reservation Bill seeking to guarantee a 33% quota for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies was introduced in Lok Sabha of the new Parliament building amid the ongoing special session on Tuesday. The bill was introduced as the 128th Constitutional Amendment Bill by the Union law minister Arjun Ram Meghwal.
the features of the bill are:
- The bill mandates the reservation of seats for women in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament. As per the amendment, one-third of the total number of seats in the Lok Sabha will be reserved for women.
- The bill extends its provisions to the Legislative Assembly of the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
- The amendment applies to the legislative assemblies of all Indian states.
- The bill specifies that the provisions related to the reservation of seats for women in the Lok Sabha, State Assemblies, and the Delhi Assembly will come into effect after a delimitation exercise is conducted.
- The bill allows for the rotation of reserved seats for women in the Lok Sabha, State Assemblies, and the Delhi Assembly after each subsequent delimitation exercise, as determined by the Parliament.
Women’s Reservation Bill will come into effect after the first delimitation or redrawing of constituencies, according to the details of the historic bill tabled today in parliament.
Even if the bill is enacted now, women’s quota cannot be implemented before the 2029 election. That is because it can only be possible after a delimitation of constituencies and the first Census after the law comes into force. That Census is likely to take place in 2027. The bill includes reservations for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes but not OBCs (Other Backward Class), as it is not provided for the legislature. The quota will not be for Rajya Sabha or state Legislative Councils.
The bill says one-third of seats will be filled by direct election in Lok Sabha and state assemblies. A third of the seats for women will be for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
The provisions of the women’s quota bill will come into effect after delimitation or redrawing of constituencies after the relevant figures for the first Census taken after the commencement of the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Amendment) Act 2023 have been published and will cease to have effect 15 years after its enactment.
The rotation of seats reserved for women in parliament and legislative assemblies will take effect after each subsequent exercise of delimitation as the Parliament may determine.
(With inputs from agencies)