POLITICS

Why The Bill Seeking Cap On Wedding Expenditure In India Is Unlikely To Become Law

The big fat Indian wedding ain't going away so easily.

16/02/2017 6:43 PM IST | Updated 16/02/2017 6:47 PM IST
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Representative image.

NEW DELHI -- A bill seeking a cap on "wasteful expenditure" in Indian weddings has extremely low chances of being actually passed by the Parliament to become law, historical data shows. The Marriages (Compulsory Registration and Prevention of Wasteful Expenditure) Bill, 2016, might be introduced in Lok Sabha as a private members' bill in the next session of the lower parliament. But private member bills have rarely become law. When one such bill passed in 2015, it was the first successful instance in 45 years.

Barring that, there has not been a single private members' bill passed by the Parliament since 1970, data from PRS Legislative Research shows. The historical trend indicates that it is unlikely that the bill, introduced by Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan, will even come up for discussion. Till date, only 15 private members' bills have ever been passed by the Indian Parliament. Six of these were in 1956 alone.

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Ranjeet Ranjan, Congress party MP from Supaul, Bihar and wife of Pappu Yadav arrives at Parliament House on her Harley Davidson bike on the occasion of International Women's Day during the Parliament Budget Session on March 8, 2016 in New Delhi, India.

In the last Lok Sabha, 598 such private members' bills were introduced and very little time was spent discussing any of these bills. In the Lok Sabha before that, 4% of the 300-odd such bills--14 to be exact--were discussed. The rest of them lapsed without any debate. In this Lok Sabha, 588 have already been introduced. Only 11 of them have actually come up for discussion. A bill only becomes law after it is passed by both houses of the Parliament and then receives an assent from the President of India.

Besides, bills seeking to curb wedding expenditure are not new. There have been six similar bills proposed by private members in the Parliament in the last two decades, reported Factly. While four of them lapsed, two are still pending.

One of those who proposed such a bill in 2005, Telugu Desam Party MP Rayapati Sambasiva Rao, was not shy to throw a lavish party for his own 50th wedding anniversary.

The current instance incidentally is similar. Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan (pictured above), who has proposed the latest bill, reportedly had a grand wedding celebration in February 1994 in Purnea, Bihar. According to a report in Dainik Jagran, Ranjan's family flew into the city in a chartered plane, and every hotel and guesthouse in the area was booked for guests and the streets were bedecked with decorations. She is married to politician Pappu Yadav, an MP from Bihar with a long criminal history.

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