N-bill amendments: BJP closely examining proposed draft

BJP said there seems to be a deviation from text and it was closely examining the proposed draft.

New Delhi: With the government bringing some fresh amendments to the Nuclear Liability Bill, BJP on Sunday said there seems to be a deviation from text that was agreed
upon and it was closely examining the proposed draft while the Left made it clear that the changes were unacceptable.

"We are examining all the papers. Prima facie, it appears that there is a deviation from the text which was agreed upon. The language as framed (now) substantially nullifies supplier liability," Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley told a news agency.

One of the 18 amendments cleared by the Union Cabinet on Friday suggests that an accident in a nuclear plant should have occurred as a consequence of an act done with an "intent" if an operator has to claim damages from supplier.

This amendment in the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, 2010 will be moved along with 17 other amendments in the Lok Sabha on August 25.

Asked if BJP would change its earlier stance of supporting the Bill in the light of the latest change in the text, Jaitley said the party would take a call after going
through all the facts.

The senior BJP leader said nobody from the government had informed the main opposition about this change in the text and neither had the party contacted the government on the issue.

The Left was categorical that it would not give its nod to such a change in the text of the Civil Nuclear Bill.

"I do not think that the Left can agree with these new changes that if it is an intentional one or wilful one then only operators can take recourse to demand from suppliers. We
do not think it is a fair and valid argument," CPI leader D Raja told a news agency.

He termed this change as a "very irrational, ridiculous argument".

"We do not think it is a fair valid argument... No supplier will admit that he has done it with intent. Government must learn some lessons from Bhopal gas leak and government should proceed on nuclear liability with more caution," Raja said.

He maintained that if the nuclear suppliers are not brought within the ambit of liability, the Left will have no choice but to oppose the measure.

"It is clearly a case of pressure from the multi-national corporations. It shows how desperate the government is to get the bill passed," he said.


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