New Delhi, Feb.25: The Union Cabinet on Thursday cleared the women’s reservation Bill, which provides for 33 per cent reservation to women in the Lok Sabha and the state Assemblies.
The Bill was easily one of the most contentious pieces of legislation to be considered by Parliament.
It has been hanging fire for close to 14 years due to lack of political consensus. It was first drafted by the H D Deve Gowda-led United Front government and tabled in Parliament in September 1996.
The Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave its approval to the Bill, which has already been introduced in the Rajya Sabha and was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice and Personnel.
The Committee, in its report last December, had recommended the passage of the Bill in its present form and suggested that the issue should not be left to the discretion of political parties.
Sources said since the Bill was the property of the House, the Business Advisory Committee would decide on when to take the next step such as initiating a debate on the Bill and its passage.