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SHRI PRASANTA CHATTERJEE (WEST BENGAL): Sir, to control this disease, the Minister also has stated that biological control, or the prevention of this disease should be seriously thought. There are some particular type of fish--Guppy fish and Gambusia fish--the Minister has given the names. We will have to take action to supply, to preserve and use that special type of fish. We can do that only through the local bodies. I would like to know the steps that are being taken.
Secondly, there are very serious problems about blood testing. In many of the urban areas, even in Kolkata also, when I was running the local body, I have seen these problems. I would like to know how the Government is helping those local bodies so that they would test the blood samples immediately, in a day or two. The hon. Health Minister knows that you do the blood testing for malaria and give the medicines immediately. Dengue is another.
The use of mosquito nets by the patients is another thing even during the daytime. Because there will be breeding places, everybody knows it. If you can educate the people, the patients, to use the mosquito nets, it would be nice.
These are the questions to which I would like to have replies from the Minister. What actions he is going to take on these? (Ends)
SHRI SU. THIRUNAVUKKARASAR (MADHYA PRADESH): Sir, the Minister himself has stated in his statement that there is no specific drug available for this disease. He has said that only pain relievers are available. Through the pain reliever, you can only relieve the pain but you cannot cure the disease. I would like to know from the Minister whether any committee, scientists, or any senior doctors are put on the job to find out any other alternative medicine. That is one thing. Another thing is, 129 districts are affected. As per the report, more than 11 lakh people are affected. The number of deaths reported is zero. I would like to know...
MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: That question has been put by everybody. There is no need to repeat. (Interruptions) Why do you repeat it?
SHRI SU. THIRUNAVUKKARASAR: What is the hesitation in accepting? I would like to know whether the States are afraid of telling the truth or you do not have the mechanism to find out. I would like to support the point of Mr. Shunmugasundaram when he insisted on the hon. Minister for establishing labs and the release of adequate funds to the States affected by this disease. Thank you. (Ends)
SHRIMATI HEMA MALINI (NOMINATED): I am sure the hon. Minister is going to work very hard in eradicating the chikungunya from all over the country. I request him to start the work right from our own House because there are so many mosquitoes biting us. (Ends)
(Followed by kls/2b)
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DR. K. MALAISAMY: Mr. Deputy Chairman, Sir, thank you very much...(Interruptions)...
MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Dr. Malaisamy. ...(Interruptions)... Only one minute. ...(Interruptions)... You keep up your promise. ...(Interruptions)...
DR. K. MALAISAMY (TAMIL NADU): Sir, on a major menace like this, we should put our heads together and pull our weight together. In that process, the Minister has said that he has taken a lot of preventive and curative measure. My pertinent question is: in the process of your measures, are the efforts that have been made all out or is it only just a marginal or a usual or a routine effort? That is number one. ...(Interruptions)...
MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Your one minute is over. ...(Interruptions)...
DR. K. MALAISAMY: Number two. Sir, I am asking the Minister whether he can afford to gauge a time frame to drive out this menace once for all from this country. I do not know whether from his commonsense or whatever it is he is able to give us a rough time frame within which we should be relieved. Lastly, ...(Interruptions)...
MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: That is from the management angle. ...(Interruptions)...
DR. K. MALAISAMY: In the process of various measures he has given, I would like to ask that there should be certainly certain grey weak areas, whether he is able to identify the deficiency or inadequacy and the measures called for. . ...(Interruptions)...
MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: We will have to ask him to start analysis. ...(Interruptions)... Now Mr. Minister. ...(Interruptions)... No, no, you cannot, please ...(Interruptions)... That is not possible. ...(Interruptions)... How much the Health Minister inspires, then, we will decide about lunch. ...(Interruptions)... I have reserved it. .... (Interruptions)...
THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE (DR. ANBUMANI RAMADOSS): First of all, Sir, I would like to thank my colleague, Mr. Narayanasamy for bringing this very important issue to the notice of this House through his Calling Attention. In fact, Sir, rightly the whole country is apprehensive of this problem of chikungunya. It is coming to India after a span of 32 years. This disease was prevalent mostly in Africa. It started in Africa and in some islands of the Indian Ocean, which were very badly affected last year and this year. It has come to India and it has been spreading to different States, particularly, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat and people nearly in 130 districts have been affected by this disease. Sir, Mr. Naryanasamy wanted a clarification on the dispute in the Madhya Pradesh's figures. Sir, there is no denial nod from the Government of India or rather the State Government also and whatever information we get we accept it and we inform the House and public about the numbers. Sir, the Government of India is going for a new programme called the Integrated Disease Surveillance Project. It is a World Bank funded project and we are spending Rs.350 crores to Rs.400 crores. After its implementation, maybe in one-and-a-half year the whole programme will be implemented, we will be getting more accurate figures of every village and every block in this country of any disease affecting. We have 11 parameters initially to be shifted. But today, Sir, I depend on the State Governments, as health is a State Subject and whatever information they give me, I have to depend on the State Government's surveillance data, and to collect it and inform the House and the public.
The concern about tribal people in Madhya Pradesh who are affected by this disease of chikungunya, yes, sir, as I said, it is a viral disease spread by the Aedes mosquito, which is day biting mosquito. And unfortunately, it is day biting mosquito and nets could not be used in the day time. This has been there in some areas where it is water-starved area. Recently it is more prevalent in the water-starved areas than water logged areas because this is a fresh water-breeding mosquito and the water used and kept in the earthen pots or plastic containers kept outside the houses. These are the best places for breeding of this mosquito. That is why we have given advisory on preventive aspects like community participation, on how we should go about it and that it is not only the Government's responsibility but also of the local bodies, community, NGOs, State-based, community-based organisations. A lot of people have to have involvement and that is what we are trying to do. We are giving information education communication activities. That is the topmost priority for creating awareness among the pubic. (Contd by 2C)
DR. ANBUMANI RAMDOSS (CONTD.): He was asking whether it has been started in other countries. Originally, it originated in Tanzania. That is why, in fact, Prof. Bhandari wanted to know what is the medicine for Chikungunya. It is a Tanzanian word. It was founded in Tanzania and from there it spread to other countries. It is more prevalent in Africa and in some Indian Ocean countries also.
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (SHRI SHARAD PAWAR): Why the word, 'chickun'?
DR. ANBUMANI RAMDOSS: The word is in Tanzanian language.
SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: What do you mean by 'chicken' in Tanzanian language?
DR. ANBUMANI RAMDOSS: I am not aware of that. It has nothing to do with the bird flu.
SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: What is the meaning of 'chicken' in Tanzanian language?
DR. ANBUMANI RAMDOSS: I will inform the hon. Member about that. In fact, this has sometimes been confusing with the recent bird flu also. That is why we have created a lot of IEC activities. This has nothing to do with bird flu. This is a different disease altogether; and he said that adequate medicines were not available in Madhya Pradesh. Yes, if there is an issue, we will definitely look into it. As I said, there is no treatment concept of medicine for Chikungunya. Paracetamol is enough to tide over the fever and non-aspirin type analgesics are required. Sir, lot of colleagues have been asking about the figures of death. Figures of death are there. I will come to that later. This disease is a non-debilitating, non-fatal disease. As it is, people getting Chikungunya is not fatal. But, sometimes, there may be complications due to false mode of treatment which leads to kidney failure and other issues. Complications are there because of wrong mode of treatment by some people. That is why even doctors are now being sensitised. Sometimes, there are some errant doctors who give unnecessary anti-biotics, who give steroids and NaCld and sometimes complications arise due to that. But people generally do not die just because they get Chikungunya disease. In fact, he wanted us to send a team. Already a team has been sent to Madhya Pradesh.
SHRI N. JOTHI: Sir,...
MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: No, no, please; let him complete.
SHRI N. JOTHI: I am sorry. I have been elected here to put questions to him, not to listen to what he says. Death is due to Chikungunya only. What is this? (Interruptions)
SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: You cannot impose...(Interruptions)...
MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Mr. Narayanasamy, I will handle. No, (Interruptions) Mr. Jothi, we function here. You have been elected. We all know that all of us are elected. The question is we are following certain rules. The Minister is replying. I cannot go on allowing you to interrupt the Minister and go on putting...(Interruptions)...You see, whether the answer is (Interruptions).
SHRI N. JOTHI: One hundred and fifty people died in Tamil Nadu. He is from Tamil Nadu and he must be knowing it.
MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: No, no, Mr. Jothi, please sit down. The Minister in the Calling Attention makes a statement. The Members are given an opportunity to seek certain clarifications and the Minister replies to those clarifications. That is the end of it. There is no debate. There is no question and answer...(Interruptions)...
SHRI N. JOTHI: I am more concerned about deaths.
MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: That is all right.
DR. ANBUMANI RAMDOSS: Even I am concerned about deaths. Not only you, everybody is concerned about deaths. You are not the only one.
MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Mr. Jothi, that is your opinion. Everybody respects your opinion. Let the Minister complete.
SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: They are concerned...(Interruptions)...
MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Mr. Narayanasamy, please sit down.
DR. ANBUMANI RAMDOSS: Sir, Mr. Narayanasamy wanted to know whether a team could be sent to Madhya Pradesh. A team has been sent already and taking the intentions of a lot of Members from Madhya Pradesh, may be we could even send teams to the areas. If hon. Members asks us specifically as to which areas are affected, they can inform the Ministry and we could send more of them. Of course, you were saying that medicines are not available. Yes, Sir, basically, Paracetamol Anthroid, I am sure, definitely, is available in all the States. It is the responsibility of the State Governments to supply adequate medicines and pertaining to other chemicals like Temephos, Pyrethrum extracts. We have been sending adequate amounts. Whatever the State Governments have asked us, we have been sending adequate amounts of these materials to the State Governments to do indoor fogging or to mix it with the water which is used among the cattle and on the water stagnating outside the house. (Contd. by NBR/2D)
DR. ANBUMANI RAMDOSS (CONTD.): Coming to Mr. Madhu's question of not presenting the correct picture, Yes, Sir, I have already said that this is the picture given by the State Governments and today I have to rely on the information -- surveillance, amount, quantum of problem, etc. -- given to me by the State Governments. I am dependent on them. That is why I have given this information.
And, he has also said that nothing has been done for prevention. Yes, Sir. As I said, this disease has come to India after thirty-two years. And, we have a National Vector-borndisease Control Programme where we have five components, Malaria, Filariasis, Japanese Encephalitis, Kala Azar and Dengi. Now, we have added Chickungunya also to this Programme after an outbreak this year.
Sir, the preventive mode of Chickungunya is literally like the preventive mode of other diseases. As I said, the straining of water, emptying vessels i.e., more of IEC activities, is the most prevention aspect we have to enlighten and which we are trying to do with active cooperation of the State Governments.
Sir, the hon. Member has been saying that the spending in the health sector has decreased. I, definitely, would like to strongly counter that point. In fact, when the UPA Government had taken over, one of the important decisions taken was to increase the public spending on the health sector from 0.9 per cent to a minimum of 2 to 3 per cent of the GDP. After I have taken over as Minister two years ago, the total Budget for Health Ministry, approximately, was Rs. 6,500 crores. Today, in a matter of two years, it has gone up, approximately, to Rs. 11,000 crores. Definitely, the Government is spending a lot more. In fact, in the Eleventh Plan...(Interruptions)...I am coming to that...(Interruptions)...
MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: He is giving the figure...(Interruptions)...
SHRI PENUMALLI MADHU: Sir, what actually is spent...(Interruptions)...
SHRI YASHWANT SINHA: What is actually spent on health? ...(Interruptions)...
DR. ANBUMANI RAMDOSS: I am coming to that...(Interruptions)...
MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: You can have a discussion on the Health Ministry wherein you can discuss all that. Not now...(Interruptions)...
DR. ANBUMANI RAMDOSS: The public spending means that all the State Governments have to cooperate. It is not only the Government's spending. It is both the Government of India and State Governments' spending. That is the public spending. We are trying to achieve the figure.
Under the National Rural Health Mission, we have asked the State Governments to increase their spending on health sector by 10 per cent each year in the next five years. So, we are putting a lot of conditions on the State Governments and we are going on that. So, there is no question of decreased amount of spending. I agree that the spending is not enough. But, we are trying to correct the deficiency which had been there in the last fifty years.
Sir, Mr. Nandi Yellaiah asked how assistance, through medicines etc., to those affected is given? The medicines are given by the State Governments. Other colleagues have asked about the monetary compensation, which, I think, the State Governments are entitled to do it. We don't have, at the national level, any policy as such to take decisions.
Mr. Shunmugasundaram has asked about the lab facilities. Yes, Sir. When the hon. Health Ministers of Southern States, including Gujarat, met me they had asked some contribution, some requirements from the Government of India. I have acceded to. We are already doing that. We have done something. And, in the course of time, we are going to do that. One of the requests was for having a lab in the Southern part of India. We have considered that and we will be setting up a lab in the Southern part of India. We have not specified any location as yet. But, we will be setting up a lab in Delhi, one in Pune and one is Southern India. But, maintaining a lab is supposed to be a...
SHRI RAVULA CHANDRA SEKAR REDDY: It may be set up in Hyderabad.
MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Don't raise the issue that it should be set up at Hyderabad or Karnataka.
DR. ANBUMANI RAMDOSS: It is very difficult to maintain that.
Smt. Indira said about the number of deaths reported in the media. I would like to say that I have already answered that question. She asked about the actual cause of deaths and complications as reported in the media. But, I could only report to the House the official communication that I have received from the States.
She also asked about the financial assistance. Again, Sir, the State Governments have to take a policy decision. We are not in a position to do that.
Smt. Maya Singh has asked about the visit of teams to the affected places. I have already replied to this question. Teams have already been sent to the affected places in Madhya Pradesh. But, if you have any specific area under your knowledge, please do enlighten us so that we could send more teams there.
She also asked what the research departments are doing. Yes, Sir, the ICMR has taken up this task of going more actively into research and what can we do in this regard. But, globally, there is no vaccine for Chickungunya. But, again, ICMR is trying to do more research activities with other global partners, like the WHO. (CONTD. BY USY "2E")
DR. ANBUMANI RAMDOSS (CONTD.): As for IEC activities, I have been saying that a lot of IEC has been done, is being done and is going to be done, because it is one of the most important modes of prevention. People must avoid stagnating rubbers, rubber dinghies, tyres and other plastic containers; every week, they must strain the water using a white cloth and the cloth must be dried. All these activities need to be done. Also, we are providing sufficient quantum of indoor sprays, the pyrethrum extracts; they need to be used as indoor sprays and not outdoor sprays, and fogging needs to be done inside the room for about fifteen minutes. We are trying to supply all these things to the State Governments. Also, in coordination with the State Governments, we are spreading a lot of information using communication and awareness concepts.
Shri Jothi, in his usual rhetoric, has asked as to why the incidence of disease cannot be anticipated. Sir, this disease, like I said, has come after 32 years. Diseases recognize no borders and they could strike any time. For instance, the Bird Flu affected a lot of developed countries. Nobody expected that Bird Flu would strike the UK, Spain, or France. Thus, it has no borders. Now, once it has struck, we are trying to go all out for its prevention and are taking all possible steps. The Government of India, along with the State Governments, is taking all possible steps to do away with this problem. The hon. Member spoke about a laboratory; I have already answered this question.
Shrimati Anusuya spoke about sending a team to Madhya Pradesh, to which I have already said that if there are any specific....(Interruptions)
Shrimati Prema Cariappa spoke about providing fogging machines to the districts. Sir, it is the duty of the State Governments to provide fogging machines for their programmes; we provide the necessary chemicals and other components, but fogging machines are provided by the State Governments. Even then, for the first time, as a one-time measure, I have issued orders to the Ministry to send fogging machines to some of the very badly affected districts as a Central assistance, specifically for this case of Chikungunya. We have about 500 to 1000 fogging machines now, which will be sent to the most affected districts in various States. About the teams, of course, in Karnataka...(Interruptions)
Sir, Shri Mysura Reddy has talked about eradication of mosquitoes. Already, under the National Vector-borne Diseases Control Programme, we have been doing a lot of programmes for collective eradication of mosquitoes. Approximately 500 districts, in this country, are affected by Malaria. This is a huge problem that we are having. We are trying to reduce the burden. It is a huge task, it is a himalayan task, for us to do. The problem is there not only in India, but it is a global phenomenon and we are trying our best.
Sir, Shri Gireesh Kumar Sanghi was asking as to where the disease had come from. It came from Tanzania in Africa. He was asking, why only 10,000 samples have been tested. This is mostly a clinical disease. Any doctor could clinically diagnose; but then, sometimes, as the problem recurs, it has been found to be identical with Dengue; there are similarities. That is why, among the affected cases we have picked up 10,000 samples, and, as I said, we have also increased the quantum of procurement of reagents, which could be used for testing. Also, suppose, one village is affected, we carry tests in that village and if experts say that there are one or two cases that tested positive, then, it is declared an endemic area. So, based on that, we go for mass-scale preventive measures.
Mr. Bhandari mentioned Tanzania; in fact, Chikungunya means, "that which contorts or bends" in Swahili language. As for the symptoms, I have already mentioned that there would be joint pains, swelling and fever; it has an incubation period of about two to four days and that is followed by fever for about five days to one week or sometimes even more than that. And, subsequently, there is swelling in the joints and joint pains; Paracetamol and lot of fluids need to be taken. (Contd. by 2f -- VP)
DR. ANBUMANI RAMDOSS (CONTD.): And, Mr. Prasanta Chatterjee has rightly been saying about the biological efforts we have been making. It is rightly so, Sir. In fact, one of the best examples was in the Maharashtra State where gampuzia and guppies fish were let out into a lot of fresh water ponds. And, there has been a drastic reduction in the mosquitoes prevalent in that area. We are supplying them free of cost. We are ready to supply any amount of fish to the different States and they are actively propagating it by taking the Maharashtra model. Gujarat is taking it up, and Madhya Pradesh is also taking it up. We have asked all the other States also to take it up, in a big way.
Mr. Thirunavukkarasar was asking whether any research work had been done or not. Yes, Sir. The Indian Council of Medical Research has been doing research. I have always been telling that there is no active vaccine. But, we are going on for global partners. We are going to take it up more actively. He was asking what is the hesitation in accepting the truth. This is what I get from the State Governments. I have been getting this information through the State Government surveillance mechanism. There is no denying from the Government of India. ...(Interruptions)...
MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: No; no. ...(Interruptions)... I cannot allow a debate on the Health Ministry.
DR. ANBUMANI RAMDOSS: Shri Malaisamy raised the issue whether the efforts are all out or marginal. I do not know how to answer this question. Definitely, the Government is going all out. This is a matter of great concern. This disease is spreading to other States also. We are very much concerned about it. In fact, we have to do this work in coordination with the State Governments and we are doing it. I have been actively in touch with all the State Health Ministers, personally and officially also. We are very seriously trying to tackle this huge problem. But, this needs not only the Health Ministry's involvement, but also, like I said, the involvement of the community, the NGOs', Corporates, State Governments, etc. Everybody should be involved. Especially, the hon. Members of Parliament should have more involvement in spreading the IEC activities, that is, the Information, Education and Communication activities.
Sir, with these words, I would like to once again assure that the Government of India is taking active steps in preventing, and, in tackling this problem of chikungunya. Thank you. (Ends)
THE CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2006.
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL): Sir, I beg to move for leave to introduce a Bill further to amend the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
The question was put and the motion was adopted.
SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL: Sir, I introduce the Bill.
STATEMENT RE: IMPLEMENTATION OF HUNDRED AND NINETEENTH REPORT OF DEPARTMENT-RELATED PARLIAMENTARY STANDING COMMITTEE ON HOME AFFAIRS.
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL) : Sir, I lay a statement on the status of the implementation of recommendations contained in the Hundred and Nineteenth Report of the Department-Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs. (Ends)
MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: The House is adjourned for lunch for one hour.
at twenty nine minutes past one of the clock.