Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day after passage of Essential Defence Services Bill


After passing a bill that seeks to prohibit strike by anyone engaged in essential defence services, Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day amid continuous protests by opposition members over the Pegasus controversy and various other issues.

The Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021 was passed in Rajya Sabha through a voice vote after the House re-assembled at 3.40 pm.

The bill was cleared by Lok Sabha on August 3.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh piloted the bill in Rajya Sabha amid continuous sloganeering by the opposition members from the Well of the House.


Soon after the bill was cleared, Deputy Chairman Harivansh adjourned the House till 11 AM on Friday.

Rajya Sabha witnessed multiple disruptions throughout the day. The proceedings were adjourned thrice during the pre-lunch period and in the post-lunch period as well.

The House was first adjourned for 15 minutes during the Zero Hour and then again soon after it met at 11.30 AM. The House which met again at 12 noon was adjourned after opposition members continued to raise slogans in the Well and disrupted the proceedings.

Deputy chairman Harivansh continued with the Question Hour amid the din, but unrelenting members of the Congress, TMC and some other parties continued to create uproar.

He adjourned the House for the third time till 2 PM.

When the House met at 12 PM, Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge said some members were asked to withdraw from the House on Wednesday, but when they returned to collect their bags and other belongings after the House was adjourned, they were not allowed to enter.

He was referring to the suspension of six TMC MPs on Wednesday for carrying placards while protesting along with other opposition MPs over the Pegasus spying issue.

In the post-lunch period, the Deputy Chairman adjourned the proceedings of the House for half an hour following the protest and sloganeering by the opposition.

He finally adjourned the House for the day after the passage of the Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021. The bill allows the central government to prohibit strikes, lockouts, and layoffs in units engaged in essential defence services.

According to the Statements of Objects and Reasons of the Bill, Indian Ordnance Factories is the oldest and largest industrial setup which functions under the Department of Defence Production of the Ministry of Defence.

The Ordnance Factories form an integrated base for indigenous production of defence hardware and equipment, with the primary objective of self-reliance in equipping the armed forces with the state-of-the-art battlefield equipment.

In order to improve autonomy, accountability and efficiency in ordnance supplies, the government decided to convert the Ordnance Factory Board into one or more fully government-owned corporate entity or entities to be registered under the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013.

On June, 16, the government decided to convert the Ordnance Factory Board into seven Defence Public Sector Undertakings.

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