Arvind Kejriwal


Key bills were passed in the parliament and postponed to the winter session amid turmoil, disagreements, outrage regarding Manipur violence, walkouts, a failed no-confidence motion, and a flying kiss controversy. While numerous controversial bills have been approved or introduced under the banner of “decolonizing India’s judiciary,” many political analysts argue that these bills are nothing more than a means of gaining influence over the legislature and the law.

The Monsoon session of Parliament, which began on July 20, 2023, ended on August 11, 2023, amid chaos, debates, outrage over Manipur violence, and drama over a no-confidence motion. This monsoon session had the largest number of bills passed yet the lowest amount of productive hours. 14 of the 23 bills passed this session were approved in 22 hours of discussion. With certain bills adopted minutes into discussion, the legitimacy and democratic significance of the two houses come into doubt.

According to PRS Legislative Research, despite the fact that parliament only met for half of its designated period, this session had a high level of legislative activity. 56% of the bills introduced in the session were passed by both houses. During the session, the Lok Sabha functioned for 43% of its scheduled time, while the Rajya Sabha functioned for 55%. Here is a tabular representation of a few bills passed in the session as per the report by PRS Legislative Research:

Bills passed Lok Sabha Rajya Sabha
Time spent on discussion Members participated Time spent on discussion Members participated
The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi(Amendment) Bill, 2023 4 hrs 54 mins 26 8 hrs 3 mins 32
The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023 56 mins 8 1 hr 9 mins 6
The Forest(Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023 38 mins 4 1 hr 41 mins 11
The Mines and Minerals(Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2023 19 mins 2 1 hr 34 mins 11
The Central Goods and Service Tax(Amendment) Bill, 2023 2 mins 0 3 mins 0
The Integrated Goods and Services Tax(Amendment) Bill, 2023 2 mins 0 3 mins 0

Here is a detailed analysis of some of the most controversial bills:

The Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023: On May 11, 2023, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Delhi government in Delhi Government vs. Centre, granting it power over most services in the capital city, excluding public order, land, and police problems. According to the Supreme Court, Article 239A establishes a legislative assembly for the National Capital Territory of Delhi. The Delhi electorate chooses the members of the legislative assembly. Art. 239A must be interpreted in order to further representative democracy.

If a democratically elected government is not given the power to control the officers, the principle of the triple chain of accountability will be redundant.”

– CJI DY Chandrachud

However, on May 19, the centre issued an ordinance to overturn the decision of the Supreme Court. To replace the ordinance, the Delhi Service Bill was introduced. The law gives the Central Government the authority to create regulations governing the affairs of the Delhi Government, including the functions, terms, and other conditions of service of officials and employees. The new measure also creates the National Capital Civil Services Authority (NCCSA), which would make recommendations to the LG on transfers, postings, and disciplinary issues. The bill also grants the LG (indirectly the central government) vast powers over the calling, promulgation, and dissolution of the Delhi Legislative Assembly, as well as the appointment of the Chief Minister and other ministries.  

The bill was approved by both houses of parliament. After the bill was passed in the Lok Sabha, the opposition walked out. The opposition questioned the prime minister’s vow to grant Delhi full autonomy. 

Repeatedly, the BJP has promised that it will give full statehood to Delhi. In 2014, Modi himself said that upon becoming Prime Minister, he would give full statehood to Delhi. But today, these people stabbed the people of Delhi in the back. Don’t believe anything about Modi ji from now on.” 

Arvind Kejriwal tweeted

Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, and the Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, 2023: On August 11, the Home Minister, Amit Shah, proposed three bills to replace the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPc), and the Evidence Act. These bills were proposed as part of an effort to decolonize the Indian judiciary.

As many as 313 changes have been proposed in the three criminal laws, and the objective is to ensure that people who approach the courts get justice within three years. The laws that are being replaced were essentially aimed at safeguarding the continuation of the British administration, and their objective was to punish, not deliver justice. The new laws will safeguard constitutional rights and deliver justice. These laws will be imbibed with the Indian soul.”

Amit Shah, Home Minister

The three bills were sent to the standing committee, which is instructed to deliver a report before the winter session begins. The administration intends to enact and execute these bills before the end of the year. The full evaluation of these three bills paints a quite different picture from the one painted by the home minister in the house. The Indian Express writes:

There is a disjunct between the manner in which these bills are being presented and their actual content. They are far from being an overhaul that will be the panacea for issues that plague India’s criminal justice system. Large parts of these three bills simply reproduce existing provisions of the Indian Penal Code, the Criminal Procedure Code, and the Indian Evidence Act.”

The lack of public participation, the complete repeal and revocation of certain sections, and the introduction of such comprehensive changes in a relatively short period of time are some of the major practical concerns about the sudden replacement of the legal system, which can lead to disruption in the legal system. According to political analysts, these bills represent an indirect legalisation of the regime’s violations of human rights. Here is a tabular depiction of some sections of the bills and their relationship to the ruling party’s current demonstration of human rights violations.

Extension of Detention Period Extension of the detention period without any charges from the current duration to 90 days Many news reports and declarations by human rights organisations expressed concern over the unlawful arrest and incarceration of many anti-CAA activists during the Delhi Riots of 2020. Various court statements addressed this serious issue. “These defenders, many of them students, appear to have been arrested simply because they exercised their right to denounce and protest against the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act), and their arrest seems clearly designed to send a chilling message to India’s vibrant civil society that criticism of government policies will not be tolerated.” : UN Experts  
Discretionary Powers for Law Enforcement Discretionary powers, such as the ‘right to handcuff,’ to law enforcement officers raise ethical and practical concerns. According to The Swaddle’s 2022 report, at least 4484 people died in police custody in the last two years. From the attack on Jamia Millia Islamia students in Delhi to the use of pellet guns and smoke bombs on farmers, India has seen an increase in police violence. The new law gives police authority rather than control, raising fears about police violence and reducing the legal ability to demand accountability. 
Gendered Provisions New Rape law applies specifically to women This law not only advocates heteronormativity but also toxic masculinity and makes it more difficult for male victims of sexual assault to come forward and report their abuse. The transgender population is one of the most vulnerable to such laws. The government’s queerphobic behaviour and implementation of the trans bill in 2019, despite enormous community protests, raises a larger concern about governments’ stance on trans issues.
Impact on minority rights Provisions on “Love Jihad” Several international and national human rights organisations have questioned the Love Jihad law and how it is being used against Muslims. With examples of Hindu vigilantes collaborating with police and mob lynchings of Muslims under the name of love jihad on the rise. Providing full legal status raises serious concerns about the safety of minorities in the country.

Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service, and Term of Office) Bill, 2023: On August 10, 2023, the BJP government introduced this bill in the Rajya Sabha in an effort to alter the current method of appointment of election commission officers. This bill will take power away from the CJI and give the ruling party enormous influence in appointing the EC. The Wire reports:

Section 7 of this new Bill seeks to set up a selection committee headed by the prime minister, which will have one Union minister, nominated by the prime minister, and the Leader of the Opposition (LoP) as its members. Neither the Chief Justice of India nor any eminent jurist will find a place on this committee. This means that the chief election commissioner (CEC) and other election commissioners (ECs) would be selected by the political executive belonging to the ruling party, with the LoP either ignored or overruled. What kind of ‘neutrality and independence’ can be expected from such appointees?”

This bill will give the ruling party enormous authority over the Election Commission, raising concerns about the transparency and credibility of the world’s largest democratic elections.

Some of the other bills include:

  1. Forest Conservation(Amendment) Bill, 2023 which allows non-forest activities on forest lands and permits clearance of forest within 100kms of national border.
  2. Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023 which will hold accountable private entities that are in the business of leveraging people’s data in order to further their agenda or make profit, though it also provides leeway for the government to work its way out despite large-scale surveillance.
  3. The Mines and Minerals(Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2023 allows the private sector to mine 6 out of 12 atomic minerals. It also empowers the central government to exclusively auction mining leases and composite licences for certain critical minerals.

Many other bills were introduced and passed, including the Cinematography (Amendment) Bill, Pharmacy (Amendment) Bill, Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, and others. To read a detailed overview of all bills passed, here is the detailed article by IndiaToday.

Every year, multiple bills are passed, introduced, and rejected throughout the three sessions of parliament. The most crucial aspect, however, is the procedure through which bills are passed. With more bills approved in such a short period of time, without enough debate, question rounds, proper involvement of the opposition, or ignoring questions by taking advantage of other issues, the legitimacy of legislative or judicial reforms comes into doubt. With the declining state of democracy and the regime’s increasing attacks on minorities through a translucent lens, the introduction of new bills raises the question of whether these bills are introduced to bring reform or fill gaps in the existing system, or are simply a way to gain control over the major democratic bodies with power, a path towards fascism in India?

Feature Image Credits: Newslaundry

Read Also: Is the Judiciary Really Independent in India?

Dhruv Bhati

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A lecturer at Netaji Subhash Institute of  Technology (NSIT) has alleged the Dean of Undergraduate Studies of using “illegal” means to reduce the marks of some of the students in the subject of Environmental Science.


Surendra Kumar Yadav, a lecturer of Environmental Science (FE-006) at NSIT, recently wrote a letter to Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister of Delhi, and Manish Sisodia, the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, regarding issues with the marks of students in the subject.


The letter, dated 4th September 2018, stated that he had awarded decent marks to all his students, however, the Dean of Undergraduate Studies of the college, Dr Sujata Sengar, reduced the marks of some students through unfair means due to her “biases” against the students.


The course is set up for students in their second and fourth semester of BE Undergraduate Programme. At the end of the semesters, after the lecturer’s signature, the final mark sheet needs to be signed by the dean. However, Yadav alleges that she refused to sign it, and the papers evaluated and checked by him were sent for rechecking intentionally, so that the final score of some students could be reduced.

He further says that the Director of the college was also involved in the same, as he is like a “puppet in her hands.” Yadav obtained the two different mark sheets by filing an RTI after some of his students told him that they had not scored well despite their hard work. The two different mark sheets were attached with the letter to the authorities.


The letter further requested the authorities to take an action against the dean or she would “spoil the career of many such students due to her biases”. Yadav proposed the formation of an inquiry committee consisting of people not associated with NSIT, under the chairmanship of a retired judge, to look into the matter. Though the authorities have not replied to the letter yet, Yadav hopefully told DU Beat that “they must be doing something”.


He has been barred from teaching for the current semester, and says it is due to the dean’s “anarchy”.


DU Beat tried contacting Yadav for the names and the contact details of the students who have suffered in the situation, but to no avail.


A student in the third year of Electronics and Communication Engineering, on the condition of anonymity, told DU Beat about the general discord and negativity in the institution with respect to the Dean.


When DU Beat contacted Sengar, she said “I certainly refuse the allegations. However, I am not in a position to comment on this, as of now.”


Khyati Sanger

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Nikhil Kumar

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In a protest held by the All India Student’s Federation (AISA) from the Civil Lines Metro Station to the residence of Chief Minister (CM) Arvind Kejriwal on 31st August 2018, the students demanded concessions for students travelling on AC buses.

Led by AISA leaders like President Kawalpreet Kaur and Secretary Madhurima Kundu, the thirty-odd strong group of students marched to Raj Niwas shouting slogans for the reduction in a price hike for AC buses.

Five members of the party including Ms. Kaur were allowed to go in to discuss their demands with the CM, while the rest of the students sat at dharna in front of the barricades outside the CM’s residence. After almost six hours of the sit-in protest, during which the party members outside sang protest songs and spoke about issues troubling the common student like fee hike, a conclusion was reached. In a press release, AISA members raised allegations of manhandling by the police inside the CM’s residence when a student from Hansraj College was kicked out. However, later they were soon called back into the CM’s office to wait. Finally, around 7 p.m. the CM met the student leaders and agreed to ensure the entire process for validation of the Student’s Bus passes.

AISA has been protesting for this issue since 25th January 2018 when they led another mass delegation of students to the CM’s office. The CM had then agreed to extend the validity of DTC bus passes from four months to six months for students and extended its preview to AC buses as well. However, since then, no such plan was executed.

In an official press release by AISA, the party mentions that the CM has agreed to complete the validation of the Student’s Bus Pass in AC buses within a month from 1st September. Mr. Kejriwal also tweeted recently about expediting the same.


In the same press release, AISA also mentions that it will now continue to further their demand and meet the Housing and Urban Minister, Hardeep Puri, on 3rd August 2018, demanding metro concessional passes for students.

Feature Image Credits: Adithya Khanna for DU Beat

Sara Sohail

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The incident took place on Tuesday when Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi’s current Chief Minister, was visiting Satyawati College for their NCC fest. Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia were the chief guests of the event. As the CM was leaving, his car was obstructed by four students who were stopped and detained for over an hour.

These students belonged to left-wing backed organisation AISA and claimed wanting to present a four point memorandum to the CM which included better facilities for students such as metro concessions passes and special university buses for women etcetera.

The authorities rejected the alleged claims of the students and claimed that they wanted to click selfies with the CM and hence tried to stop his car. Mr. Bharat Singh the NCC officer of Satywati, also in charge of heading the fest described the student’s claim as baseless and reinforced that they actually just wanted to click selfies with Mr. Kejriwal.

The students later identified as Dhanpal, Raj Singh, Raj Aryan and Utkarsh Bhardwaj, stated that they wanted to peacefully approach the CM when they were blocked by the security personnel and detained.


Picture credits: tribuneindia.com


Tarushi Varma

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Disclaimer: Bazinga is DU Beat’s weekly column of almost believable fake news!

With the fest season around the corner, and Delhi Government being in the mood to experiment with new policies and attention grabbing tactics, Kejriwal has now come up with a rather amusing order. The Delhi CM has ordered DU colleges to have a compulsory muffler stall at their respective annual fests!

The organising committee members of various colleges, who are on their toes over their annual fest preparations, have to meet a new request by the CM, of setting up muffler stalls at their respective fests. Insiders have shared with us that following the odd-even policy, Kejriwal is planning to derive the young voter’s opinion on the policy. He is planning to do that by asking them to buy mufflers to show support to the odd-even policy and its continuation.

According to sources, Kejriwal has launched a massive Main Muffler Wala Kejriwal’ campaign among colleges so as to launch a survey among students about AAP policies in general and the Odd-Even rule in particular. As a part of the campaign, most of the well-known DU Colleges would set up an ‘AAP ka Muffler’ stall where students who support the odd-even ruling take the muffler and register themselves with the volunteers.

On being quizzed by us, one of the union members of a renowned DU college, on condition of anonymity told us, “We’ve been told to incorporate this ‘special stall’ at our fest, else we have been indirectly cautioned of consequences of not following this order. We already had sponsor hurdles and other tasks to take care of, and now this is diverting our minds.”

An inside source, while talking to us divulged that, “This is a constructive move towards a survey among students so we thought why not take advantage of the fest season and the popularity of Kejriwal jis muffler, so we developed this campaign with a lot of thought and analysis. We hope that students become a part of it enthusiastically.”

So what are you waiting for? Find your AAP ka muffler’ soon at a fest near you!

Riya Chhiber

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Graphic by Suhasini Sharma for DU Beat

Psst! Bazinga is our column of fake news!

Those in power and those fighting for it have made headlines this year, some for very controversial reasons. With the whole world eagerly anticipating the American Presidential election in 2016, it has been an eventful year for the electorate that’s watching the potential candidates. The elections that have taken place in 2015, both in India as well as abroad, will have long lasting impacts on politics in the years to come.

International Politics

  1. US Presidential Election candidates

As the world watches with bated breath, the potential party candidates for American President have been battling it out, trying to swing public support in their favour. Business tycoon and probable Republican party candidate, Donald Trump, leads with the highest support base, according to public opinion polls. His support base has risen from 27 percent of the Republican voters in October, to a whopping 41 percent in December. In the wake of shootings at San Bernadino in December, Trump courted controversy when he proposed a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States till better security measures are implemented. This suggestion only served to enhance his growing support-Republican voters were seen to be in favour of his idea, though it garnered flak from all quarters globally. A petition on the British Government’s website, seeking to ban Trump from the UK, has gathered over 500,000 signatures.

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Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders | Source: theodysseyonline.com

Meanwhile, former Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders, and former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton are vying for the Democratic party nomination. According to polls, Sanders lags Clinton by close to 25 points. Bernie Sanders and Trump have been on a collision course over their disparate views on economic policies, and other issues of national and international issues, with Sanders holding a more liberal, progressive viewpoint.

  1. UK General Election, May 7

For the first time since 1992, a Conservative Party majority government, with a working majority of 12, was elected in 2015, with David Cameron securing a second term as Prime Minister. The Labour party with Ed Miliband at the helm came a close second in terms of votes. The Liberal Democrats, who had governed in coalition with the Conservatives since 2010, suffered their worst defeat since the 1970 elections.

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David Cameron | Source : www.telegraph.co.uk
  1. Referendum in Greece, July 5

The European Commission, International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank jointly proposed certain bailout conditions on Greece, according to which, certain fiscal reforms would have to be implemented by the debt-ridden country, in consultation with the IMF, EC and ECB. A referendum, the first since 1974, was held to decide if these conditions were to be accepted. The public (over 61 percent) voted a clear no.

  1. Myanmar elections, November 8

The National League for Democracy, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, secured an absolute majority in the national parliament. The 2015 general elections were the first openly contested elections since 1990. The Union Solidarity and Development Party which has a strong military backing, with Thein Stein as President, had been ruling since 2010. The NLD’s victory marked a complete overthrow of the vestiges of the military rule that Myanmar had previously experienced till 2010.

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Suu Kyi | Source: www.storypick.com

Though the NLD won the elections, its leader, Suu Kyi is barred from holding the position of President according to the constitution since both her children are British citizens. The President will be chosen indirectly by the NLD dominated Legislature by March 2016.

National Politics

  1. Delhi Assembly Elections, February 7

The underdog, the Aam Aadmi Party, made history when it secured an absolute majority, winning 67 out of 70 seats, trumping the political heavyweights-the Congress and BJP. Arvind Kejriwal assumed office for the second time as Delhi’s CM, having resigned  after 49 days in office in 2014, due to issues over the Jan Lokpal Bill. Kejriwal is currently engaged in a spat with the BJP over allegations that Arun Jaitley was involved in certain irregularities, during his term as DDCA chief.

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Arvind Kejriwal | Source: www.zeenews.india.com
  1. Bihar Legislative Assembly Elections, October 12-November 5

The Bihar elections were a face off between the ‘Mahagatabandhan’ (an alliance between the JDU, led by Nitish Kumar in Bihar, and RJD, led by Lalu Prasad Yadav, supported by the Indian National Congress) and the BJP led NDA. The RJD won the highest number of seats (80) with the JDU coming a close second with 71. Nitish Kumar secured his third term as CM with the 2015 elections. The elections were a landslide victory for the alliance, as it trumped the NDA and BJP’s victory in the 2014 general elections, indicating that public opinion might have swung against Modi.

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Nitish Kumar | Source: www.indianexpress.com
  1. Narendra Modi’s foreign visits

During his tenure in office, PM Narendra Modi has made several international trips and met with leaders of various countries, in the interest of foreign policy and bilateral relations. Modi’s visit to the UAE in August was the first by an Indian PM in 34 years. He also became the first Indian PM to visit Mongolia in May. During his international visits, Modi sought the support of the leaders of several countries for India’s permanent membership in the UNSC.

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Modi with Nawaz Sharif | Source: www.bbc.com

On December 25, Modi made a sudden, impromptu visit to Lahore and met his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif. His ‘surprise,’ unannounced visit was seen globally as a sign of good will and improving relations between the two nations which have historically been at loggerheads.

Politician and social activist Arvind Kejriwal held an interactive session with the youth at the community centre, North Campus on 18th of February, 2013. The session was organized with the aim of confronting the youth on the problem of corruption and how the Lokpal bill drafted by the government is not really practical.

The session began at 2 am. Volunteers wearing caps saying “main hun aam aadmi” could be spotted easily.  Kejriwal was sitting on a pedestal wearing the same cap and addressing people that had gathered around him. Interestingly, the crowd that had gathered to listen to him was not more than 50% of the mass uprising that had happened earlier, making one feel a little odd and at the same time wonder whether this movement or the people associated with this movement, might have lost their sheen.

Kejriwal had brought with him sundry statistics and was frequently quoting data to support his arguments. He was essentially dealing with the Lokpal bill clause by clause, pointing out the flaws in each clause. For example, he quoted a particular clause that said that people who come under scrutiny for possessing large amounts of money for reasons unknown, would be given 2 days to justify why a raid should not take place at their house. This, according to Kejriwal, will give the grant the criminals an avenue to clear their houses of the black money and come out scot free. Also, talking in light about the Delhi  gang rape incident, he said that he’s sure the government will not pass strict laws against rapists, and will not strengthen mechanisms for non bailable offences, because half the ministers sitting in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are themselves criminals and they will all go to jail, the moment such acts are passed.

The session included active interactions, where Kejriwal was seen taking questions from the audience. However, the session did not attract the footfall most expected it to attract and therefore it largely remained a low-key event.