Women’s Reservation Bill: Key Highlights Of The Legislation Tabled In Lok Sabha

The reservations, if passed by parliament, will come into effect only after the next delimitation exercise due after 2026.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>File image of the Parliament building in Delhi.&nbsp;(Source: Reuters)</p></div>
File image of the Parliament building in Delhi. (Source: Reuters)

Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal tabled the women’s reservation bill in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, citing the government's effort to bring "nari shakti" to the forefront.

The bill seeks to reserve one-third of the seats in the Lok Sabha, Delhi and other state legislatures across the country for women candidates, according to the document uploaded on the Sansad website.

Also known as the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-eighth) Amendment Bill, 2023, it is the culmination of 27-year efforts for women’s representation at the state and national level. The last attempt was made in 2010, when an earlier version of the bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha but that failed to get the nod of the Lok Sabha.

India already reserves one-third of the seats for women in Panchayati Raj elections.

To be sure, the reservations won't be implemented anytime soon as the quota, if passed by parliament, will come into effect only after the next delimitation exercise, which is due after 2026. Moreover, that requires the latest census data, which has been delayed.

Here are the key highlights of the latest bill:

Women's Reservation Bill: Key Highlights

  • Reserve one-third of all seats for women in the Lok Sabha, state legislative assemblies, and the legislature of the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

  • Of these, one-third of the seats will be reserved for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.

  • Reservations shall cease to exist 15 years after the commencement of the law.

  • Reserved seats may be rotated.

  • The provisions, once passed, shall take effect only after an exercise of delimitation done for the purpose.

  • Delimitation will be based on the figures collated after the first census subsequent to the bill’s passage.

  • The amendment shall take effect only after the dissolution of the respective house or legislative assembly, and shall not affect any existing representation.