The nuclear liability bill was withdrawn in the first half of the budget session in 2010, and the motion to introduce it in the second session was not supported by the opposition. The opposition questioned the legislative competence of the bill based on the work we did with Soli Sorabjee earlier. Soon the bill was sent to the Standing Committee, entrusted with the job of reviewing it.
While the bill was getting ready for the Parliament, Greenpeace started an online petition asking the Prime Minister to hold a public consultation before passing the liability bill. Nearly 2 lakh people signed this petition and the signatures were faxed to the Prime Minister’s office till they blocked our lines.
Greenpeace deposed before the Committee on the six clauses and also arranged depositions from various experts on those 6 clauses. We also presented 1.87 lakh signatures on the petition demanding public consultation.
Soon after our deposition, the Standing Committee published an advertisement announcing a wider consultation on the nuclear liability bill. This was a clear victory for all those who signed the petition.