Parliament Live Updates | LS discusses Narcotics bill; Judges’ salary up for discussion in RS

On the tenth day of the proceedings, both the houses held extensive discussion on climate change. The Lower house is set to continue this discussion today.

While the Lok Sabha is discussing the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2021, the Upper House is discussing the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021. The attendance in both the houses is considerably low. While Congress members and MPs from like-minded parties have walked out of the Lok Sabha as the Government did not answer to the questions, the Rajya Sabha continues to witness protests over suspension of 12 MPs.

Here are the updates:

Rajya Sabha | 5.05 p.m.

Work towards enhancing judge-population ratio: BJD’s Amar Patnaik

BJD MP Amar Patnaik says “the judge-population ratio is alarming in our country and one of the lowest in the world”. Therefore, the most urgent step should be taken to ensure that number of judges are increased significantly, he says.

“Per capita spending on legal service is 75 paisa per case in our country and that’s where intervention is required,” the BJD MP says. Mr. Patnaik also reiterates the need for enhancing digital infrastructure of the courts. Highlighting that 75% of lower courts do not have separate toilets for women, he asks, “how worse can infrastructure get?”

Number of seats in National Law University also needs to be increased, he concludes.

Rajya Sabha | 4.55 p.m.

BJP MP K.J. Alphons requests the Opposition to “not question the Law Minister on vacancies and pendancy because most of it is State subject”.

Judges salaries have increased tremendously in the last few years, the BJP MP claims. Amidst support from the Opposition MPs, the BJP MP says, “Judges should be refrained from taking up other posts after retirement”.

Supporting the Opposition voices, the BJP MP also advocates for an alternate system to appoint judges and do away with the Collegium system. 

“Bring upon a system of examination that brings the best of talents in judiciary,” the BJP MP asks the Government. Reacting to Manoj Jha’s “there is a tunnel of darkness” comment, Mr. Alphons says “India was in a tunnel of darkness” and asks “why the Indira Gandhi-government brought in the word ‘socialist’ in our Constitution and why not ‘equalist’.”

Lok Sabha | 4.45 p.m

Drug abuse a disease, not a crime: NCP MP Supriya Sule

NCP MP Supriya Sadanand Sule urges the Govt. to not work “on the whims and the fancies of one officer” and bring in a concrete NDPS Law “in case you want to fight the drug menace”.

“Drug consumption is an illness,” she says, adding, “but those who consume are arrested and those who sell are not.”  “We will support a comprehensive Bill that helps eradicate drug menace, but an addict needs to go to rehab and not jail,” the NCP MP says.

Rajya Sabha | 4.40 p.m.

Ensure five-year cooling off period for retired judges before they take up Govt. position: Sanjay Singh

AAP MP Sanjay Singh says “Indian judiciary system is in place to support the privileged”.  Mr. Singh highlights the issue of pendancy and says, “as per a Niti Aayog data, if we start clearing all the pending cases today, it will take us 324 years to complete them.”

The AAP MP gives example of cases where people had to spend several years in jail before they were acquitted by the courts and relieved of all charges. “Fast-track courts, and establishing more courts should be a priority of the Government,” he says.

Mr. Singh highlights the importance of an independent judiciary. “When a judge is looking towards a government post as soon as he retires, he won’t deliver justice,” he says, asking the Government to rather increase the age of retirement of judges and “make a rule that for at least five years after retirement, SC and HC judges should be allowed to join a government post”.

Rajya Sabha | 4.30 p.m.

Judiciary should have more women representation: NCP MP

NCP MP Vandana Chavan says there is an urgent need of technology and digital infrastructure in courts. In some of the Tribunals, the judges unfortunately don’t have the knowledge of the subject and the law academy should look into this, the NCP MP says.

“We need to have a consultation with the judiciary to bring in a replacement of the Collegium system,” she says. The NCP MP also highlights the lower number of female judges in the judiciary. “At least 50% women should be included in the judicial process,” she says. Furthermore, the NCP MP also highlights the issue of pendancy, urging the Government to come up with a solution for the same.

Lok Sabha | 4.25 p.m

Arvind Ganpat Sawant, Shiv Sena MP from Mumbai South, highlights the “attack on the film makers” in this regard. “When Sushant Singh Rajput lost his life, BJP put up his posters in poll-bound Bihar with a caption na bhulenge, na bhulne denge (we will neither forget, nor let others forget),” the Shiv Sena MP says, asking “are we seriously trying to control drug abuse?”

“Instead of remedial action, they went after the Maharashtra State,” Mr. Sawant says. “The whole of Bollywood was given a bad name,” the Shiv Sena MP adds. “There shouldn’t be a politics on drugs,” Mr. Sawant says.

The Shiv Sena MP compares the case of Aryan Khan and the drug recovered at the Mundra Port in Gujarat, which is operated by Adani Ports. “The TV channels gave serious importance to the Cruise case where a very low quantity of drugs was found, but Mundra Port case remained off radar for the media as well,” Mr. Sawant says.

Rajya Sabha | 4.15 p.m.

TDP MP K. Ravindra Kumar highlights the issue of vacancy in subordinate courts and the lack of infrastructure at the courts.  “Judiciary is not financially independent,” the TDP MP says, adding “courts depend on the mercy of the State of the Central Government.”

“When Kapil Sibbal was the Law Minister, Arun Jaitley had made points on why judges should not appoint judges,” Mr. Kumar says. He adds: “the scenario hasn’t changed today and they should listen to their own words at least”.

Lok Sabha | 4.10 p.m

YSRCP MP from Tirupati, M. Gurumoorthy says highlights the data on deaths due drugs overdose and says “we should give more whip to the Narcotics Control Bureau and connect the NCB with State police”. 

The YSRCP MP also highlights the steps taken by the Andhra Pradesh Government to control drub abuse.

Rajya Sabha | 4.05 p.m.

Dalits suffer the most because of cases on undertrial prisoners: Manoj Jha

Manoj Kumar Jha, RJD MP from Bihar, says “if we look at the data of undertrial prisoners, 75% of them belong from the lower caste”.  He says there is a urgent need to increase diversity in the judiciary.

“When political life is so brutally divided, we need judges who can stand up to any power,” he says quoting former PM Nehru. He supports Nitin Gadkari’s advice that there should be a cooling-off period.

Mr. Jha says that there should be at least four more benches of the Supreme Court of India to ensure justice is in everybody’s reach.

Lok Sabha | 3.55 p.m.

DMK MP V. Kalanidhi, talking on the NDPS (Amendment) Bill, shoots several questions at the Government. “What was the need for this Bill,” he asks. “How many of these 238 listed drugs are being regularly consumed,” he further asks, adding, “can the list of 238 serious drugs be shortened?”

He says that adequate action is not being taken against people who sell or peddle drugs, but action is rather taken against those who are found to be possessing small quantities.

“Ordinances of this nature should not be promulgated,” Mr. Kalanidhi says, asking the Treasury Benches to oppose such ordinances and “help Parliament function better”.

Rajya Sabha | 3.50 p.m.

JD(U) MP Ram Nath Thakur says that while talking about the salaries and pensions of the judges, “there should also be an immediate decision on attacks in the court,” which, he says, is a “recent phenomenon”.

Mr. Thakur also asks the Government to think about the problem of overcrowding in the jails as well as decide on filling-up of vacancies in the court. The JD(U) MP also bats for reservation in judiciary to ensure enclusiveness.

Rajya Sabha | 3.45 p.m.

Samajwadi Party MP Ram Gopal Yadav says “SC, ST and OBC judges are required in the judiciary to eradicate injustice against the marginalised class”.

When cases related to injustice to Dalits reach course, their voice is not represented as the poor class does not have representation, the SP MP says. The Bill for judicial accountability, which was dismissed by the Supreme Court, should be brought back to the Parliament, Mr. Yadav concludes.

Lok Sabha | 3.40 p.m.

If proposed NDPS Bill is passed, nobody will be safe: Manish Tewari

Manish Tewari, Congress’ Anandpur Sahib (Punjab) MP, talking on the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, says, “if this bill is accepted in the form in which the Government has proposed it, it will nullify Article 20 of the Constitution.”

“If the proposed bill is passed, nobody in the country will be safe,” the Congress MP says. Mr. Tewari supports the idea of the NDPS Act, but expresses his reservation on the “content of the proposed Bill”.

The Bill will not stand judicial scrutiny, the Congress MP says, asking the Government to bring a Bill with further amendments.

Rajya Sabha | 3.30 p.m.

John Brittas, CPI(M) MP from Kerala, continues: “There are two kinds of judges those who know the law and the other who know Law Minister.” “How many judges do you know, Mr. Law Minister,” the CPI(M) MP asks.

He reminds the Law Minister that during the last expansion of the cabinet “sizeable number of OBC members were included, making it the most diverse cabinet”. But when it comes to judiciary its not the same,” he says, giving number of “Brahmin judges” since independence. BJP MPs disrupt him as he tries to give more statistics.

Rajya Sabha | 3.20 p.m.

Talking on the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021, John Brittas, CPI(M) MP from Kerala, says “judges appointing judges is unheard of” and is only followed in India. “Is there any country in the world where judges are appointed secretively,” he asks, alleging that the Law Minister keeps a mum on this.

“Are we creating a system of patronage, give and take and oligarchy,” the CPI(M) MP asks. “Indeed we are,” Mr. Brittas says.

Mr. Brittas asks Law Minister Kiren Rijiju for a “clear stand on Indian Judicial Commission”. 

Lok Sabha | 3.10 p.m.

What is the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2021?

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was introduced in Lok Sabha today. The bill seeks to replace the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021. 

The Bill amends the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 to correct a drafting error.  The Act regulates certain operations (such as manufacture, transport, and consumption) related to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

Punishment for financing illicit activities or harbouring persons engaged in them: Under the Act, financing certain illicit activities (such as cultivating cannabis or manufacturing narcotic drugs) or harbouring persons engaged in them is an offence.  Persons found guilty of this offence will be punished with rigorous imprisonment of at least ten years (extendable up to 20 years) and a fine of at least one lakh rupees.  

Drafting error: In 2014, the Act was amended and the clause number of the definition for such illicit activities was changed.  However, the section on penalty for financing these illicit activities was not amended and continued to refer to the earlier clause number.  The Bill amends the section on penalty to change the reference to the new clause number.  This amendment will be deemed to have been in effect from May 1, 2014 (i.e., when the 2014 amendments came into effect). – PRS

Lok Sabha | 2.50 p.m.

Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2021 moved in LS

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman moves the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2021 in the Lower House.

Lok Sabha | 2.45 p.m.

YSRCP MP seeks financial aid for Andhra

A.P. Govt.’s exchequer has already gone empty, says K.R.R. Krishna Raju, YSRCP MP from Narsampuram, Andhra Pradesh, seeking financial aid from the Centre. “Even paying salaries and pensions have become difficult,” he says.

Lok Sabha| 2.40 p.m.

BJP MP from Salempur, U.P., talks about the increasing number of cases of cancer in the country and especially his Parliamentary Constituency. He requests the Government to establish a cancer centre in Salempur.

Rajya Sabha| 2.35 p.m.

Easy to preach social justice, difficult to practice it: BJP MP hits out at Congress

BJP MP from Rajasthan Ramkumar Verma, responding to Ms. Yajnik’s comments, says the Government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is focussing towards ensuring social justice. He lists out various Central Government schemes, including Jan Dhan Yojana, where service has been delivered to the people without any bias.

Talking about Rajasthan, he says that even after one year, people do not get compensation promised by the State Government. He also attacks the Rajasthan Government for not fulfilling promises made before the polls. “Talking about social justice is easy and providing it is difficult,” he responds to Ms. Yajnik.

Rajya Sabha | 2.30 p.m.

What is the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021?

The High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021 was introduced in Rajya Sabha today, and in the Lok Sabha on November 30, 2021, by the Minister of Law and Justice, Mr. Kiren Rijiju.

The Bill seeks to amend: (i) the High Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1954, and (ii) the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1958.   These Acts regulate the salaries and conditions of service of the judges of High Courts and the Supreme Court of India.

Additional quantum of pension or family pension: Under the Acts, all retired judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts and their family members are entitled to pension or family pension.  They are also entitled to an additional quantum of pension or family pension when they attain a certain age in accordance with a specified scale.  The scale contains five age brackets (with minimum age of 80, 85, 90, 95, and 100 years), and the additional quantum increases with age (from 20% to 100% of the pension or family pension).  The Bill clarifies that a person will be entitled to the additional pension or family pension from the first day of the month in which they complete the minimum age under the concerned age bracket.  – PRS

Lok Sabha| 2.20 p.m.

Congress members and MPs of like-minded parties walk out in protest 

Earlier, during the adjournment of the Lower House, Congress members and MPs of like-minded parties walked out in protest since the Government didn’t respond to their demand for a reply to Sonia Gandhi’s statement.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said we walked out in protest against the Government’s lackadaisical attitude

Rajya Sabha | 2.15 p.m.

Congress MP Amee Yajnik, talking on the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021, says “none of us has objection with this amendment bill, but issues of prime importance like pendancy of cases, vacancies in courts and most importantly social justice, needs to be addressed at the earliest.”

Where are the gram nyayalayas (village courts), she asks. “Why are there only talks in this regard and no action,” Ms. Yajnik asks.

Lok Sabha | 2.12 p.m.

Proceedings resume in the Lower House

Rajya Sabha | 2.10 p.m.

Sad that I’m speaking while fellow MPs continue to sit outside: Congress MP

Amee Yajnik, INC MP from Gujarat, starts speaking on the bill. She says “justice, as Mahatma Gandhi said, is truth”. When we talk about justice, we should strive towards social justice, she says. “Is the government sensitive towards filling up vacancies, is something being done to clear the backlogs,” she says.

Amidst voices of protest from the Opposition MPs, Ms. Yajnik says, “I’m feeling sad to be speaking while my fellow MPs keep sitting outside”. “Please speak on the bill,” the deputy Chairman says, asking the Opposition MPs to let Ms. Yajnik speak on the bill.

Rajya Sabha | 2.05 p.m.

Mallikarjun Kharge asks the Chair to allow the Leader of the Opposition time to speak on the suspension of MPs. “You can speak on the motion,” the Deputy Chairman responds.

Rajya Sabha | 2.03 p.m.

Law Minister moves the motion to pass the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill

The High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021 has been introduced in the Rajya Sabha by the Minister of Law and Justice, Mr. Kiren Rijiju.  

The Bill seeks to amend: (i) the High Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1954, and (ii) the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1958.  

These Acts regulate the salaries and conditions of service of the judges of High Courts and the Supreme Court of India.

Rajya Sabha | 2 p.m.

Rajya Sabha resumes

Lok Sabha | 1.08 p.m.

Lok Sabha adjourned till 2:10 p.m.

Lok Sabha | 1.06 p.m.

‘Take back CAA’

Kunwar Danish Ali (BSP) raises the issue of CAA. He says that like the Prime Minister took back the three controversial farm laws, similarly he should take back CAA, ensure that cases lodged against students and activists be withdrawn and that the Prime Minister apologise.

Lok Sabha | 1.03 p.m.

Vinayak Raut (Shiv Sena0, is the third member of the house who speaks on the issue of unseasonal rain in Maharashtra. He highlights the severe impact of these unseasonal rains and requests appropriate relief from the NDRF

Lok Sabha | 12.48 p.m.

‘Silent pandemic engulfing our country’

“A silent pandemic engulfing our country,” Pratima Mondal 9AITC) says as she speaks on the subject of education during COVID-19 times, online schooling and the dearth of digital literacy.

“More funds should be allocated to education and psycho-social support be provided to those who lost their parents,” she says,

Lok Sabha | 12.38 p.m.

‘If PM’s account can be compromised, are Twitter accounts of common man secure?’

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (INC) recalls the Prime Minister’s Twitter account being compromised yesterday. “If Prime Minister’s account can be compromised, then how can the Twitter accounts of the common man be protected?” he asks.

“He should come and address the parliament what he plans to do about legalisation of cryptocurrency,” Mr. Chowdhury adds.

Lok Sabha | 12.26 p.m.

Hanuman Beniwal (RLP) speaks on the issue of “Congress promising to waive off farmer debt if it comes into power”. He says the reality since they came into power has been different.

His statement generates strong opposition in the house, as members rise to register their displeasure.

Lok Sabha | 12.20 p.m.

Matters of Urgent Public Importance being taken up currently in the Lower House.

Manguta Sreenivasulu Reddy raises the issue of compensation being provided to Home Guards.

Malook Nagar urges the government to increase preparedness for a possible third wave of COVID-19.

Lok Sabha | 12.11 p.m.

‘Reflects extremely poorly on standards on education and testing’

Sonia Gandhi addresses the Lok Sabha on a “shockingly regressive passage” published in the Class 10 CBSE Board Exam held on 11.12.2021.

“Entire is riddled with such condemnable ideas and the questions that follow are equally nonsensical,” says Ms. Gandhi, objecting strongly to “such blatantly misogynistic material”.

“Reflects extremely poorly on standards on education and testing,” she says urging the Ministry and CBSE to immediately withdraw the question and issue an apology.

In Class 10 English examination, an exercise on comprehension blamed “feminist revolt” and “emancipation of the wife” for indiscipline among teenagers at home. The choice of the passage evoked sharp criticism from several spheres.

Lok Sabha | 12.08 p.m.

Dharmendra Pradhan moves the motion that two members from amongst themselves to serve as members on the Council of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

The motion passes.

Rajya Sabha | 12.04 p.m.

Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 p.m.

Rajya Sabha | 12.04 p.m.

‘Opposition has no regret for what they have done’

“Opposition has no regret for what they have done,” the Leader of the House says. “Even on such an auspicious day when a temple’s construction is starting in Kashi, they are creating a ruckus in the House,” Mr. Goyal says amid sloganeering from the Opposition MPs.

Rajya Sabha | 12.02 p.m.

Proceedings resume in the Rajya Sabha

Proceedings resume in the Rajya Sabha

Piyush Mishra starts with saying Anand Sharma has labelled unverifyable charges.

Lok Sabha | 12.01 p.m.

Question Hour concludes in Lok Sabha

Question Hour concludes in Lok Sabha. Papers being laid on the table.

Lok Sabha | 11.39 a.m.

‘Digital skills are important requirement for every Indian’

“80% of our farmers don’t even understand the meaning of the word ‘digital’, then how will you provide them Digital Skill training?,” asks Jaskaur Meena (BJP)

“In COVID times it has become very clear that digital skills are important requirement for every Indian. New programs have been designed and existing programs are being offered in hybrid mode,” replies Rajeev Chandrashekhar, MoS, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

Lok Sabha | 11.32 a.m.

‘Our intention to work on employability and income increase’

“After the New Education Policy where vocational training has been integrated into education, we are going to soon deliver vocational and skilling programs through Eklavya schools” on the skilling network in Maharashtra, replies Rajeev Chandrashekhar, MoS, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

“Employability is an important outcome of the schemes we run, and different schemes render different employability outcomes. Employability and income increase is something we want to ensure for every scheme,” he responds to another question.

Out of 15.5 lakh students trained in Maharashtra, 3.2 lakh students belong to the tribal community, the MoS informs the house.

Lok Sabha | 11.18 a.m.

On girl-child education

Shashi Tharoor asks on the subject of female students dropping out of school due to pandemic-induced situations, citing a UNICEF report. “Has the government taken cognizance of such reports?,” he enquires

“Government has already issued 13 advisories to all States and UTs, and through different portals students are being taught,” replies Subhas Sarkar, MoS, Education.

Rajya Sabha | 11.14 a.m.

Rajya Sabha adjourned till 12 noon

Rajya Sabha adjourned till 12. Deputy leader of Congress in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma and Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge once again urged the  Government to find a solution to the impasse on suspension of 12 Opposition MPs. They staged a walkout,  after the Leader of House Piyush Goyal failed to respond

Rajya Sabha | 11.13 a.m.

Opposition stages walkout

The Chair urges the protesting members who are now in the Well to go back to their seats. Mallikharjun Kharge, MP, says that the Chair is the custodian of the House, and says, “We have been repeatedly asking to resolve the issue, but the government is adamant, so we will walkout,” and stages the walkout.

Rajya Sabha | 11.11 a.m.

‘Both sides should come together and discuss the issue’

Anand Sharma, MP, appeals to the Chair to discuss the suspension of the MPs, and find a constructive solution, to which the Chair says that if both sides come together and discuss the issue, it can be resolved, and dismisses the issue. The Opposition starts protesting, but the Chair proceeds with the Zero Hour.

Lok Sabha | 11.10 a.m.

On question of Dharavi slum being a “non recovery area”, and therefore not having a nationalised bank, Bhagawat Karad, MoS Finance replies  “Opening of bank is decided at State-level bank committee, I suggest that it be taken up with them, and post-survey a bank will be opened and citizens there will be able to avail the schemes by the Prime Minister.

Lok Sabha | 11.06 a.m.

Bhagawat Karad, MoS Finance says, “Substantial leave for 2 years to meet their special issues…are given to female staff. Favourable transfer policy is also given.” to a question regarding status of female employees in Public Sector banks.

Rajya Sabha | 11.04 a.m.

Rajya Sabha proceedings begin

Rajya Sabha proceedings begin. The Chair requests the Members to observe silence for all those people who lost their lives in the 2001 Parliament Attack.

Lok Sabha | 11.01 a.m.

Lok Sabha proceedings begin

Lok Sabha proceedings begin.

The speaker recalls the December 13, 2001 attack on the Parliament. “On this occasion we reaffirm our resolution to fight against terrorism,” says Mr. Birla.

Rajya Sabha

Vice President M. Venkaiah Nadu pays homage to the martyrs of 2001 Parliament attack.

The Vice President M Venkaiah Nadu paid homage to the martyrs of 2001 Parliament attack by terrorists, at Parliament House in New Delhi on Monday. December 13, 2021.  


10.30 a.m.

Legislative Business for December 13, 2021 is as follows:

Lok Sabha:

1. Nirmala Sitharaman to move The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

2. Further discussion on climate change raised by Kanimozhi Karunanidhi on 8th December, 2021.

Rajya Sabha:

1. Kiren Rijiju to move The High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021.

2. Papers to be laid on the table.

10.20 a.m.

Day 10 Recap

On the 10th day of the Winter Session, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar informed the Lok Sabha that no farmer had lost their life due to police action during the farmers’ agitation.

Climate took centre stage in both the houses. The lower house held a nearly four-hour long discussion on Climate Change under the rule 193, with as many as 21 members speaking extensively on the topic. In the Rajya Sabha as well, climate change was discussed at length. Congress’ Rajya Sabha member Amee Yajnik asked the Government to set up a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to work with all stakeholders .

Law Minister Kiren Rijiju also told the Lok Sabha that the Ministry of Home Affairs  has no proposal under consideration to scrap Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that deals with sedition.

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