Domestic law may be amended to counter US Hyde Act


New Delhi : The Indian government is “open to the idea” of amending the domestic law to counter the US Hyde Act which has been the major cause of opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal from the BJP and Left parties, highly-placed official sources said Saturday.

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Ahead of the trust vote in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, the sources said the government is confident of winning it and pursuing its “unfinished agenda” of reforms in insurance, banking and pension sectors after discussions with its new ally, the Samjawadi Party.

Defending the controversial deal as one in the best interests of India, the sources maintained that India’s obligations were spelt out in the bilateral 123 agreement with the United States.

The Hyde Act is purely a US domestic law which cannot override the bilateral agreement, they said.

All the same, the government is “open to the idea” of amending the Atomic Energy Act to counter the Hyde Act which critics see as a legislation that puts shackles on India’s right to conduct nuclear tests.

The BJP has favoured an Indian legislation to tackle the Hyde Act but the sources said that the opposition party had not not spelt out the changes it wants in the Atomic Energy Act.

“We are willing to look at all options provided they are feasible,” the sources said.