Once it is passed in Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha can only make recommendations, which are not mandatory to be accepted by Lok Sabha.
New Delhi: Former Union finance minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday assailed in the Supreme Court the Centre’s action in introducing “Aadhaar Bill” as a “money bill’ in the Lok Sabha only to bypass the scrutiny of Rajya Sabha.
Appearing for Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, Mr Chidambaram submitted before a five Judge Constitution Bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.K. Sikri, A.M. Kanwilkar, D.Y. Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan that the Aadhaar law ought not to have been passed as a Money bill.
He said the attempt to pass it as a money bill is a colourable exercise of power. Counsel submitted that both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are equal. While so how can one house be deprived of its right as if it is a money bill? Once it is passed in Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha can only make recommendations, which are not mandatory to be accepted by Lok Sabha.
He said it was nothing but a brazen and malafide attempt to bypass the approval of the Rajya Sabha which holds an important place in the Constitutional and democratic framework of law making.
Counsel submitted that when Aadhaar bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha after it was passed in Lok Sabha, the members voiced their protest against its introduction as a money bill. Six amendments were suggested only after it was introduced but not accepted. This is too grave and serious matter, which cannot be thrown out on the grounds of locus or maintainability. He said merely because the Speaker’s decision to declare a bill as a “money bill” was final, this would not deprive the court of its power of judicial review.
It was the contention of the Centre that the decision of the Speaker to certify a particular Bill, as a “Money Bill” is not subject to judicial review.
It said there are a number of judgments which hold that the Speaker’s decision in this regard is final and the legislative process or procedure cannot be questioned.”
As per the statement of “objects and reasons” of the Aadhaar bill, money has to be drawn from the Consolidated Fund of India for grant of various subsidies running to thousands of crores of rupees, the Centre said and asked “if this is not money bill what else is money bill.” Arguments will continue on March 13.