The Supreme Court will hear, in November, the plea by senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh challenging the propriety of the Narendra Modi government to bring the Aadhaar Act as a money bill before Parliament and Lok Sabha Speaker allowing the same.
The bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M.Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y.Chandrachud said that the matter would be taken up in the first week of November after senior counsel Kapil Sibal on Friday urged the court to hear the matter as the issue involved was important.
The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial & Other Subsidies, Benefits & Services) Bill, 2016 was passed by the Lok Sabha on March 11, 2016 and it was taken up by Rajya Sabha a week later on March 16, 2016. The upper house had returned the bell with some proposed amendments which were rejected by Lok Sabha.
Opposing the plea, the Central government had on February 13 that the decision of the Lok Sabha Speaker to certify the Aadhaar Bill as a money bill could not be called into question before any court.
Citing Article 110 of the Constitution that defines “Money Bill”, it had contended that all the money required for social welfare schemes that are linked to Aadhaar number would be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund of India.
However, Ramesh had contended that when the original bill was not a money bill, then how could its amendment be a money bill.
Challenging the constitutional validity of the act, Ramesh had termed the introduction of Aadhaar Bill as a “money bill” 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”.
The upper house of Parliament has limited powers in case of a money bill, and cannot amend it but only make non-binding suggestions.