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Jairam Ramesh takes Aadhar’s Money Bill row to Supreme Court (Relevant for GS Prelims and Mains Paper II, III)

The Supreme Court agreed to hear in detail a challenge by Jairam Ramesh, MP, to the passing of the Aadhaar Bill as a Money Bill even as the Union government said the judiciary had no jurisdiction to encroach on legislative procedure in Parliament, where the Speaker was the final authority to decide on money bill.

Claims by union government in favour of aadhar as money bill
Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi said the government saved Rs.30,000 crore to Rs.50,000 crore by linking thousands of subsidies to Aadhaar verification.

Claim by Jairam Ramesh
The Aadhar bill sought to give legal staus to aadhar and thus in way dealt directly with money matters as mentioned under 110 of Indian Constitution.

Money Bill
A money bill is a bill that deals with one or more money matters mentioned under Art. 110. Following matters constitute money matters:

a.     The imposition, abolition, alteration etc. of any tax.

b.    Borrowing or guarantee by Government of India.

c.     Custody, receipt, payment, withdrawal out of Consolidated Fund of India.

d.    Declaration of any expenditure as charged on Consolidated Fund of India.

e.     Custody, payment into or withdrawl of money out of Contingency Fund of India.

f.     Custody, payment into or receipt out of Public account of India.

g.     Audit and accounts of Union or of a State

h.    Any other matter incidental to above matters.

Procedure to pass money bill
Money bill can be introduced only in Lok Sabha and it can be introduced only on the recommendation of President. (The bills which are introduced on behalf of Council of Ministers are introduced on recommendation of President).

It is the Speaker who certifies whether the bill is money bill or not and his decision is final in this regard i.e. cannot be questioned in any court. Money bill requires simple majority for its passage.

Lok Sabha enjoys overriding powers in the passage of money bill. When the money bill is presented in Rajya Sabha after its passage in Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha has the following options:

a.     It also passes the bill.

b.    It rejects the money bill. On being rejected, the money bill is deemed to have been passed by both the houses of Parliament.

c.     It takes no action on the bill for 14 days. On expiry of 14th day, the bill is deemed to have been passed by both the houses of Parliament.

d.    Rajya Sabha can suggest amendments to money bill, then the bill goes back to Lok Sabha and it is deemed to have been passed by both the houses in the form in which Lok Sabha passes the bill.

There is no deadlock between the two houses over the passage of money bill because Lok Sabha has far more powers than Rajya Sabha.

When a money bill is presented to President for his assent, then by convention, he shall give his assent to the money bill.

Interest of Government in Passing Aadhar bill as money bill
Existing BJP Government has majority in Lok Sabha but not in Rajya Sabha. Thus, by adopting aadhar bill as money bill, government reduced the role of  rajya sabha in passage of the bill.



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