The Centre on Tuesday opposed Congress leader Jairam Ramesh’s petition challenging the Aadhaar Bill, saying the legislation was immune from any judicial challenge.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi appeared before a bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur and demanded the petition’s dismissal at the threshold. The Congress MP has assailed the legislation on the ground Lok Sabha passes it as money bill, which was inappropriate, and there was no discussion on it in the Upper House.
Rohatgi’s first objection was how can the Congress MP file a petition claiming the passage of the bill violated his fundamental right. “There is no description in the petition on this account,” he said. Secondly, the AG argued, Jairam’s petition is not maintainable constitutionally. “The fact is that the law has been passed as a Money Bill and the Speaker has confirmed it. It is immune from any challenge,” he told the bench.
Rohatgi made his submissions even though the court has not issued any formal notice to the government.
Jairam’s counsel, senior advocate P Chidambaram, however, insisted for a hearing. He said the manner in which the Lok Sabha passes the Bill violated his party colleague’s fundamental right to participate in a discussion in the Upper House.
“Parliament has violated the basic rule of law, which is enshrined in our constitution. Rajya Sabha has the right to debate over this. But this right was taken away,” he said.
Chidambaram argued the member of Upper House raised objections and proposed amendments. “But the chairman said he does not have power because the speaker of the Lower House certified it.”
Chidambaram said both Houses of the Parliament have equal rights and the court should not throw away the petition on the ground Jairam has no locus standi.