The Congress on Friday accused the NDA government of showing “utter contempt” of Rajya Sabha for taking the money bill route to pass the Aadhaar bill, indicating that the matter could be challenged by “others” in the courts.
“This is a very dangerous trend. The government has taken this to bypass the Rajya Sabha. This is an assault on the Rajya Sabha. The Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha are two equal wheels of the same chariot of Indian democracy, if one of the wheel does not run, it will hamper democracy,” Congress spokesperson Jairam Ramesh said in New Delhi.
Insisting that a series of conditions are specified in Article 110 and that Article 110 uses the word “only” if those conditions are prevalent can a bill be declared a Money Bill, Ramesh said that the Aadhaar Bill, which was passed as a money bill “ignored five recommendations made by the Rajya Sabha had many other provisions.
“It had many other provisions and most constitutional experts have given the view that the Aadhaar Bill is not a Money Bill. While the prerogative of declaring a bill as a Money Bill or not is that of the Speaker and the Speaker’s decision is final but the recommendation to the Speaker to consider making it a Money Bill is that of the government.
“It is the government that decides whether it is a Money Bill or not and the Speaker only certifies it as Money Bill,” Ramesh said.
“The two examples that the Finance Minister gave, that they were declared Money Bills in the past, were wrong. They were not Money Bills. The Juvenile Justice Bill of 1986 and the African Development Bank Bill of 1983 which the finance minister used to justify the Aadhaar Bill being the Money Bill, turned down to be completely erroneous and false,” he said.
To repeated questions on whether Congress will challenge the passage of Aadhar bill as Money bill in Supreme Court, Ramesh evaded a direct reply saying “we have not heard the last on the Money Bill issue. I don’t think that you have heard the last on the Money Bill debate. The Money Bill debate will continue.”
He said there is a petition already before a five judge bench of the Supreme Court which has not yet given its final verdict.
“So, I am sure, there will be others who will take this issue but as far as we are concerned, we go by the Article 110. The Speaker’s decision is final. The Speaker has declared it is a Money Bill, it came as Money Bill, it was discussed as Money Bill, it was recommended as a Money Bill and finally passed as Money Bill and we cannot undo the history.”