Government

Congress Moves Supreme Court Against Decision to Treat Aadhaar as Money Bill

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has moved the Supreme Court, challenging the BJP’s  decision to treat the Aadhaar Bill as a money bill. The bill was passed during Budget session last month. Its money bill status allowed it to overrule a number of amendments that were moved in the Rajya Sabha.

“Yesterday I have filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court challenging the decision to treat Aadhaar as a money bill,” Ramesh, a former union minister during UPA, said here on Friday.

With this, the controversy over treating Aadhaar as a money bill has taken a new turn as it is generally believed that Speaker’s discretion is final in the matter.

Accusing the BJP-led NDA government of showing “utter contempt” of Rajya Sabha for taking the money bill route to pass the Aadhaar bill, the oppositon party had earlier indicated that the matter could be challenged in the court.

Shortly before it was adjourned for more than a month-long recess for scrutiny of budget, the Lok Sabha had adopted the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other subsidies, benefits and services) Bill, 2016, by a voice vote after rejecting the recommendations for five amendments made by the Upper House earlier in the evening.

Once the Lok Sabha passes a money bill with or without amendments recommended by the Rajya Sabha, it is deemed to have been passed by both the Houses.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh while proposing amendments to the Aadhaar Bill in the Rajya Sabha, had then expressed “anguish” that the bill was brought as a money bill, an act he likened to “knocking a nail in the coffin of the Upper House”.

Ramesh had said that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in his attempt to justify the decision to treat Aadhaar as money bill, had “misled” the House by claiming that in the past two bills, one on juvenile justice and another on the African Development Bank, too had been brought as money bills.

Stating that he himself does not have an Aadhaar card, Ramesh said a situation may arise when it may be needed even to book a flight or get a phone number.