Supreme Court can review Money Bill

Why in news

The Lok Sabha Speaker’s decision to declare Aadhaar Bill as a Money Bill attains finality only as far as parliamentarians are concerned and does not prevent the Supreme Court from judicially reviewing the Speaker’s wisdom, senior advocate P. Chidambaram argued before a Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Wednesday.

Highlights

  • The five-judge Bench, which is testing whether the Aadhaar scheme is a violation of the fundamental right to privacy and personal autonomy, had earlier raised doubts about whether it can question the Speaker’s decision to declare the Aadhaar Act as a Money Bill.
  • But Mr. Chidambaram, who opened his arguments in a petition filed by Rajya Sabha MP and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, said the finality of such a decision was confined to only that particular institution and did not extend to courts.
  • “The decision of the Speaker is only final regarding that institution (Parliament) and not for a court review,”

Money Bill

Money bills as per the Indian Constitution (Article 110) should only consider provisions handling with the imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax; the regulation of borrowings by the government of India and the regulation of the Consolidated Fund of India, including appropriation of moneys out of this fund. Simply put, a money bill or supply bill is a primarily involves taxation or government spending (also identified as appropriation of money), instead of changes in public law.

Procedure for a Money Bill

  • Money Bills can be introduced only in Lok Sabha (the directly elected ‘people’s house’ of the Indian Parliament).
  • Money bills passed by the Lok Sabha are sent to the Rajya Sabha (the upper house of parliament, elected by the state and territorial legislatures or appointed by the president). The Rajya Sabha may not amend money bills but can recommend amendments. To make sure that Rajya Sabha doesn’t amend the bill by adding some non-money matters (known as Financial Bill), the Speaker of the Lok Sabha certifies the bill as a money bill before sending it to the upper house, and the decision of the Speaker is binding on both the Houses. A money bill must be returned to the Lok Sabha within 14 days, or the bill is deemed to have passed both houses in the form it was originally passed by the Lok Sabha.
  • When a Money Bill is returned to the Lok Sabha with the recommended amendments of the Rajya Sabha, it is open to the Lok Sabha to accept or reject any or all of the recommendations.
  • A money bill is deemed to have passed both houses with any recommended amendments the Lok Sabha chooses to accept, and without any that it chooses to decline.
  • The definition of “Money Bill” is given in Article 110 of the Constitution of India. A financial bill is not a Money Bill unless it fulfills the requirements of Article 110.
  • The Speaker of the Lok Sabha certifies if a financial bill is a Money Bill or not.[4]
  • Policy cut motion – disapproval of the given policy. Symbolically, the members demand that the amount of the demand be reduced to 1 INR. They may also suggest an alternative policy.
  • Economy cut motion – it is demanded that the amount of the policy be reduced by a specified amount.
  • Token cut motion – used to show specific grievance against the government. Also states that the amount of the demand be reduced by Rs. 100.
  • A money bill can only be introduced in parliament with prior permission of the President of India.
  • Finance bill is supposed to be enacted within 75 days (including the Parliament voting and the President assenting).
  • Money bill cannot be returned by the President to the parliament for its reconsideration, as it is presented in the Lok Sabha with his permission.

Q.1 With respect to money bill consider the following statements

  1. Money Bills can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha.
  2. A money bill can only be introduced in parliament with prior permission of the President of India.
  3. Money bill cannot be returned by the President to the parliament for its reconsideration, as it is presented in the Lok Sabha with his permission.

Choose the correct answer from the codes given below

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 1 and 2 only
  4. All of the above

Answer: d) all of the above


 

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