Jaitley argues why Aadhaar is money bill

Finance minister reiterates ‘pith and substance’ argument in Rajya Sabha

GN Bureau | March 16, 2016


#money bill   #supreme court   #law   #parliament   #arun jaitley   #UIDAI   #Aadhaar   #economy  
Finance minister Arun Jaitley in Rajya Sabha
Finance minister Arun Jaitley in Rajya Sabha

 The Rajya Sabha witnessed the kind of debate it has not seen at least in recent decades as it took up for consideration the Aadhaar bill on Wednesday. Essentially, the opposition in the upper house was uncomfortable with the classification of the bill as a ‘money bill’ on which it will have no say.

 
That is why Sitaram Yechury of CPM repeatedly asked the chair if the bill was “introduced” in the house or “moved”, and deputy chairman PJ Kurien had to clarify that being a money bill, it was merely “transmitted” from the lower house.
 
 
The opposition asked finance minister Arun Jaitley to explain on what grounds it was termed a “money bill”. In reply, Jaitley went on to make a pitch for the bill – presenting salient points, giving full credit to the previous UPA regime for the conception of Aadhaar – but when pressed to clarify the classification, he repeated the argument he had made a fortnight ago in the lower house.
 
Jaitley maintained that in “pith and substance” the bill was about subsidies, hence related to the consolidated fund of India, and thus fully satisfying the criteria for a money bill laid down in Article 110 of the constitution. “Government money is spent on subsidies. You insist on the identity of the person (beneficiary) and this law is about how to identify that person.”
 
The constitution, however, uses the term ‘only’ – the bill has to be only and exclusively about the consolidated fund. Replying to that argument from the opposition, the finance minister cited the first Lok Sabha speaker, Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar, who (Jaitley said) had ruled very clearly that the only law that would satisfy that criterion would be a single section law. In other words, Jaitley argued that any bill solely related to the matters concerning the consolidated fund of India would also have administrative machinery in it and that does not disqualify it as a money bill.
 
Jaitley compared the old UPA bill – about giving the legal backing to the UIDAI set up by an executive order – and the new Aadhaar bill. His argument was that the former was primarily about setting up an authority, and hence not a money bill per se, whereas the latter was essentially about plugging subsidy leakage and hence a money bill – even if it also has other provisions about privacy and other matters related to the process of saving subsidy.
 
He also added that going by the constitutional criteria it is the Lok Sabha speaker’s decision to call a legislation ‘money bill’ and “no authority of this land can challenge it”.
 

Comments

 

Other News

Maharashtra set to get first Shiv Sainik CM

The conundrum in Maharashtra is moving towards resolution, as the Shiv Sena has secured the support of the ideological opponents, the Congress and the NCP, to form the government, after the BJP, the party with the most seats, failed to muster the numbers. NCP chief Sharad Pawar has taken the

Vanni: In struggle of memory, pictures complement words

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the new president of Sri Lanka, won the November elections that were held amid continued polarization in the island nation. As defence secretary, he had led the government’s decisive fight against the LTTE rebels in 2009, in which most of the guerrilla leaders were killed. Thus en

How Sahitya Akademi promotes India lit abroad

Sahitya Akademi, the autonomous organization under the ministry of culture, has been silently promoting Indian literature abroad through a host of activities, including promotion of translations. The Akademi has helped translate much-talked about Bangla novel ‘Herbert’ by Nabarun

Hotel responsible for vehicle in valet parking: supreme court

Once a guest hands over the car keys to the valet, the vehicle is under the hotel’s responsibility, and it will have to compensate any damage to it, the supreme court has ruled. In a judgment under the contract law, a bench of justices Mohan M Shantanagoudar and Ajay Rastogi has upheld

Homebuyers have filed 1,821 cases against builders

Amid oversupply, slackening demand and financial troubles, many builders have not been able to deliver homes to buyers, leaving the latter in the lurch. The buyers in turn have taken recourse to filing cases against builders: a total of 1,821 cases under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) 2016 were p

Rajya Sabha looks back and forward on historic occasion

The beginning of its historic 250th session gave the upper house of parliament an opportunity to take stock of its past and its future, the challenges ahead and the ways to meet them. The house on Monday took up a discussion on ‘The Role of Rajya Sabha in Indian Polity and the Way Forw



Archives

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter