Justify postponement of budget: apex court

Justify postponement of budget: apex court

The Supreme Court on Friday asked an advocate to show a provision in the Constitution or in the law to justify his plea to postpone the Union Budget, scheduled on February 1, due to the upcoming Assembly polls in five states.

“Though we don’t find any justification in your plea, we will still give you time to let you prepare and show us which provision of the law and in the Constitution will be violated by the presentation of the budget,” a bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud told petitioner-advocate M L Sharma.

The court granted Sharma a week to come with material in support of his PIL.

If there had been prima facie violation of any legal provision, the court would have sought a reply from the government, the bench added.

The petitioner contended that the Union Budget used to be presented on March 1. But the NDA government decided to advance it and the new dates now are close to the upcoming Assembly polls. He claimed the announcements in the Budget could impact free and fair elections. However, the bench asked, “What’s the big deal if the Budget is presented on February 1 instead of March 1? You only tell us which provision of law or the Constitution does it violate?”

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