SC upholds validity of Aadhaar Act as money bill

SC upholds validity of Aadhaar Act as money bill

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the government's contention that the Aadhaar Act, 2016, can be termed as money bill as it dealt with subsidy, benefit or service which ought to be understood in the context of targeted delivery to poorer and weaker sections of society.

The top court, by a majority view, rejected the plea made by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh and others, who contended the government had purposefully avoided to present the bill before the Rajya Sabha, belittling its importance.

The court, however, noted it's also very clearly declared in Section 7 of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial And Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 that the expenditure incurred in respect of such a subsidy, benefit or service would be from the Consolidated Fund of India.

“We, thus, hold that the Aadhaar Act is validly passed as a ‘Money Bill’,” Justice A K Sikri wrote.

“We do recognise the importance of Rajya Sabha (Upper House) in a bicameral system of the Parliament,” the court said.

Justice Ashok Bhushan, in his own judgement, concurred with the other opinion put forth by Justice Sikri on behalf of CJI Dipak Misra and Justice A M Khanwilkar that other provisions of the Aadhaar Act were incidental as the law veered round the government's constitutional obligation to provide for subsidies, benefits and services to the individuals, who are entitled for such subsidies, benefits and services.

The court, however, held that the Lok Sabha Speaker's decision is open to judicial review.