NEW DELHI: The Congress will approach the Supreme Court against the top court's order upholding the passage of the Aadhaar Act, 2016 as a money bill.
"One important part of the SC judgment to be noted is if in future a Lok Sabha Speaker declares a bill as Money Bill, then the court can review this and revert. We will approach a seven-judge bench to consider this verdict again as this is clearly not a Money Bill," Congress spokesperson Kapil Sibal said.
"If the government does not bring the Act to the Rajya Sabha for amendments, we will definitely move the Supreme Court," he said, adding that the Aadhaar Bill’s passage violated the fundamental right to privacy and is a gross abuse of the money bill route.
The money bill route was adopted by the government as the NDA had a majority in the Lower House of Parliament but lacked numerical strength in the Upper House. The controversy started on March 11, 2016 when the Aadhaar Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha after Speaker Sumitra Mahajan ruled it as a 'Money Bill'. It was then moved to the Rajya Sabha on March 16 and the Upper House returned the Bill with five amendments moved by Congress member Jairam Ramesh. These recommendations were rejected by the Lok Sabha, which passed the legislation, the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016.
Jairam Ramesh then petitioned the Supreme Court and argued that a bill can be declared as a money bill only in six specific circumstances or matters incidental to them as enumerated in Article 110 of the Constitution. The Aadhaar Act did not relate to any of those circumstances, he said. He had even termed the passage of the Aadhaar Act a "constitutional fraud".
On Wednesday, Justice Chandrachud of the apex court too echoed a similar view. "Bypassing the Rajya Sabha to pass the Aadhaar Act amounted to subterfuge, and the law was liable to be struck down as being violative of Article 110 of the Constitution. Article 110 has specific grounds for Money Bill and the Aadhaar law went beyond this," he said, adding that in the current form, the Act cannot be held to be constitutional.