The government’s plan to introduce the Telangana Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday hit a major roadblock on Monday after questions were raised over the constitutionality of introducing the Bill first in the Upper House.
Government sources indicated that the possibility of the Bill being introduced was “very bleak as it would be unconstitutional”.
The Rajya Sabha Secretariat is of the view that since the proposed law would involve appropriation of money out of the Consolidated Fund of India, it is a Money Bill as defined under Article 110 of the constitution. The secretariat is learnt to have consulted legal experts and advised the government against bringing the Bill in the Rajya Sabha.
Under Article 117 (1) of the constitution, a Money Bill can’t be introduced in the Rajya Sabha. Sources in the union law ministry told The Indian Express that the Bill “as it stands today” is a Money Bill. The ministry was learnt to have conveyed its view to the government, which was considering seeking the opinion of the attorney general.
However, a section in the government believes there is no problem with bringing the Bill to Parliament.
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“If any question arises whether a Bill is a Money Bill or not, the matter is referred to the Lok Sabha Speaker, whose decision is deemed to be final and can’t be challenged in any court. However, such a contentious Bill can be introduced in Rajya Sabha only after the Speaker gives a certificate to the effect that the Bill is not a Money Bill,” said an official.
Meanwhile, Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah on Monday embarrassed the government by saying that Telangana should not be created.
“I think it (the issue of Telangana) has gone out of gear, terribly out of gear. You have seen 70 per cent, 80 per cent of people do no want division, yet a division is taking place… The people of the state do not want division. We should not divide,” Farooq told reporters after Parliament was adjourned once again over the issue.
TRS chief meets Sonia
NEW DELHI: TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao Monday met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, reviving talks about the party’s merger with the Congress after passage of the Telangana Bill in Parliament. TRS sources claimed the merger issue was not discussed and said Rao only thanked her for taking the initiative for creation of Telangana and urged her to ensure that the Bill is passed in Parliament at the earliest. ENS