What’s the big deal if budget presented on Feb 1, which law violated? SC asks PIL petitioner

The government described the Union Budget as an annual constitutional exercise covering the entire country and not just a few states

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 13, 2017 3:53 pm
budget, union budget, budget postponed, budget before elections, budget pil, supreme court budget, budget news, india news The Supreme Court said at present it doesn’t find any provision in support of plea asking for a delay in Union Budget presentation. (Representational)

The Supreme Court on Friday sought legal provisions supporting the PIL against the Centre’s decision to present Union Budget on February 1. Deferring the PIL hearing to January 20, the apex court sought material and legal provisions that bars presentation of budget before assembly elections. “What’s the big deal if budget is presented on February 1 instead of March 1? Which law is violated by this?” the top court asked the PIL petitioner Manohar Lal Sharma.

The bench also said that at present it doesn’t find any provision in support of plea. “You tell us what provisions have been violated. Tentatively speaking, we don’t find any material in support of the petition,” a bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud said. The bench also asked lawyer M L Sharma to take time and prepare “hard” and come out with material in support of the PIL.

WATCH VIDEO | Supreme Court Seeks Legal Provisions That Bars Budget Presentation Before Assembly Polls

In December last year, the court had refused to give an urgent hearing to a plea filed by the advocate in which he demanded that the budget be presented in March. Sharma had also sought an order that would restrain the central government from declaring “any relief, programme, financial budget until the states’ elections are over” as they would violate the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). The PIL also sought a directive to strip BJP of its lotus election symbol for alleged violation of the model code of conduct which came into effect after declaration of Assembly polls in five states.

Earlier, the Cabinet Secretariat had also written to the Election Commission which had asked it to respond to a representation by opposition parties urging the poll panel to make the government postpone the budget till assembly polls are over. It had also said that the advancing of budget presentation was necessary as it would ensure that all budgetary provisions are allocated to different sectors from April 1, the beginning of the new fiscal.

On January 4, the Election Commission had come out with the schedule of Assembly elections to be held in five states — Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand.

With PTI inputs.

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