Before his amendments to the Aadhaar Bill embarrassed the government in Rajya Sabha, Jairam Ramesh scored a personal victory by disproving a claim by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley that two Bills in the 1980s had been categorised as money Bills.
During the debate on the Aadhaar Bill, which the government had labelled as a money Bill, Ramesh said he had checked the claim that the Juvenile Justice Bill of 1986 and African Development Bank Bill of 1983 had also been labelled money Bills and discovered that neither of them were money Bills.
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“When I heard the Finance Minister make that claim, I thought that cannot be true. But Mr Jaitley is never wrong on facts, and I respect him for that, so I decided to check. I spent a few days in the Parliament library going through the records. And then I went to the Rajya Sabha secretariat to establish the truth. And now I can conclusively say that those two Bills, which the Finance Minister claimed had been passed as money Bills, were not money Bills. I have the confirmation of the Rajya Sabha secretariat,” Ramesh said.
Jaitley intervened to say that his claim was based on information available on the website of the Lok Sabha. “Even now, the Lok Sabha website says those were money Bills,” Jaitley said. Ramesh said the Lok Sabha website was wrong.
Amid shouts that Jaitley had misled the House, Rajya Sabha deputy chairman said that since the minister had accessed the information from the Lok Sabha website, he could not be accused of misleading the House.