The Congress has decided to challenge the Supreme Court verdict to uphold the passage of the Aadhaar Act, 2016, as a money bill in Lok Sabha. The Aadhaar Bill was passed during the Budget session in March 2016, overruling amendments moved in the Rajya Sabha.
The top court, while delivering its verdict on Wednesday, had upheld the constitutional validity of the Centre’s flagship Aadhaar scheme by 4:1, saying it serves a larger public interest and empowers the marginalised sections.
While addressing the media in the national capital, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said, “The passage of the law violates both the fundamental right to privacy and is a gross abuse of the Money Bill route.”
“One important part of judgement to be noted is — if in the 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,” he added.
“If the government does not bring the Act to the Rajya Sabha for amendments, we will definitely move the Supreme Court,” he said.
In 2016, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh had moved the top court, challenging its decision to treat the then Aadhaar bill as a money bill. Armed with the Speaker’s decision that it was a money bill, the had government pushed it through the Rajya Sabha, which cannot amend it but only make recommendations for amendment to the Lok Sabha.
Once the Lok Sabha passes a money bill with or without amendments recommended by the Rajya Sabha, it is deemed to have been passed by both the Houses.
Showing urgency in getting the law through, the government, which enjoys a comfortable majority in the Lok Sabha, had brought the measure to the lower house within an hour of being returned by the Rajya Sabha.