Money Bills Coloring Pages

The concept of money bills in India came to the forefront during the enactment of the Aadhar Act, 2016. In spite of resistance by the opposition, the Aadhaar Bill was certified as a ‘money bill’ by the Speaker of the Lower House. The Upper House proposed certain amendments, but ultimately the BJP-dominated Lower House rejected the amendments suggested by the Upper House and unilaterally enacted the Aadhar Act, 2016. Immediately thereafter, Jairam Ramesh, a senior Congress leader, challenged the speaker’s decision to treat the Aadhar Bill as a ‘money bill’ before the Supreme Court of India. Article 110(3) of the Constitution of India categorically states that ‘if any question arises whether a Bill is a Money Bill or not, the decision of the Speaker of the House of the People thereon shall be final’. Therefore, one of the prime constitutional questions before the Supreme Court is whether it can review the speaker’s certificate classifying a bill as a ‘money bill’. In three prior cases, the Supreme Court of India has refused to review the Speaker’s certificate. However, some commentators have argued that the Court’s earlier judgements were incorrect and Article 110(3) made the Speaker’s decision “final” for the purpose of the two Houses of the Parliament, not for the Supreme Court of India. This argument is further supported by the fact that in Kihoto Hollohan vs Zachillhu (AIR 1993 SC 412), the “final” decision of the speaker regarding disqualification of members of the House under the Tenth Schedule of the Indian Constitution was held to be a judicial decision subject to judicial review. This suggests that the “final” status given by the Indian constitution does not automatically immune the Indian speaker’s decision or certificate from judicial review. In view of this crucial constitutional question, it has been suggested that the Supreme Court in Jairam Ramesh v. Union of India should create a constitution bench of at least nine judges to settle the law on this issue. The five judge bench decided that the Aadhar Bill was a Money Bill by a vote of 4–1.

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