SC to constitute seven-judge bench to consider issue relating to Money Bill

 The Supreme Court said on Friday it will constitute a seven-judge bench to consider the issue of validity of passage of laws like the Aadhaar Act as Money Bill.

The decision is aimed at addressing the controversy around money bills after the government introduced legislations like Aadhaar Bill and even amendments to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) as money bills, apparently to circumvent the Rajya Sabha where it did not have majority.

A money bill is a piece of legislation which can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha cannot amend or reject it. The Upper House can only make recommendations which may or may not be accepted by the Lower House.

A bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud said all pending seven-judge bench matters will be listed on October 12 for procedural directions.

The matter was mentioned before the bench, also comprising Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, for urgent listing.

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In November 2019, a five-judge bench of the apex court had referred to a larger bench the issue of examining the validity of the passage of the Finance Act, 2017 as Money Bill.

“The issue and question of Money Bill, as defined under Article 110(1) of the Constitution, and certification accorded by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha in respect of Part-XIV of the Finance Act, 2017 is referred to a larger Bench,” it had said.

The five-judge bench had then struck down in entirety the rules governing the appointment and service conditions of members of various tribunals that formed part of the Finance Act.

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