Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has approached the Supreme Court against the Centre’s move to pass the Aadhaar Bill as a money bill in the Lok Sabha during the Budget session in March, reported PTI. “Yesterday I have filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court challenging the decision to treat Aadhaar as a money bill,” the former Union minister said.
The move was strongly criticised by Opposition parties, after the government rejected all amendments recommended by the Upper House and decided to pass the bill as it was. The Rajya Sabha cannot make amendments in a money bill once it is passed by the Lok Sabha. Ramesh said that the bill cannot be treated as a money bill according to constitutional provisions. He said the ruling party’s move was like “knocking a nail in the coffin of the Upper House”.
The bill intends to provide for targeted delivery of subsidies and services to individuals residing in India by assigning them unique identity numbers. Critics of the law have argued that since it deals with privacy and confidentiality aspects of the personal data of millions of Indian residents and does not just pertain to subsidies but any government services, it should not have been passed as a money bill. Section 57 of the Aadhaar law allows private entities – telecom, real estate, insurance companies – to also use Aadhaar authentication services, and not just the government.