Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Jairam Ramesh has moved the Supreme Court seeking a review of its September 26 judgement upholding the passage of the Aadhaar Act in Parliament as a Money Bill, The Indian Express reported on Tuesday.
A five-judge Constitutional bench, in a 4-1 verdict, had said that the Aadhaar Act does not violate the right to privacy but struck down Section 57 of the Act, which allowed private entities to use Aadhaar for verification purposes.
In his petition, Ramesh has highlighted the dissenting opinion of Justice DY Chandrachud, who had held that the passage of the Act as a Money Bill superseded the Rajya Sabha and amounted to subterfuge. The government does not have a majority in the Upper House.
The majority judgement had used Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act – which requires Aadhaar authentication for beneficiaries seeking to access subsidies, benefits and services – to justify its passage as a Money Bill.
According to the Congress leader, the Aadhaar Act does not fall within the ambit of Article 110 (1) of the Constitution, which clearly and narrowly restricts money bills to certain subjects, The Hindu reported. According to Article 110 (3), once the Speaker has certified a bill as a Money Bill, its nature cannot be questioned in courts, the Houses of Parliament or even by the president.
“In pith and substance, the Aadhaar Act provides for a legislative framework for the establishment and maintenance of a central database of identity-related information of residents and elaborates as to how such information should be collected, stored and used,” the petition said.
Passing the law as a Money Bill was nothing but a “brazen and mala fide attempt to bypass the approval of the Rajya Sabha”, Ramesh said in the plea. He claimed that striking down Section 57 does not make the law valid again.
This petition was filed days after petitioner Imtiyaz Ali Palsaniya also filed a review plea against the judgement. He has challenged only those parts of the law that the court had held as constitutionally valid.