Headline : Finance Bill, 2017 certified as Money Bill by Speaker, court can’t interfere: Centre to SC
- A batch of petitions were filed in the Supreme Court challenging that the passing of Finance Act, 2017 as a Money Bill was a “colourable exercise of power and a fraud on the Constitution.”
- Arguments given by Attorney General of India in center’s defense:
- The decision of Speaker to categorise a Bill as money bill is beyond the scope of judicial review.
- This aspect is consistent with the broad parameters of separation of powers given in the Constitution.
- Article 122 of the Constitution, states that the conduct of business and Proceedings of the parliament cannot be questioned before the Court of Law.
- However, the hearing remained inconclusive and would continue on April 2.
Note: The Supreme Court had also sought centre’s view on bringing all the tribunals under one central umbrella body for ensuring “efficient functioning” and “streamlining the working” of quasi-judicial bodies.
Difference between Money Bill and Finance Bill
- Article 110 of Constitution of India deals with Definition of Money Bill.
- A Bill is said to be a Money Bill if it only contains provisions related to taxation, borrowing of money by the government, expenditure from or receipt to the Consolidated Fund of India.
- Bills that only contain provisions that are incidental to these matters would also be regarded as Money Bills
- A Bill that contains some provisions related to taxation and expenditure, and additionally contains provisions related to any other matter is called a Financial Bill.
- Therefore, if a Bill merely involves expenditure by the government, and addresses other issues, it will be a financial bill.
Who decides if a Bill is a Money Bill?
- The Speaker certifies a Bill as a Money Bill, and the Speaker’s decision is final.
- Also, the Constitution states that parliamentary proceedings as well as officers responsible for the conduct of business (such as the Speaker) may not be questioned by any Court.
|Money Bill||Finance Bill|
|Introduction||Lok Sabha only||Category A bills (provisions of Article 110 (1) of the Constitution of India) are introduced in Lok Sabha while Category B (expenditure from Consolidated Fund of India) bills can be introduced in any of the two houses.|
|Power of Rajya Sabha||The power of Rajya Sabha is restricted.||Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha has equal powers.|
|Joint Sitting||No provision of joint sitting||Provisions are there regarding joint sitting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.|
Note: Every money bill is a finance bill until and unless it is specified by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha as the money bill. Further, every finance bill is not the money bill.