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Passing Aadhaar law as money bill is fraud: Justice D.Y. Chandrachud

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Chandrachud

New Delhi, Sep 26: Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, a member of the five-judge Supreme Court bench on Aadhaar issue, on Wednesday ruled the Aadhaar Act cannot be treated as a money bill and passing it as one will be a fraud on the Constitution.

Holding that Rajya Sabha has an important role in the making of laws, Justice Chandrachud in his dissenting judgment said, “Superseding the authority of the Rajya Sabha is in conflict with the constitutional scheme and the legitimacy of democratic institutions. It constitutes a fraud on the Constitution.”

Passing of a Bill as a Money Bill, when it does not qualify for it, damages the delicate balance of bicameralism which is a part of the basic structure of the Constitution, said Justice Chandrachud.

Permitting the tabling of a bill as money bill when it is not so, Justice Chandrachud said would “constitute a subterfuge, something which a constitutional court cannot countenance.”

“Differences in a democratic polity have to be resolved by dialogue and accommodation. Differences with another constitutional institution cannot be resolved by the simple expedient of ignoring it”, Justice Chandrachud said.

“It may be politically expedient to do so. But it is constitutionally impermissible”, he said, adding: “This debasement of a democratic institution cannot be allowed to pass. Institutions are crucial to democracy. Debasing them can only cause a peril to democratic structures.”

Justice Chandrachud said the decision of the Lok Sabha Speaker on whether a bill can be treated as money bill can be subjected to judicial review.

The phrase in Article 110(3) of the Constitution says that the Speaker’s decision “shall be final” is subject to judicial review, Justice Chandrachud said. “The power of the Speaker cannot be exercised arbitrarily in violation of constitutional norms and values, as it damages the essence of federal bicameralism, which is a part of the basic structure of the Constitution.”

Justice Ashok Bhushan, agreeing with Justice Chandrachud, also held that the Aadhaar Act has wrongly been passed as a money bill.

“The Aadhaar Act, 2016 is not a money Bill. The Speaker of Lok Sabha wrongly certified the bill as a Money Bill under Article 110 of the Constitution of India virtually excluding the Rajya Sabha from legislative process and depriving the President of his power of return,” he added in his separate judgement.

“The Aadhaar bill being not a money bill and having been passed by Parliament as a money bill, this ground alone is sufficient to strike down the entire Act, 2016.”

Justice A.K. Sikri, reading the judgement also on behalf of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, however, held that Aadhaar bill was “rightly introduced” as money bill.

“We are of the opinion that bill was rightly introduced as money bill. Accordingly, it is not necessary for us to deal with other contentions of the petitioners, namely, whether certification by the Speaker about the bill being money bill is subject to judicial review or not, whether a provision which does not relate to Money Bill is severable or not. We reiterate that main provision is a part of Money Bill and the other is only incidental and, therefore, covered by clause (g) of Article 110 of the Constitution,” said Justice Sikri.

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New Delhi: Indian Youth Congress takes out torch rally to protest against Farm Bills 2020

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Youth Congress Farm Protest

New Delhi: Upping its ante against the government over the controversial farm Bills, the Youth Congress on Thursday took out a ‘Mashaal Juloos’ (torch rally) saying the party will always stand by the 60 crore farmers against the “black laws” and it will support all the organisations fighting for the farmers’ rights.

Hundreds of Indian Youth Congress activists led by its chief Srinivas B.V. and national incharge Krishna Allavaru started the torch rally from Raisina Road to India Gate. However, the Delhi Police stopped the torch rally before India Gate. Speaking to media, Allavaru said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi before coming to power in 2014 had promised two crore jobs to youths every year and double the income of the farmers. But now the government has brought the black laws to snatch the lands of the farmers.”

Accusing the government of being anti-farmer, Srinivas said that Youth Congress will stand with 60 crore farmers of the country and will fight the government to force it to withdraw the “anti-farmer” laws.

He also said that now the farmers will not be hoodwinked by the false promises of the Modi government and will fight for their rights on the streets of the country.

“The government talked about providing jobs and the upliftment of farmers, but with the anti-farmer black laws, the government is on the verge of making India farmer-free,” he said.

He also said that IYC will support all those organisation which will fight for the farmers’ rights.

On Wednesday also the IYC had taken out tractor rally from Panipat to New Delhi. The tractor rally, however, was stopped by the Haryana Police in Panipat’s Samalkha and hundreds of Youth Congress activits were detained.

The Congress has also planned nationwide agitations and programmes against the controversial farm Bills passed in Rajya Sabha on Sunday. The Congress has announced to collect two crore signatures of farmers from across the country by November 14 that it will submit to President Ram Nath Kovind asking him to not give his assent to the Bills.

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Congress draws up detailed plan for protests against farm Bills

Addressing a press conference, he said: I want to make two points in the context of what happened in the Rajya Sabha… I want to ask if there was any quorum or not… 5 to 7 people asked for division in front of me, but nobody paid heed.

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Kisan Tractor Rally

New Delhi: The Congress, which is protesting against the farm Bills passed by the Parliament, has chalked out a detailed programme of agitation, which will begin on September 26 with an online “Speak up for Farmers” campaign.

The party has also set up a “Save Farmer and Labour” committee.

On September 28, the party will organise a march from the Rajghat to the Raj Bhavan, and on October 2, the party will burn the effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in each assembly segment. A signature campaign will be held from October 2 to October 31, while a state-level farmers’ convention will be organised on October 10.

“BJP’s anti-farmer Bills ensure the profitability of a few in exchange of the prosperity of our farmers. These Bills are a direct attack on the backbone of our nation,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said on Thursday.

Addressing a press conference, he said: “I want to make two points in the context of what happened in the Rajya Sabha… I want to ask if there was any quorum or not… 5 to 7 people asked for division in front of me, but nobody paid heed.”

The bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha amid an uproar by opposition members that led to eight of them being suspended from the House.

“There is no mention of MSP, no criteria for pricing… despite that you are tricking the nation by saying that we have not removed MSP,” Singhvi said.

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‘Govt Insecure of Voices of Dissent’: Cong Fumes After Salman Khurshid, Udit Raj Named in Delhi Riots Chargesheet

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Salman Khurshid

New Delhi: The Congress hit out at the Modi government Thursday after Delhi police named its leaders Salman Khurshid and Udit Raj in a charge sheet filed in the February riot cases, saying it will “neither cow down nor bow down before authoritarianism”. “The FIR against Salman Khurshid, Udit Raj and others reflects the mortal fear and cowardice of the Modi government. These are men and women of proven track record and of stellar service to the nation. Not surprising that a narcissist government gets insecure of voices of dissent,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted.

The Delhi police charge sheet has said Khurshid and Raj were among politicians who gave provocative speeches during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Police have referred to former Congress Councillor Ishrat Jahan and a protected witness and said they told them about the speeches in their disclosure statements. The charge sheet said the protected witness stated in the statement, recorded under CrPC Section 161 (examination by police), that several big names such as Raj, Khurshid, CPM leader Brinda Karat had come to the Khureji protest site and gave “provocative speech”.

“Whether in the Parliament or the restless streets of India, the Modi government subjugates, suppresses and suffocates dialogue and discussion. PM Modi detests such democratic principles. Let it be remembered – we’ll neither cow down nor bow down before authoritarianism,” Surjewala added in a second tweet. Other Congress leaders too voiced their disapproval at their colleagues finding a mention in the charge sheet. Ahmed Patel said it is “shameful” that the BJP government is “falsely harassing” senior politicians like Khurshid, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechuri and others.

Yechury, Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav, economist Jayati Ghosh and Delhi University professor Apoorvanand were named in a supplementary charge sheet filed recently in the riot cases for “provoking and mobilizing” anti-CAA protesters. “These leaders have an impeccable record of fostering communal harmony, the Delhi police’s charges are not only wrong but also laughable,” Patel said in a tweet.

Jairam Ramesh tweeted, “A former Foreign Minister and Law Minister, Salman Khurshid is amongst the nicest, gentlest, learned, nationalistic, secular Indians I have known, and he figures in a chargesheet! It is a SHAME on the Delhi Police and its true and two masters.” Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control, leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.

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