Govt should not take money bill route to bypass RS: Jairam
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Monday said the government should not take the money bill route to bypass the Rajya Sabha
New Delhi: Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Monday said the government should not take the money bill route to bypass the Rajya Sabha to enact important laws while another member from his party made the case for detailed deliberations on legislations.
"We don't want to hear lectures on how important the House is. If this House is really a second house and not a secondary house, don't abuse the money bill route to pass important legislation," Ramesh said in the Upper House of Parliament on the occasion of its landmark 250th session. "Today, we celebrate democracy and indulge in some hypocrisy," he said, questioning the members' track record in the last two-three years.
The senior Congress leader said the money bill route was being used in many cases by the ruling party to get the parliamentary nod. Not naming Justice D Y Chandrachud of the Supreme Court but referring to his minority dissent in the September 2018 apex court verdict that upheld the validity of Aadhaar, Ramesh said: "He (Justice Chandrachud) said that passing of the Aadhaar bill was a fraud on the constitution but it was a minority view, it can be ignored. But this is the government that has taken a minority view and passed historic legislation". "These are double standards," he added. On September 26, 2018, a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by then CJI Justice Dipak Misra had upheld the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar scheme.
Justice Chandrachud was the only judge on the bench who gave a dissenting opinion, saying in his dissent note: "The passing Aadhaar Act as money bill is a fraud on the constitution." Ramesh said that it was his Ernest plea to the government to demonstrate its seriousness to the House by respecting legislative scrutiny. "Just do not indulge in bypass surgery," he said. Participating in the debate earlier, Congress leader Anand Sharma said detailed discussion should take place in the House as the bills passed impact each and every person in the country.
Without referring to J&K, he said nowhere in the constitution is it written that a state can be dissolved.
"No law should be made in the country in haste," Sharma said, adding that the country's federal system did not happen by accident but as a result of the independence movement. Meanwhile, Neeraj Shekhar of the BJP took objection to a remark by Ramesh that a lot of "enforced migration" of MPs has taken place from the opposition to the Treasury benches.
The Congress leader had not named any particular member.
Shekhar recently joined the BJP from the Samajwadi Party.
Ramesh said that out of 12 nominated members in the Rajya Sabha, eight have joined Treasury benches in the last two years.
Deputy Chairman Harivansh made case for serious debates and said Rajya Sabha should discuss issues like climate change, artificial intelligence and issues related to traffic on roads.
Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu asked members to pay attention when present in the House and also ensure its dignity and decorum as he adjourned the Rajya Sabha for the day.
Vinay Sahasrabuddhe (BJP), Ritabrata Banerjee (Ind) and Rakesh Sinha (Ind) also participated in the debate.