Judicial Review and Money Bills
Pratik Datta, Shefali Malhotra & Shivangi Tyagi*
Volume 10 Issue 2 (2017)
Under the existing constitutional scheme in India, for a bill to be enacted into a law, it has to be approved by both Houses of the Parliament – the Lower House (Lok Sabha) and the Upper House (Rajya Sabha). However, one significant exception to this general rule is the certification of a bill as a ‘money bill’ by the Speaker of the Lower House, whereupon the bill can be enacted into a law by the Lower House alone, without any approval from the Upper House. Although the scope of a ‘money bill’ is broadly delineated in the Constitution, it is possible that a bill could be incorrectly certified as a ‘money bill’ by the Speaker and enacted into a law without the approval of the Upper House. Further, the Constitution accords finality to the decision of the Speaker as to whether the bill is a ‘money bill’, thus raising issues such as whether such finality would bar the Supreme Court from reviewing the accuracy of the Speaker’s decision in this regard; and whether the Supreme Court can strike down such a law as being unconstitutional, if the Speaker’s decision is indeed found to be incorrect. In this paper, we examine these questions which are of immense contemporary relevance in India, and attempt to posit our conclusions to the same.