In an interesting development over Congress leader, KVP Ramachandra Rao’s private member bill for special status , Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha P J Kurien refers the matter of deciding if the Andhra Pradesh Reorg (amend) Bill is a money bill to the Speaker.
Rajya Sabha has taken up the discussion the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2015 given by KVP over special status. Former Prime Minister Manmohan singh stated that His cabinet has given assurances on the floor of the house . Congress leader Jairam Ramesh stated that the assurances given by UPA govt was also agreed by then leader of the oppostion Arun Jaitley.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley again played the spin doctor in Rajya Sabha at the very last moment on Andhra Pradesh special status bill. He took a stand raising objection of KVP bill terming it as Money bill quoting article rule 186.
For a Bill to be considered as a Money Bill, it must only contain provisions related to taxation, borrowing of money by the government, expenditure from or receipt to the Consolidated Fund of India, and matters that are incidental to such taxation, expenditure and related subjects.
Taking the objections, The Deputy Chairman also expressed doubts over the bill and gave ruling quoting rule 168 stating that, If Chairman has doubts whether it is money bill or not , The decision of The Speaker of Lok Sabha is the final authority to decide on whether a Bill is a Money Bill. The Speaker certifies a Bill as a Money Bill, and his decision is final. Since the constitution specifies that parliamentary proceedings may not be questioned by any court, it appears that after a Bill’s passage in the House, it cannot be challenged on the ground that it wasn’t a Money Bill.