Aadhaar Act as a Money Bill — Judicial Review of Speaker’s Determination Concerning Money Bills

The primary hurdle in determining the constitutional validity of introducing the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, (hereinafter, “the Aadhaar Act”) as a money bill is whether courts can judicially review the decision of the Lok Sabha Speaker that it was a money bill.

If the Supreme Court does not have the power to judicially review the decision of the Speaker in this context, then it is irrelevant whether the Aadhaar Act is in substantive compliance with Article 110. Without such a power for the Supreme Court, the Speaker’s determination that the Bill before her was a Money Bill would be final and binding without any scope for legitimate judicial review.

This note, however, argues that the Supreme Court has the power to judicially review the Speaker’s decision in this regard and it is essential to lay down that foundation before the court examines the substantive compliance with Article 110 (the non-compliance with the terms of Article 110(1) is relatively an easier case to make).