New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday hailed the Supreme Court for rejecting the amendments on special tribunals under the Finance Bill and said that the order has closed the doors for making arbitary appointments by the Narendra Modi-led government.
Addressing a press conference here, former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh said that the apex court on Wednesday ruled on his petition filed in September 2017.
Describing the judgement as victory for democracy and the Rajya Sabha, Ramesh said: “On February 1, 2017, then Finance Minister, late Arun Jaitley had proposed amendments in 19 special tribunals in the budget. These were part of the Finance Bill 2017.”
Ramesh pointed out that the amendments were introduced in form of money bills, and the Lok Sabha had right to debate them, and not the Rajya Sabha.
“This amendment meant that qualifications, experience of judicial and technical members in NGT were ignored and government was empowered to make arbitrary appointments,” he said.
Highlighting the judgement, the Congress leader said: “Today, the Supreme Court gave three decisions. I had demanded that it should not be brought in the form of money bill. Today the Supreme Court said that this matter should go to a larger bench. Hence the question arises that it cannot be a money bill.”
He said the court has clearly stated that the amendments brought by the Finance Bill 2017 are rejected.
“The Supreme Court has said that if amendments are to be done, do it in the law of the tribunal. They should be debated in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
“The Supreme Court has closed the doors for arbitrary appointment by the Modi government. It has said that the rules which were framed by the government in the last one and a half years, are illegal,” he said, adding that the court has told the government to frame the rules again and get them cleared by both houses of Parliament.
Ramesh alleged that the government did not have a majority in the Rajya Sabha, and hence found a way to place every bill as a money bill which are not debated in the Rajya Sabha.
“Today that door has been shut by the Supreme Court,” he said.
Ramesh said that he filed this petition on behalf of the party but this was not just a victory for Congress, this was the victory for the Rajya Sabha, democracy, and a very big defeat for the Modi government.