A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar today dismissed a PIL which challenged the advancement of the Union Budget to February one ahead of the upcoming Assembly polls in five states saying that was no valid argument to corroborate how it will influence voters in the five poll-bound states.
Rejecting petitioner and lawyer M L Sharma’s vehement request to issue notice to the Centre and at least seek their response, a bench headed by Chief Justice Khehar told Sharma : “No sorry we dont find any merit in this petition. You are saying the timing is deliberately to influence the voters. How? you are unable to corroborate it..your claim with a valid argument”.
“Going by this argument, next you will say that the party in power at the Centre should not contest state polls”, the bench told Sharma.
On the last date of hearing it had sought to know from the petitioner in a PIL challenging the advancement of the Union Budget which law or provision of the constitution is violated by the decision.
“Tentatively we do not find any justification in what you are saying. Any ways we will give you one more opportunity. Come well prepared. You say that the preponement is illegal. We would like to know which law or provision of the constitution is violated?’ a bench of chief justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud had asked advocate M L Sharma, the petitioner in the PIL.
“It only says we are going to present the budget on February 1 instead of March 1 which provision of law or constitution is violated address our question”, said the bench.
The PIL has also sought a direction to strip BJP of its lotus election symbol for alleged violation of the model code of conduct, which came into effect after declaration of assembly polls in five states.
The PIL said the Centre be directed to present the Union Budget in the financial year 2017-18 which would commence from April 1, instead of the proposed February 1 date.
It also said that the central government be restrained from declaring “any relief, programme, financialbudget until the states’ elections are over” as they would violate the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).
The Election Commission had on January 4 come out with the schedule of Assembly elections to be held in five states, including Uttar Pradesh.
The Centre has already decided to convene the Budget Session of Parliament from January 31 and present the Budget for 2017-18 fiscal the very next day.
Instead of usual February 28, the Budget this year is scheduled to be presented on February 1, only days before the Assembly elections go underway in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur between February 4 and March 8.
Read the order here.
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