Understanding Money Bills and the Ongoing Constitutional Challenge         

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February 21, 2024

Understanding Money Bills and the Ongoing Constitutional Challenge         


  • Money Bills serve as an expedited avenue for Parliament to enact laws, offering a streamlined process compared to regular bills. However, discerning which bills qualify for this designation isn’t straightforward, leading to constitutional scrutiny. The Supreme Court is currently tasked with clarifying the criteria for categorizing bills as money bills, a matter underscored by recent significant legal battles.

Defining Money Bills:

  • Money Bills offer a swift legislative route, requiring passage by both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha under Article 107 of the Constitution. However, Article 109 allows bills designated as “money Bills” to bypass the Rajya Sabha, necessitating only Lok Sabha’s assent within a limited timeframe, with the Rajya Sabha offering recommendations.

Criteria for Money Bills:

  • Article 110 outlines specific subjects, such as taxation and financial obligations, which qualify a bill as a money Bill. Notably, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha holds the final authority to determine a bill’s classification as a money Bill.

Challenges to Money Bills:

  • The significance of this issue is accentuated by recent enactments of ‘Finance Acts’ via the money Bill route, amending laws like the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and the Representation of the People Act. These legislative maneuvers have spurred legal challenges, prompting the Supreme Court’s intervention.

Legal Precedents:

  • In past cases, such as the Aadhaar Act’s challenge in 2018 and the striking down of rules introduced via the Finance Act, 2017, the Supreme Court grappled with the validity of bills passed as money Bills. The court’s rulings have underscored the need for clarity and adherence to constitutional provisions, particularly regarding the scope of Article 110.

Current Status and Implications:

  • Challenges to amendments made through the money Bill route remain unresolved pending the Supreme Court’s decision on the Finance Act, 2017. Recent judgments striking down provisions related to the electoral bond scheme highlight the ongoing legal contestation surrounding money Bills.


  • The debate over the classification of money Bills encapsulates broader issues of legislative procedure and constitutional interpretation. The Supreme Court’s forthcoming decision holds significant implications for the separation of powers and the integrity of the legislative process, potentially reshaping future legal battles and parliamentary practices.

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Understanding Money Bills and the Ongoing Constitutional Challenge | Vaid ICS Institute