The batch of pleas seeking review of the 2018 verdict which had upheld the Centre's flagship Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid has been rejected by the Supreme Court.
A bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan, S Abdul Nazeer and BR Gavai rejected the pleas. However, Justice Chandrachud disagreed with the other four judges and said that the court should wait till a larger Bench decides the question on certification of a Bill as a Money Bill before deciding the review petitions, reported The Indian Express.
Earlier, on September 26, 2018, in the famous dissenting verdict Justice DY Chandrachud had held that Aadhaar Act should not have been passed as a Money Bill as it amounts to a fraud on the Constitution and is liable to be stuck down.
An argument was presented earlier in front of the apex court by the petitioners which challenged the provisions of Aadhaar Act that the Aadhaar bill was certified as Money Bill which enabled the government to get it cleared without getting the majority vote in Rajya Sabha.
Rejecting the plea to review the 2018 verdict, the majority of judges said, "We have perused the review petitions as well as the grounds in support thereof. In our opinion, no case for review of judgment and order dated 26.09.2018 is made out. We hasten to add that change in the law or subsequent decision/judgment of a coordinate or larger Bench by itself cannot be regarded as a ground for review. The review petitions are accordingly dismissed."
Expressing his dissent over the judgement, Justice DY Chandrachud said, "I regret my inability to agree with the majority in dismissing the batch of review petitions."
Justice Chandrachud also noted that there were two critical questions among others – whether the decision of the Lok Sabha Speaker under Article 110(3) of the Constitution to certify a bill as a money bill under Article 110(1) is final and binding or can be subject to judicial review and if the decision is subject to judicial review, whether the Aadhaar Act, 2016 had been correctly certified as a "money bill'.
"Without the court having the benefit of the larger bench's consideration of the very issues which arise before us, a seal of finality on the issues in the present case would be placed by the course of action of majority, if the present batch of review petition is dismissed at this stage," said Justice Chandrachud.
The Sabrimala case, where certain questions of law arising in the context of an earlier decision by a five-judge Bench in September 2019 had been referred to a larger Bench while keeping the review petitions pending was also referred by Justice DY Chandrachud.
A copy of the judgement was uploaded on the Supreme Court website on Wednesday.