A man holds a bag of budget papers at Parliament House before tabling of the budget in parliament in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg)

Supreme Court Rejects PIL Seeking Interim Budget Repeal

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation seeking quashing of the Feb. 1 interim Budget on the alleged ground that there was no constitutional provision for an interim Budget.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna said it was not inclined to entertain the petition by lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma, filed in his personal capacity. Sharma in his PIL said there was provision for only a full annual Budget and a vote-on-account under the Constitution.

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A vote-on-account is an approval taken in an election year for a limited period for government spending; a full-fledged budget is presented later by the newly elected government. The interim Budget was presented in the Lok Sabha on Feb. 1, proposing an array of incentives for both middle class and farmers.

The 2019 Lok Sabha elections are scheduled to take place within a few months.

In December last year, the top court imposed a cost of Rs 50,000 on Sharma for filing a public interest litigation against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over an issue related to the Reserve Bank of India's capital reserve.

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