Supreme Court of India on 13 January 2017 refused to accord an urgent hearing to the plea seeking postponement of presentation of the Union Budget prior to Assembly elections in five states.
The apex court asked the petitioner, who is a lawyer, to present material and legal provisions in support of the PIL and let it know the provision/s that is violated. The court also asked about the provision of the Indian Constitution that is violated, if the budget is presented on 1 February.
Petitioner: Manohar Lal Sharma, a lawyer by profession. The petitioner opined that pre-date presentation of the budget could influence the voters in the Assembly elections.
SC bench: The two-judge bench comprised of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud. CJI JS Khehar opined that the presentation of the budget in advance would help people in knowing what the government is going to do. In the case of problem, if any, everyone will get a due chance to object.
Highlights of the decision
• The petitioner was informed that they didn't find any material in support of the petition.
• The bench asked him to take time and prepare "hard" and come out with a material in support of the PIL.
• Finding nothing wrong in pre-date announcement of the Union Budget, the two-judge bench asked the petitioner to inform it the provision of law that is violated if the Budget is presented on 1 February.
The next hearing of the plea on the postponement of the budget session will be held on 20 January 2017.
About the PIL
The PIL sought to direct the Union Government to present the Union Budget in the financial year 2017-18 on 1 April 2017 instead of the proposed 1 February 2017.
It also said that Union Government should be restrained from declaring any relief, programme, financial budget until the states' elections are over" as they would violate the Model Code of Conduct.