Speaker: Pratik Datta is pursuing an MSc in Law and Finance as a Chevening Weidenfeld Hoffmann scholar at the University of Oxford. After serving as a law clerk at the Supreme Court of India, Pratik became one of the first lawyers to join an economic policy think tank of the Indian Finance Ministry. For six years he worked closely with the Indian government in giving legal shape to financial reforms in India. These include drafting the Indian Financial Code and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016; setting up the Monetary Policy Committee; and merger of the Indian commodities and securities regulators.

Abstract: The constitutional challenge to the Aadhaar Act 2016, is currently being heard by the Indian Supreme Court. On 17 January 2018, the constitutional bench asked Senior Counsel P Chidambaram whether the speaker’s decision classifying the Aadhaar Act as a ‘money bill’ could be subject to judicial review at all. Under the Constitution of India, for a bill to be enacted into a law, it has to be approved by both Houses of Parliament - the Lower House (Lok Sabha) and the Upper House (Rajya Sabha). A money bill is an exception to this general rule. A bill certified as a 'money bill' by the Lok Sabha speaker can be enacted into law by the Lok Sabha alone, without any approval from the Rajya Sabha. Article 110(3) of the Constitution of India categorically states that 'if any question arises whether a Bill is a Money Bill or not, the decision of the Speaker of the House of the People thereon shall be final'. Does this provision imply that the Indian Supreme Court cannot review whether the speaker's certification of a bill as a 'money bill' is correct or not? And if the speaker's decision is actually incorrect, can the Supreme Court not strike down such a law for being unconstitutional? These questions are of immense contemporary relevance in India and form the central research theme of this presentation.

Primary Discussant: Mariyam Kamil is a D Phil candidate in law at the University of Oxford. Her research examines the constitutional right to privacy in India.

Blogger: Roli Sharma is a BCL candidate at the University of Oxford. Prior to the BCL, Roli was an Associate at the New Delhi office of Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, where she was a part of the General Corporate/Real Estate practice group. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Dr Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow in 2014, and her areas of interest include environmental law, insolvency and finance law.