Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court of India on Monday rejected a petition seeking the postponement of Union budget’s presentation date due to the assembly polls in five states. A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar dismissed the petition and said that the budget can be presented as per its schedule.

The bench, which also comprised of D Y Chandrachud and Justices N V Ramana, further stated that there is no illustration to support that the presentation of Union Budget would influence voters’ mind in the upcoming state elections.

The apex court also referred constitutional provisions and said that there are clear divisions of subjects, Union, State and concurrent in the Constitution. Stating the provisions, the top court said that the presentation of Union budget can not depend on state polls which keep happening.

The court wasn’t impressed with the arguments that the central government in the budget may announce sops for the voters of the states in which elections are going to happen. SC slammed the argument saying “Your argument is absurd. This way you will say the party in power at Centre should not contest state polls”.

The PIL has said the central government would be directed to present the Budget in the fiscal year 2017-18 which would begin from April 1, instead of the proposed date of ‘February 1’. It has also stated that the government be restrained from announcing any relief or programme in the financial budget until the elections in the states are over as any such declaration would be the violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

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