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Statement on the Illegitimate and Inappropriate Use Money Bills and Finance Bills

More than 200 concerned citizens have expressed concern on the classification of the Finance Bill, 2017 as a "Money Bill" and appealed to Vice President Hamid Ansari. The statement is reproduced below:

 

March 29, 2017

 

Dear Honourable Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha,

 

As concerned citizens of India, we are appalled and dismayed at the Government’s use of money bills to push through important legislation that affects all citizens, without requiring approval by both houses of Parliament.

 

This undemocratic strategy has already been employed in the case of the Aadhaar Bill, even though it contains many provisions that go well beyond issues relating to taxation and money appropriations of the government, which will directly affect every citizen of the country in numerous ways. Despite the fact the millions of citizens will be denied their rights because of this, the Bill makes access to many essential and other public services contingent on Aadhaar. It is already evident that making it compulsory in food distribution in some states has excluded many needy and deserving citizens without cause. The Bill allows for unprecedented surveillance of every citizen and massive invasion of privacy. These can be used by governments at different levels to target political opponents and dissidents, as well as others. Because it enables data sharing even by private companies, it renders all citizens vulnerable to identity theft, fraud, cyber-piracy, data breaches and other uses of their personal data with very serious security implications. Furthermore, the protections and cyber-security provisions in the Bill are inadequate and do not meet the standards prevalent in most countries. Despite all these concerns, the Bill will not even be debated in the Rajya Sabha and has not been subject to adequate public scrutiny.

 

The most recent and alarming case of passing important and far reaching laws in the guise of money bills is the inclusion in the Finance Bill 2017 of some very important features that actually have no place in such a Bill and deserve to be independently discussed and debated. The Bill contains several provisions that will drastically increase “black money” and corruption. An important provision would enable political parties to receive unlimited and anonymous funding from corporate entities and from abroad, and will make electoral bonds anonymous. Since it is well known that political funding is probably the most important source of corruption in the country making it more opaque flies in the face of claims to greater transparency and will make matters even worse than they are at present with terrible implications for electoral democracy in the future. It is also in complete contrast to the treatment meted out to Non–Governmental Organisations and civil society groups fighting for people’s rights, who are not being allowed to receive legitimate funds on dubious grounds. The Finance Bill 2017 also gives sweeping powers without accountability to the Income Tax department, which can encourage extortion at all levels.

 

Such bills, which have serious implications for democratic functioning and financial security of all citizens, require serious and extensive public discussion and debate at all levels, with knowledge of the full implications of all of their provisions. Therefore, they cannot and should not be passed as money bills. We, therefore, appeal to you to at the very least allow extensive and uninterrupted discussions into every aspect of the Bill No. 12-C of 2017 in the Upper House and put all these on record and do everything else in your power to ensure that the practice of by–passing important bills by illegitimately classifying them as money bills is immediately stopped. We appeal to you to protect the rights and duties of the Upper House and the interests of all the people of India. These bills and the relevant provisions that cannot be described as routine in any sense, must be subject to proper democratic scrutiny in both houses of Parliament.

 

 

Signed by,

 

Aruna Roy, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan 

Prabhat Patnaik, Professor Emeritus, JNU, New Delhi

Fali Nariman, Eminent Jurist and Senior Advocate, Supreme Court 

Jayati Ghosh, Professor, JNU, New Delhi 

Zoya Hasan, Professor Emerita, Jawaharlal Nehru University 

Anand Teltumbde, Author, Civil Rights Activist and Management Professional 

T M Krishna, Musician, Writer, Public Speaker, Activist 

Medha Patkar, Narmada Bachao Andolan, NAPM 

Mary E John, Centre for Women’s Development Studies, New Delhi 

Girish Karnad, Playwright, Actor, Director 

EAS Sarma, Former Secretary to the Govt. of India 

Deep Joshi, PRADAN 

Kalpana Kannabiran, Council for Social Development, Hyderabad 

Nikhil Dey, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan

Teesta Setalvad, Citizens for Justice and Peace

Ram Puniyani, All India Secular Forum

Wajahat Habibullah, Former Chief Information Commissioner

Prashant Bhushan, Senior Counsel, Supreme Court of India 

Nandini Sundar, Professor, Department of Sociology, Delhi University 

Trilochan Sastry, Association for Democratic Reforms

Achin Vanaik, Retired Professor, University of Delhi

Yogendra Yadav, President, Swaraj India

Pamela Philipose, Senior Journalist 

Jagdeep Chhokar, Association for Democratic Reforms 

Harsh Mander, Centre for Equity Studies 

Prof. Anandalakshmy, President, Bala Mandir Research Foundation, Chennai 

Bezwada Wilson, Safai Karmchari Andolan 

Nandita Das, Actor, Writer, Director 

Amar Kanwar, Film-maker 

Lalit Mathur, Former IAS Officer 

Satish Deshpande, Professor, Delhi University

Vrinda Grover, Advocate, Supreme Court of India

Bina Agarwal, Professor of Development Economics

Usha Ramanathan, Independent Legal Researcher, Delhi 

Vandana Shiva, Research Foundation for Science Technology and Ecology, Delhi 

Mohini Giri, Guild of Service 

Annie Raja, National Federation of Indian Women 

Manisha Sethi, Jamia Milia Islamia University, Delhi 

Sumi Krishna, Writer, Researcher and Teacher, Bengaluru

Reyhan Datta, SOS Children’s Village, West Bengal

Arundhati Dhuru, NAPM, Uttar Pradesh

Sandeep Pandey, Teacher and Activist 

Sadanand Menon, Freelance Media Person 

Nityanand Jayaraman, Writer, social activist, Chennai 

Krishnakant Chauhan, NAPM

Suhas Kolhekar, NAPM

Osama Manzar, Digital Empowerment Foundation 

Anjali Bhardwaj, NCPRI 

Kavita Srivastava, PUCL Rajasthan 

Gabriele Dietrich, NAPM and Pennurimai Iyakkam

Vasanth Kannabiran, Activist and Writer 

Sanjay Kak, Film-maker, Delhi

Rohini Hensman, Author and Activist

Mamta Jaitly, Vividha, Jaipur 

Kamayani Bali- Mahabal, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, Mumbai

Bhaskar Prabhu, Mahiti Adhikar Manch, Mumbai and NCPRI

Dunu Roy, Hazards Centre

Rajendra Ravi, NAPM

Swami Agnivesh

Nivedita Menon, Jawaharlal Nehru University 

Aditya Nigam, CSDS, Delhi 

Daniel Mazgaonkar, Sarvodaya Movement 

Pradip Prabhu, Kashtakari Sanghatna 

Bela Bhatia, Researcher, Activist, Chhattisgarh 

Sudhir Vombatkere, NAPM 

Irfan Engineer, Centre for Study of Society and Secularism 

Anupam Saraph, Innovator and Thought Leader 

Dyuti, Researcher, Delhi 

Raksha Kumar, Independent Journalist

Neha Dixit, Independent Journalist

Laxmi Murthy, Journalist, Bangalore

Vipul Mudgal, Common Cause

Amrita Johri, NCPRI 

Revati Laul, Independent Journalist and Film-maker

Annie Thomas, Journalist, Chennai 

Gopal Krishna, Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties 

Aruna Burte 

Rina Mukherji, Independent Journalist, Kolkata 

Radhika Desai 

Radha Holla Bhar, Independent Researcher 

Manoj Mitta, Independent Journalist 

Arun Gupta, International Baby Food Action Network 

Amrita Shodhan

Kiran Shaheen, Activist, Delhi

Rita Anand, Editor, Civil Society

Panchali Ray, Jadavpur University

Mohan Rao, Professor, JNU, New Delhi

James Pochury, Delhi

Aruna Rodrigues, Madhya Pradesh 

A Mani, University of Calcutta 

Farah Naqvi, Independent Writer & Activist 

Rajni Palriwala, Professor, Dept. of Sociology, Delhi University

Wilfred Dcosta, Indian Social Action Forum, New Delhi

Snehlata Gupta, University of Delhi

Vickram Krishna 

Indu Prakash Singh, Activist, Delhi 

Linda Chhakchhuak Jayanti Banerjee Dipak Dholakia

Bhavani, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation

Sharad Lele, Bangalore 

Subhash Gatade, New Socialist Initiative 

Virginia Saldanha, Indian Christian Women’s Movement 

Ammu Joseph, Journalist, Bangalore Anita Cheria, OpenSpace, Bangalore

Chhaya Datar

R Padmini, Child Rights Trust, Bangalore 

Jhuma Sen, Asst. Prof., O P Jindal Global University 

Niti Saxena 

Richa Singh, Sangtin Kisan Majdoor Sangthan 

Nazariya Foundation, New Delhi 

Ramshanker Tiwari, Retd. Labour Commissioner (Central)

Svati Joshi, Academic, Formerly with the Delhi University

Karuna D W, Researcher, Chennai

Shashank Kela, Writer, Chennai 

Astrid Lobo, Satyashodhak and Indian Christian Women’s Movement

Chayanika Shah, Forum Against Oppression of Women, Mumbai 

Rakhi Sehgal, Labour Activist, Delhi 

Seema, Bhopal 

Vandana Mahajan, Independent Practitioner 

Kalpana Mehta, Indore

Sherna Gandhy, Pune

Roshmi Goswami

Madhu Sarin, CSD, Chandigarh

Ammu Abraham, Forum Against Oppression of Women, Mumbai 

Anubha Rastogi, Advocate, Mumbai 

Ritu Dewan 

Madhu Mehra, Lawyer, New Delhi 

Suniti, NAPM 

Meera Sanghamitra, NAPM Sharanya, Humane, Koraput

Kalyani Menon Sen, Feminist Learning Partnerships 

S. Anandhi, Associate Prof., Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai.

Sejal Dave, ANANDI

Qaneez Sukhrani, Association of Nagar Road Citizens’ Forums, Pune 

Sujata Patel, President, Indian Sociological Society 

Stan Swamy Bagaicha, Ranchi, Jharkhand 

Prakash Burte 

Anwar Jafri, Samavesh, Madhya Pradesh 

Suneeta Dhar, Activist, New Delhi 

Sheetal Sharma, North East Network, Assam

Padmaja Shaw, Retd. Professor, Osmania University

Wilson Naik Rathore, Hyderabad University

Nitya Ghotge, Pune 

Shobha, Human Rights Activist, Bangalore 

Mira Shiva, Coordinator, Initiative for Health & Equity in Society 

Malini Manjoly, Bihar

Sobha Rani, University of Hyderabad 

Manjari Katju, University of Hyderabad

Varghese Theckanath S.G., Montfort Social Institute, Hyderabad 

Vikram Vyas, Ajit Foundation Science Centre 

Vinatha Viswanathan 

Indira C, Public Health Researcher, Delhi 

Anuradha Kapoor, Kolkata 

Neeraj Malik, former professor, Delhi University

Javed Malick, former professor, Delhi University National Federation of Indian Women

Payal Dhar, New Delhi 

Aheli Moitra, The Morung Express, Nagaland

Koninika Ray, National Federation of Indian Women

Padma Velaskar, Retd. Prof., TISS, Mumbai

Sadhna Arya, University of Delhi 

Abha Bhaiya, Activist 

Monisha Behal, Activist 

Aravinda Potluri, Independent Solidarity Activist A.Suneetha, Senior Fellow, Anveshi, Hyderabad

Ashish Kothari, Kalpavriksh, Pune

Shweta Rao, Delhi

Aditi Chanchani, EQUATIONS

 Satinath Sarangi, Bhopal Group for Information and Action

 Rashida Bee & Champa Devi Shukla, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationary Karmchari Sangh

Nawab Khan, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha

Balkrishna Namdeo, Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogee Sangharsh Morcha

Saheli Women's Resource Centre, New Delhi Alok Prasanna Kumar, Advocate, Supreme Court

Madhuresh Kumar, NAPM

Aniket Alam

Nandini Rao, Activist, Delhi

Shakil Nazim, Former Officer, Govt. of Rajasthan

Col. Pavan Nair VSM (Retd.), Trustee Jagruti Seven Sanstha, Pune

Aruna Chandrasekhar, Independent Journalist

Alamu R, Jawaharlal Nehru University

M.G.Devasahayam, Convener, Forum for Electoral Integrity, Chennai

Geeta Seshu, Independent Journalist, Mumbai

Anuradha Kapoor, Swayam, Kolkata

Brinelle D'Souza, Faculty, Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Sangeeta Chatterji

Sharmila, Department of HSS, IIT Bombay

Olga Netto, ICWM, Mumbai

Madhusree Mukherjee, Kolkata

Madhu Bhushan, Independent Activist, (Re)searcher, Writer, Bangalore

Dr. Amar Jesani, Mumbai

R. Krishnaswami, Erode, Tamilnadu

Dr.Murali Lingam, Popular Hospital, Bangalore

Philomena D'Souza, Nashik

Vahida Nainar

Devvrat, Advocate, Supreme Court

Mahi Pal Singh, Indian Radical Humanist Association

Rachael Alphonso, ICWM and Green Madcaps

Bhanwar Meghwanshi, Journalist, Author and Dalit Activist

Preeti Sampat, Academic, Ambedkar University, Delhi

Simpreet, Mumbai, TISS

Radhakant Saxena, PUCL, Rajasthan

Prem Shankar Sharma, PUCL, Rajasthan

K. Saradamoni and G. Asha

Jagdish Patel, Peoples Training and Research Centre, Vadodara

Saikat Ghosh, Assistant Professor, IIT-Kanpur

Dr. Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, Chairman J&K RTI Movement

Pushkar Raj, New Delhi

Kaushik Ghosh, The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA

Sudeshna Sengupta

Yug Mohit Chaudhary, Senior Advocate, Mumbai High Court

Pandav Nayak, IGNOU, New Delhi

Rakesh Ganguli, Development Practitioner, Maharashtra

Battini Rao, Progressive Organisation of People

Dr.G.Vijay, Assistant Professor, School of Economics, University of Hyderabad   

and many more.

 

Updated On : 12th Apr, 2017

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