The Supreme Court today cleared the presentation of Union Budget 2017 in Parliament on 1 February dismissing a public interest litigation seeking its postponement citing Assembly polls in five states scheduled from 4 February to 8 March.
According to PTI, the Supreme Court dismissed the PIL, filed by ML Sharma, as there was no illustration to support that the presentation of the Budget would influence voters' mind in state elections.
The states that go for election during the period are Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Punjab and Goa.
The PIL had said that the Centre be directed to present the Budget in the financial year 2017-18 which would commence from 1 April, instead of the proposed 1 February date.
It has also said the central government be restrained from declaring "any relief, programme, financial budget until the states' elections are over" as they would violate the Model Code of Conduct.
The Election Commission had on 4 January come out with the schedule of Assembly elections to be held in the five states, including Uttar Pradesh.
The Centre has decided to convene the Budget Session of Parliament from 31 January to present the Budget for 2017-18 fiscal the very next day.
After the announcement of the election dates, the opposition parties had moved the Election Commission objecting to the presentation of the Budget on 1 February and demanding that the government should be asked to defer it till 8 March, the last day of voting.
A delegation of opposition parties comprising Congress, JD(U), BSP, SP, DMK and RJD met Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi to press their demand.
However, the government defended its move to advance Budget presentation by a month saying it had made clear its intention on this way back in September 2016 so as to help begin the investment cycle right from the first day of the new fiscal, 1 April.
It also told the Election Commission that it will refrain from making any announcements pertaining to the poll-bound states.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Jan 23, 2017 16:12 PM