The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea seeking postponement of the Budget until after the Assembly elections in five states. The court refused to admit the plea saying “there was not even a single concrete example that the presentation of the Union Budget would influence the minds of an electorate in state elections”. The court did not grant an opportunity to lawyer M L Sharma, who had filed public interest litigation, to come back to it if the Centre violated the poll code of conduct in its Budget, to be presented on February 1.
The court said there were divisions of subjects, Union, state and concurrent in the Constitution and presentation of the Budget cannot be dependent on state polls “which keep happening.” It was not Budget 2017-18 impressed with the arguments that the Centre might in the Budget announce sops for voters of the states going to the polls. “Your argument is absurd. This way you will say the party in power at the Centre should not contest state polls”. Later in the evening, the Election Commission said no specific schemes can be announced in the Budget for the five poll-bound states.