Tuesday, January 31, 2023

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Verdict reserved on demonitisation decision, Supreme Court seeks records from Centre, RBI

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday has reserved its verdict on a plea challenging the decision of the Narendra Modi-led central government in 2016 to ban currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.

A bench of five judges was hearing a batch of 58 petitions objecting the Centre’s decision. The top court has also asked the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Centre to submit relevant records of the decision of demonitisation in a sealed envelope.

LiveLaw reported that the bench comprising of Justices S Abdul Nazeer, BR Gavai, AS Bopanna, V Ramasubramanian and BV Nagarathna has stated that the court will not sit folded hands just because it is an economic policy decision.

It also said it can examine the way the decision was taken.

Initially, the court had expressed the view that the matter is “academic” given the fact that six years have passed since the implementation of demonitisation. However, the court later agreed to hear the matter on merits.

Petitoner’s lawyer

Earlier, the petitioner’s lawyer senior Advocate P Chidambaram argued that although the effects of the decision cannot be undo but it is important to bring a law that will prevent “similar misadventures” to take place by future governments.

Among the petitions, there were certain pleas demanding to extend the deadline of exchanging old currency notes.

Centre’s defender

Attorney General R Venkataramani appearing for the Centre submitted that the motive of the decision was to end the evils of fake currency, black money and terror funding.

He further said that the scope of judicial review in economic policy decisions is
extremely narrow. He said although it has been presummed that the decision did not succeeded as it was thought it would, but that still cannot be a reason to invalidate the decision judicially.

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