The Supreme Court is scheduled to pronounce its judgment on a batch of pleas that challenged the government’s 2016 decision of demonetisation today. The note ban, as the move was often called, announced on November 8, 2016, demonetised currency notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 denominations. The Supreme Court has heard a batch of 58 petitions challenging the government’s demonetisation decision.
Justice SA Nazeer, who is heading the five-judge Constitution bench is scheduled to retire on January 4. The court is scheduled to reopen after a winter break two days before his retirement. The five-member bench comprises Justices BR Gavai, BV Nagarathna, AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, apart from SA Nazeer.
However, according to the Monday’s cause list, there will be two separate judgments in the matter that will be pronounced by Justices BR Gavai and BV Nagarathna.
On December 7, the apex court directed the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India to put on record the relevant records relating to the government’s 2016 demonetisation decision. It heard the arguments of Attorney General R Venkataramani, the RBI's counsel and the petitioners' lawyers, including senior advocates P Chidambaram and Shyam Divan.
Chidambaram argued that the decision to demonetise cannot be initiated by the government alone but should have been done on the recommendation of the RBI’s central board. He also argued that the Centre was withholding crucial documents on the decision-making process, including the letter to the RBI on November 7, a day before the announcement.
The government argued that a matter where no tangible relief can be granted by way of "putting the clock back" and "unscrambling a scrambled egg" cannot be decided by the court. The court said that the judiciary cannot fold its hands and sit just because it is an economic policy decision.
Earlier, in an affidavit the Centre had said that the demonetisation was a ‘well considered’ decision and part of a larger strategy to combat fake money, terror financing, black money and tax evasion.
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