SC verdict on pleas against demonetisation on Monday | India News

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NEW DELHI: A five-judge Supreme Court Constitution bench will on January 2, the first day of business after winter break, deliver its judgment on a bunch of petitions which had challenged the Union government’s November 8, 2016 decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.
All 58 petitions are listed for judgment on January 2 before a bench of Justices S Abdul Nazeer, BR Gavai, AS Bopanna, V Ramasubramanian and BV Nagarathna.
Most petitions challenged the validity of demonetisation while some sought a fresh window for exchanging scrapped notes which could not be exchanged within the deadline.
According to Monday’s cause list of the top court, there will be two separate judgments in the matter, which will be pronounced by Justices B R Gavai and B V Nagarathna. It is not clear whether the two judgments will be concurring or dissenting.
Besides Justices Nazeer, Gavai and Nagarathna, the other members of the five-judge bench are Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.
The top court had, on December 7, directed the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to put on record the relevant records relating to the government’s 2016 decision and reserved its verdict.
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.
Calling the scrapping of the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes deeply flawed, Chidambaram had argued that the government cannot on its own initiate any proposal relating to legal tender, which can only be done on the recommendation of the RBI’s central board.
Resisting the apex court’s attempt to revisit the 2016 demonetisation exercise, the government had said the court cannot decide a matter when no tangible relief can be granted by way of “putting the clock back” and “unscrambling a scrambled egg”.
The bench had dropped loud hints, during hearings between November 24 and December 7, that the judicial scrutiny of the government’s decision to demonetise may not involve scrapping it as the clock cannot be turned back after five years. However, it had said that the elaborate arguments advanced by the petitioners as well as the government on aspects of the procedure and provisions of RBI Act may persuade it to lay down guidelines for such exercises in future.
The RBI had earlier admitted in its submissions that there were “temporary hardships” and that those too are an integral part of the nation-building process, but there was a mechanism by which the problems that arose were solved.
In an affidavit, the Centre told the top court recently that the demonetisation exercise was a “well-considered” decision and part of a larger strategy to combat the menace of fake money, terror financing, black money and tax evasion.



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