The Supreme Court is scheduled to pronounce its judgement on the legality of the demonetisation policy tomorrow. A five-judge Constitution bench led by Justice S. A. Nazeer, who will retire on January 4, is anticipated to issue its decision.
Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian round out the five-judge panel, in addition to Justices Nazeer, Gavai, and Nagarathna. The top court reserved judgement after ordering the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to record all pertinent documents pertaining to the government’s 2016 decision.
Attorney General R. Venkataramani, the RBI’s attorney, and the petitioners’ attorneys, including prominent attorneys P. Chidambaram and Shyam Divan, presented their cases. Chidambaram had claimed that the government cannot on its own launch any proposal relating to legal tender, which can only be done at the suggestion of the RBI’s central board. He had called the elimination of the Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 currency notes extremely defective.
The RBI had previously acknowledged in its arguments that there were “temporary hardships” and that such were also a necessary component of the process of developing a nation, but that there was a mechanism through which the issues that emerged were resolved. The Centre recently informed the top court in an affidavit that the decision to implement demonetisation was “well-considered” and was a part of a bigger plan to address the threat of fake money, terror financing, black money, and tax evasion.
A group of 58 petitions contesting the demonetisation initiative announced by the Center on November 8, 2016, have been heard by the Supreme Court.