SC upholds Union Government's 2016 demonetisation decision

A five-judge Constitution bench dismissed a batch of petitions challenging the Centre's 2016 decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes and said the decision, being the Executive's economic policy, cannot be reversed.
Representative image
Representative image

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the decision of the Central government taken in 2016 to demonetise the currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denominations. A five-judge Constitution bench dismissed a batch of petitions challenging the Centre's 2016 decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes and said the decision, being the Executive's economic policy, cannot be reversed.

Supreme Court bench said: "There was consultation between the Centre and the RBI on before demonetisation. There was a reasonable nexus to bring such a measure, and we hold that the doctrine of proportionality did not hit demonetization." The apex court had reserved its judgments on the batch of 58 petitions on December 7. Earlier, it had asked the Centre and Reserve Bank of India to place before it the records pertaining to the 2016 demonetisation decision in a sealed envelope. It had said that it has the power to examine the manner in which the decision for demonetisation was taken adding that "the judiciary cannot fold its hands and sit just because it is an economic policy decision". The top court's remarks came when the Reserve Bank of India counsel made the submission that judicial review cannot apply to economic policy decisions.

The RBI had told the apex court about the objective of the demonetisation policy to curb black money and fake currencies. Attorney General R Venkatramani had said that the economic policy of demonetisation was connected to a social policy where three evils are attempted to be addressed.

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