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Supreme Court might pronounce verdict on demonetisation on Monday

Supreme Court might pronounce verdict on demonetisation on Monday

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will give its judgement on a set of pleas that challenged the Narendra Modi government's 2016 decision to demonetise currency notes of ₹ 1,000 and ₹ 500 denominations on Monday, PTI reported.

The verdict will be pronounced by the five-judge Constitution of Justices SA Nazeer, BR Gavai, BV Nagarathna A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian. The bench is headed by Justice Nazeer, who is to retire on January 4. The court is reopening on January 2 after the winter break.

Monday's cause list suggested that there will be two separate judgements on the matter, but it's not clear whether they will be on the same line or not. The said judgements will be pronounced by Justices BR Gavai and BV Nagarathna.

On December 7, the court asked the Centre, as well as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), to put on record the relevant items regarding the demonetisation before reserving the 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.

During the hearing, senior advocate P Chidambaram argued that scrapping the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes was deeply flawed. He also argued that the government could not on its own initiate any proposal relating to legal tender, which can only be done on the recommendation of the RBI's central board.

But the government curiously argued that the court could not decide a matter when no tangible relief can be granted by way of "putting the clock back" and "unscrambling a scrambled egg".

In the meantime, the RBI had submitted on different instances that there were "temporary hardships", but those are an integral part of the nation building. Also, the government had its hands on a mechanism to solve the problems that arose.

The Centre also argued on a full charge that the demonetisation exercise was a "well-considered" decision and was part of a larger strategy to counter fake money, terror financing, black money and tax evasion.

The Supreme Court heard the matter after a batch of 58 petitions that challenged the demonetisation exercise, announced on November 8, 2016.

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