12 Oct 2022 8:05 AM GMT
Persuaded by the petitioners to change its preliminary view that the challenge to demonetisation has become an academic issue, the Supreme Court on Wednesday commenced hearing the legal arguments raised by petitioners on merits.After the arguments of the day, the Court asked the Union of India and the Reserve Bank of India to file a comprehensive affidavit in response to the...
Persuaded by the petitioners to change its preliminary view that the challenge to demonetisation has become an academic issue, the Supreme Court on Wednesday commenced hearing the legal arguments raised by petitioners on merits.
After the arguments of the day, the Court asked the Union of India and the Reserve Bank of India to file a comprehensive affidavit in response to the petitioners' arguments, especialy the one that Section 26(2) of the Reserve Bank of India Act does not authorize the Union to completely cancel currency notes of particular denominations. The petitioners argue that Section 26(2) empower the Centre to cancel currency notes of a particular series and not the entire currency notes.
The bench also said that it wants to see the documents relating to the RBI Board meetings ahead of the announcement of the demonetisation. The case will be next considered on November 9.
A Constitution Bench comprising Justices S Abdul Nazeer, BR Gavai, AS Bopanna, V Ramasubramanian and BV Nagarathna is considering 58 petitions which challenge the decision taken by the Central Government to demonetise the currency notes of Rupees 500 and 1000 denominations.
On the previous hearing date (September 28), the Court had observed that it will first examine whether the petitions challenging demonetisation have become academic.
While Attorney General for India R Venkataramani and Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta repeatedly asserted that the issue has become academic in view of the passage of 6 years, Senior Advocates P Chidambaram and Shyam Divan contended that the validity of the Government's decision was still open to challenge. The senior lawyers appearing for the petitioners raised the argument that the Government lacked the power to cancel the currency notes through an executive order and stressed that the issues hold relevance for the future as well.
Persuaded by the petitioners' arguments, the bench observed that the issue may not have become academic. The bench also said that it has the duty to answer the issues referred to it by the Constitution Bench and that it has to answer them "one way or the other for posterity".
A detailed account of today's exchange is given below :
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