On December 7, the Supreme Court ordered the Center and the RBI to record all “relevant records” pertaining to the government’s decision to demonetize 1,000 and 500 rupees banknotes for its review.
A five-judge Constitution Bench presided over by Justice S.A. Nazeer heard arguments from Attorney-General R. Venkataramani, RBI’s attorney, and the petitioners’ attorneys, including senior attorneys P. Chidambaram and Shyam Divan, before reserving its decision on a group of appeals contesting the Centre’s decision.
The documents will be sent in a sealed cover, the Attorney General stated.
The court had previously stated that it could not be expected to sit idly by without conducting a judicial review of the process or manner in which the decision to demonetize the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes from legal tender in November 2016 was made.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which opposed the demonetisation strategy, was also questioned by the Supreme Court as to whether the government would have disregarded its concerns.
Demonetization was proclaimed by the government using a gazette notification rather than a parliamentary act. According to the petitioners, such a significant decision shouldn’t have been taken by “delegated legislation” like a gazette notification. Additionally, the petitioners claimed that the RBI was unaware of the decision to implement demonetisation.