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NEW DELHI : The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its judgment in a case challenging the government’s 2016 decision to ban 500 and 1,000 notes and asked the RBI and the Central government to submit all documents on the demonetization move.

This comes after certain individuals filed a plea before the top court against the RBI and the Centre in regard to the decision of demonetizing from the midnight of 8 November 2016. Total of 58 petitions have been filed so far in the matter.

A bench comprising justices B.R. Gavai, A.S. Bopanna, V. Ramasubramanian and B.V. Nagarathna said that “all relevant documents" must be submitted on record by 10 December. The five-judge constitution bench headed by justice S.A. Nazeer heard arguments from attorney general R. Venkataramani, RBI attorney Jaideep Gupta and the petitioners‘ attorneys who included senior barrister P. Chidambaram and Shyam Divan, before reserving its decision on appeals challenging government decision. Chidambaram argued that the central bank alone has the authority to control the issuance of bank notes.

He said the government cannot on its own initiate any proposal relating to currency notes, a decision that can only be made on the RBI’s recommendation. This decision, he argued, should therefore be struck down.

Chidambaram agued that demonetization was a significant economic decision that affected every citizen of the nation. He questioned the government’s authority to demonetize currency notes by invoking section 26 of the RBI Act, which he said only permits the government to cancel specific series of currency notes—not all notes of a given denomination.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Priyanka Gawande

Priyanka Gawande is a senior legal correspondent at Mint. She has worked as legal reporter for four years with both television and digital mediums. Based in Mumbai, she reports on disputes across sectors including banking, corporates and finance. This also includes insolvency and bankruptcy cases and intellectual property rights (IPR) litigation. Her focus also comprises tracking capital markets and disputes relating to securities law. Previously, Priyanka worked with Informist Media for 2.5 years covering major insolvency and bankruptcy cases and corporate developments. She started her career in journalism with Business Television India (BTVi) where she reported on primary markets, banking, finance and insurance companies.
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