Demonetisation under review of Supreme Court
The Supreme Court ordered the setting up of a five-judge Constitution Bench to test the validity of a November 8 demonetisation notification and the legality of the government’s implementation of the policy.
The questions include whether the RBI notification and the "limited withdrawal" of one’s own money were violations of Articles 14 (right to equality), 19 (freedom of speech, trade, occupation, etc), 21 (fundamental right to protection of life) and 300A (right to property) of the Constitution. The apex court also wants the Constitution Bench to decide whether the very implementation of the notification suffered from “substantive and procedural unreasonableness”.
No interim relief
The court refrained from providing any drastic interim relief in terms of complaints raised by the petitioners, including that banks were not honouring the notified Rs. 24,000 weekly withdrawal limit of money and the expiry of exemptions granted to the public's use of demonetised Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 500 notes for essential services and institutions like railway ticketing and payments at government hospitals and pharmacies.
Decision of government given pre-eminence in economic matters
The Supreme Court said it trusted the government to be the best judge of its own economic and fiscal policies. The court placed its faith in the government's assurances that the policy was triggered to weed out black money, counterfeit currency and choke terror funding.