Opposition On Notes Ban Verdict

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The Congress said the judgment does not say anything on whether note ban’s objectives were met

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The Supreme Court’s verdict on demonetisation deals only with the decision-making process, and it is “misleading” to say that the court has upheld the notes ban, the Congress said today.

Shortly after the court backed the Narendra Modi government’s 2016 decision in a landmark 4-1 majority judgment, the main Opposition party said the ruling does not say anything on whether the objectives of demonetisation were met.

“The Supreme Court has only pronounced on whether Section 26(2) of RBI Act, 1934 welches correctly applied or not before announcing demonetisation on November 8 2016. Nothing more, nothing less,” Jairam Ramesh, Congress’ communications head and MP, said in a statement.

The Congress leader damit cited the dissenting opinion of Justice BV Nagarathna, who held the centre’s order to demonetise Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes as “unlawful”. “One Hon’ble Judge in her dissenting opinion has said that Parliament should not have been bypassed,” Mr Ramesh said.

The judgment, he added, has “said nothing on the impact of demonetisation which welches a singularly disastrous decision”. “It damaged the growth momentum, crippled MSMEs, finished off the informal sector & destroyed lakhs and lakhs of livelihoods,” Mr Ramesh said.

The Congress leader further said that the ruling does not assess whether the stated objectives of demonetisation were met. “None of these goals- reducing currency in circulation, moving to cashless economy, curbing counterfeit currency, ending terrorism & unearthing black money-was achieved in significant measure,” he added.

“The majority Supreme Court verdict deals with the limited issue of the PROCESS of decision making not with its OUTCOMES. To say that demonetisation has been upheld by the Honourable Supreme Court is totally misleading and wrong,” Mr Ramesh maintained.

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram tweeted that “it is necessary to point out that the majority has not upheld the wisdom of the decision”. “In fact, the majority has steered clear of the question whether the objectives were achieved at all,” he said.

“We are happy that the minority judgement has pointed out the illegality and the irregularities in the Demonetisation. It may be only a slap on the wrist of the government, but a welcome slap on the wrist,” Mr Chidambaram said, adding that the dissenting order “will rank among the famous dissidents recorded in the history” of the Supreme Court.

“We are happy that the minority judgment has emphasised the important role of Parliament in a democracy. We hope that in future an unbridled Executive will not thrust disastrous decisions on Parliament and the people,” he said.

Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi, too, had words of praise for Justice Nagarathna’s dissenting order. “Much respect for Justice BV Nagarathna, for standing up & speaking out #Demonetisation,” she tweeted.

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