The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday hailed the Supreme Court's judgement upholding the 2016 demonetisation decision as historic.
The five-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Monday in a 4:1 judgement upheld the Narendra Modi-led government's 2016 demonetisation decision.
Following the judgement, the BJP slammed the Opposition Congress for its campaign against the decision and asked if its Congress Rahul Gandhi will tender an apology after the verdict.
On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that currency notes of 500 and 1,000 denominations would cease to be legal tender and would instead be replaced by new notes of 500 and 2,000 denominations. A clutch of 58 petitions had challenged the decision, which were all rejected by the apex court on Monday.
Former Law Minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad asserted that the demonetisation proved to to be the "biggest blow" to terrorism by curbing terror funding. He also claimed it boosted income tax and cleansed the economy.
"It is a historic decision and is in national interest. The Supreme Court has held a decision taken in national interest valid. Will Rahul Gandhi now say sorry for his campaign against demonetisation? He spoke against it even abroad," said Prasad at a press conference.
Prasad also hit out at Congress leaders, especially former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, for highlighting the minority judgment. They are ignoring with impunity the majority verdict to make incharitable and scandalous statements, he said, slamming Chidambaram.
India has become a global leader in digital payment which was boosted after demonetisation, Prasaid told reporters, noting that the country notched up over 730 crore digital transactions worth over Rs 12 lakh crore in October this year alone.
The dissenting judge has also said the policy was well-intentioned, Prasad added.
The five-judge SC bench, headed by Justice SA Nazeer, its its majority verdict ruled the Modi government's decision-making process was not flawed as it had consulted RBI. It further said it's not relevant whether objective achieved or not.
"There was consultation between the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India for a period of six months. We hold that there was a reasonable nexus to bring such a measure, and we hold that demonetisation was not hit by the doctrine of proportionality," said the majority judgement.
In her minority judgement, Justice BV Nagarathna said the Modi government's 2016 decision was unlawful and the decision should have been made through legislation and not through a gazette notification.
Following the judgement, Congress leader P Chidambaram said the Supreme Court has cleared the decision but has not upheld its wisdom.
"Once the Hon'ble Supreme Court has declared the law, we are obliged to accept it. However, it is necessary to point out that the majority has not upheld the wisdom of the decision; nor has the majority concluded that the stated objectives were achieved," said Chidambaram.
He also said Nagarathna's dissent will go down as one of the most important ones.
(With PTI inputs)