The Supreme Court has upheld the right of the government to carry out demonetisation. This is distinct from questioning the decision to demonetise. So, the attempt for political reasons to embarrass the government has failed in the face of the majority decision delivered by the SC on Monday. The dissenting judge, who would have liked the decision to have been discussed in Parliament, does not seem to have taken into consideration the fact that demonetisation would have been meaningless if early warning had been given to those in possession of black money.
This is just one example of how the Supreme Court is repeatedly sought to be used for political purposes – even for the gratification of certain individuals’ egos. It is most certainly an abuse of citizen’s rights and would attract severe punishment were it not for the fact that it could discourage genuine plaints in the future.
It is for the economists to decide what impact demonetisation had on the economy. By and large, it can be said to have benefited the nation because it has given a boost to digitization and brought large parts of the informal economy into the mainstream. Combined with GST, it has boosted the government’s revenues. Even if the hoards of black money were not destroyed, its return by whatever ingenious means to general circulation itself was an achievement. Now, with the Supreme Court verdict, the demonetisation sword will forever hang over the everyday black-marketer. There is no denying though, that with the emergence of crypto currency and the like, new avenues have opened up for those interested in illegal transactions.
The political parties can, of course, continue to debate the merits of the demonetisation decision – that is their prerogative. But one allegation has been laid to rest, no matter what spin the party intellectuals may put on it. The nation would also be very grateful if the Supreme Court is allowed to play its designated role of providing justice, rather than be expected to stand as proxy for one or the other ideology.