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In dissenting order, Justice BV Nagarathna calls demonetisation notification unlawful

The Supreme Court Constitution bench, with 4:1 majority, backed the notes ban decision by Central Government

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Justice BV Nagarathna

The Supreme Court has given its verdict on demonetisation. The Constitution Bench of the court with a 4:1 majority has upheld the decision of the Central Government to ban the notes of 500 and 1000 rupees six years ago. Along with this, the court has also dismissed all the 58 petitions. 4 judges have taken the decision by majority. At the same time, a judge has raised questions on demonetisation. While giving the verdict, the bench said that no error has been found in the notification of November 8, 2016 and all series of notes can be withdrawn.

Justice BV  Nagarathna’s opinion regarding demonetisation appeared different. She said that demonetisation of all series of notes at the behest of the central government is a far more serious issue than bank demonetisation. Therefore, it should be done first through executive notification and then through legislation. She further said that as per section 26(2), the proposal for demonetisation can come only from the Central Board of RBI.

Justice Nagarathna said the RBI did not apply an independent mind and only approved the Centre’s wish for demonetisation. She also said that a perusal of the records produced by the RBI shows that the entire exercise was done in just 24 hours due to the will of the Centre.

Justice Nagarathna said that in her considered view, action of demonetisation was unlawful but status quo ante could not be restored since it was in 2016. She also said that the demonetisation was an exercise of power, contrary to law, ergo unlawful.

Read Also: Demonetisation valid: Supreme Court Constitution Bench approves move to demonetize Rs 1000, Rs 500 notes

She continued by saying that the way it was carried out was illegal. According to the RBI Act, the board of the Reserve Bank of India should recommend demonetisation, however in this instance, the Centre addressed a letter to RBI on November 7 advising for such a decision, she said.

Additionally, Justice Nagarathna ruled that rather than an executive notification, a Parliamentary Act may have been used to start the demonetisation process, as it had in the past.

Phrases like “as requested by Centre Govt” suggest there was no independent application of mind by RBI, Justice Nagarathna observed after reviewing the documents and data that the Centre and RBI gave.

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Farmers take out tractor march near Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Budh Nagar

The Noida police had issued an advisory for daily commuters and warned them of traffic jams at many places which also included the Delhi-Noida border. The farmers are planning to carry out the tractor march along the Yamuna Expressway, Luharli Toll Plaza and Mahamaya Flyover and traffic diversions have been imposed by the police at these places.

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Farmers took out a tractor rally near the Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Budh Nagar on Monday to protest against the central government for accepting their demands, which included a legal guarantee for minimum support price (MSP) for crops. Videos showed many tractors being driven on the road. The rally was stopped by the police at the Yamuna Expressway’s entry point.

They were not allowed to carry out their rally on the expressway. The development comes even as farmers have delayed their march to the national capital till February 29 after a decision is made and are staying at the Khanauri and Shambhu points on the Punjab-Haryana border.

The Noida police had issued an advisory for daily commuters and warned them of traffic jams at many places which also included the Delhi-Noida border. The farmers are planning to carry out the tractor march along the Yamuna Expressway, Luharli Toll Plaza and Mahamaya Flyover and traffic diversions have been imposed by the police at these places.

The police have barricaded the Delhi-Noida border and police will conduct checking of vehicles entering Delhi or Noida. Daily commuters have been advised not to use the Yamuna Expressway and to use alternative routes or the metro to avoid inconveniences.

Farmer leader Baldev Singh Sirsa said a farmer named Pritpal Singh was doing Langar seva at the Khannauri on the Punjab-Haryana border when he was allegedly dragged by the policemen from his tractor trolley and was badly beaten. He said Pritpal Singh was admitted to a hospital in Rohtak. But he got shifted to PGIMER at Chandigarh.

Farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher said Pritpal Singh has suffered multiple injuries and they strongly condemn the action of the police. He said the prime minister should take action against policemen who indulge in such barbaric acts. Former Punjab chief Minister and senior BJP Leader Captain Amarinder Singh condemned the barbaric act of violence against Pritpal Singh.

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Allahabad High Court refuses to ban ongoing puja at Vyas Tehkhana inside Gyanvapi mosque complex, grants permission for worship to continue

Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain who is representing the Hindu side said today the Allahabad High Court has dismissed the first appeal from orders of Anjuman Intezamia which was directed against the order of 17th and 31st January and the effect of the order is that the ongoing puja in the Vyas Tehkhana of Gyanvapi complex will continue.

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The Allahabad High Court on Monday dismissed the Gyanvapi Mosque committee’s appeal challenging the Varanasi district court’s decision to offer prayers in a cellar in the Gyanvapi mosque complex. Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal of the Allahabad high court pronounced the judgement.

He said after going through the entire records of the case and after considering arguments of the parties concerned, the court did not find any ground to interfere in the judgement passed by the District judge dated 17.01.2024 appointing DM, Varanasi as receiver of the property as well as the order dated 31.01.2024 by which the district high court had permitted puja in the Tehkhana.

Advocate Prabhash hailed the verdict and said it is a big victory of Sanatana Dharma. The judge dismissed the pleas that the Muslim side had filed against the District judge’s order. He said this means that the puja will continue as it is. The District magistrate will continue as the receiver of the Tehkhana and the Muslim side can go for a review of the decision.

Another Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain who is representing the Hindu side said today the Allahabad High Court has dismissed the first appeal from orders of Anjuman Intezamia which was directed against the order of 17th and 31st January and the effect of the order is that the ongoing puja in the Vyas Tehkhana of Gyanvapi complex will continue. He said if the Anjuman Intezamia comes to the Supreme Court, then they will file their caveat before the top court.

The Varanasi court on January 31 had ruled that the Hindu side can offer prayers in the southern cellar of Gyanvapi masjid – the Vyas Tehkhana. The court had also directed the District magistrate to make arrangements for prayers and a priest which is nominated by Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust.

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MEA rejects reports about Indians seeking early discharge from Russian Army

The Ministry has clarified that India is actively pursuing all cases related to the issue and that some Indians have already been discharged.

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The Ministry of External Affairs on Monday issued a statement denouncing several media reports claiming that Indians serving in the Russian Army are seeking an early discharge. The Ministry has clarified that India is actively pursuing all cases related to this issue and some Indians have already been discharged.

The statement was issued following a report that stated some Indians are working as security staff in the Russian Army and are forced to fight alongside the Russian soldiers in the conflict zone of the Ukraine War.

The statement further added that every case brought to the attention of the Indian Embassy in Moscow has been strongly taken up by the Russian authorities. Furthermore, the matters that have been brought to the attention of the Ministry of External Affairs have also been taken up with the Russian embassy in New Delhi. 

The Ministry of External Affairs also mentioned that it remains committed and its priority is to actively pursue all relevant cases of the Indian nationals for early discharge from the Russian army with the Russian authorities.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, Randhir Jaiswal, spokesperson for the External Affairs Ministry mentioned that the ministry is aware of Indian nationals who have signed up for support jobs with the Russian Army. He further advised all the Indian nationals to be cautious and steer clear of the Ukraine conflict. 

Meanwhile, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen [AIMIM] leader, Asaduddin Owaisi had urged the External Affairs Ministry to rescue the Indians. He asked External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on X, formerly Twitter on Wednesday, to use his offices to bring those men back home, adding that their lives are at risk and their families are justifiably worried.

Reportedly, a 23-year-old Indian named Hemil Mangukiya had died in a missile strike in Russia on February 21. He has been working as a helper in the country and had reportedly been inducted into the war zone on the Ukraine Border.

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