The Supreme Court said on Wednesday it's apprehensive of the" Lakshman Rekha'' on judicial review of government policy opinions but will have to examine the 2016 demonetisation decision to decide whether the issue has come a bare" academic" exercise.
A five- judge bench headed by Justice S A Nazeer said when an issue arises before a constitution bench, it's its duty to answer.
Attorney General R Venkataramani submitted that unless the Act on demonetisation is challenged in a proper perspective, the issue will basically remain academic.
The High Denomination Bank Notes( Demonetisation) Act was passed in 1978 to give in public interest for demonetisation of certain high denotation bank notes in order to check lawless transfer of plutocrat dangerous to the frugality which similar currency notes grease.
The top court said in order to declare whether the exercise is academic or infructuous, it needs to examine the matter since both sides aren't agreeable.
" In order to answer that issue, we will have to hear and give an answer whether it's academic, not academic or beyond the compass of judicial review. The point in the case is the government policy and its wisdom which is one aspect of the matter." We always know where the Lakshman Rekha is, but the manner in which it was done has to be examined. We've to hear the counsel to decide that," the bench, also comprising judges B R Gavai, A S Bopanna, V Ramasubramanian, and B V Nagarathna said.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said the court's time shouldn't be" wasted" on academic issues.
Expostulating to Mr Mehta's submission, elderly counsel Shyam Divan, representing petitioner Vivek Narayan Sharma, said he was surprised at the words" waste of indigenous bench's time" as the before bench had said these cases must be placed before a constitution bench.
elderly advocate P Chidambaram, appearing for one of the parties, said the issue has not come academic and it has to be decided by the top court.
He said this kind of demonetisation requires a separate act of Parliament.
On December 16, 2016, a bench headed by also Chief Justice TS Thakur had appertained the question of the validity of the decision and other issues to a larger bench of five judges for authoritative pronouncement.
It had framed colorful questions in the reference order to be arbitrated by the five- judge bench which included whether the announcement dated November 8, 2016 is extremist vires vittles of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 and does the announcement breach the vittles of Composition 300( A) of the Constitution. Composition 300( A) says no person shall be deprived of his property save by the authority of law.