During the hearing in the Supreme Court on the demonetisation decision of the Narendra Modi government, Senior Advocate P Chidambaram made a scathing attack. He said that the government says that it took steps like demonetisation to bring out black money. But after the introduction of Rs 2000 note, it has become easier to store black money. He cited the example of a case involving late veteran lawyer Ram Jethmalani. During that time, Jethmalani had said to prove his claim that Rs 1 crore can come in a suitcase. Chidambaram said that after receiving the Rs 2,000 note, half a suitcase would have been enough for Jethmalani to keep Rs 1 crore.
Suitcase was mentioned in Harshad Mehta case
In the Harshad Mehta scam, the then PM Narasimha Rao was accused of giving a bribe of one crore rupees in a suitcase. However, the defense argued that it was not possible for such a huge amount to come in a suitcase. Ram Jethmalani sought a day’s time from the court and when he came on the next date, he had a suitcase in his hand. He said that one crore rupees can easily come in the bag. Expressing displeasure, the judge had said that what was the need to bring one crore rupees to the court? You could have just said that it is possible. Ramjethmalani’s argument was that the court believes more on evidence than arguments.
What happened in 2016 should not happen in future, let this court see
During the hearing in the Supreme Court, Chidambaram said that the demonetisation decision of the Modi government in 2016 was absolutely wrong. He used to say that whatever happened during that time has already happened. The court will have to see that such a decision does not happen again. He said that the government is arguing that this decision was taken to control terrorism, drug trafficking and black money. But the drug trade continues unabated. He said that the affidavit given by the government in its defense is ridiculous. He said that there is no mention anywhere as to who was present and who was not while taking the decision of demonetisation. What was the role of the Reserve Bank? Whether the quorum of the meeting was complete or not. He said that according to the affidavit everything was done in 2 hours.
Chidambaram said that the government did not think anything about old and new notes before taking these decisions. No data was collected. He said that the decision of demonetisation can be taken within 24 hours. Before taking this decision, the government had to prepare a complete plan. Secrecy is important but there had to be something ethical in such a decision. He said that last time the documents related to demonetisation were asked from the government. But so far nothing has been given to the court. He said that the Reserve Bank was against the decision of demonetisation even in 1978. Referring to its governor IG Patel, he said this. Referring to the first Indian Governor of the Reserve Bank, Chintaman Dwarkanath Deshmukh, he said that it was for this reason that the Separate Act was brought.