Demonetization: Failures of Indian Judiciary

India has taken pride in its judiciary that is considered one of the most fair and cleanest judiciary in the world. Indian judiciary has always stood firm for the rights and benefits of the people or citizens of India and prevented Executive and Legislature going overboard in their tasks. Executive and Legislature has considered this firmness as judicial activism however then also they have respected judiciary and its verdicts. But in the case of Demonetization first time judiciary let the Executive branch go overboard and punish every Indian citizen, punish to the extent that there were losses of life, not to mention the trouble each and every citizen has to face for conversion of their hard-earned money. Secondly in my opinion Judiciary has now set up a precedent that will now allow citizens and organizations to commit liability defaults

Punishment for Indians:

We take pride in our Jurisprudence that 100 culprits may go free but no innocent will be punished. Following this principle, in India, for every criminal case it becomes the responsibility of the state to prove the crime of the person or the illegality of the action committed by the person. However, in case of Demonetization this jurisprudence was totally negated. On 8th November 2016, at the stroke of mid night when currency notes of 500 and 1000 Rs. were made illegal, so was each and every citizen of this law-abiding country was branded as Black marketeer or Kala Bazaari or funding sources for terrorist and or naxal operations.  First time in independent India, each and every citizen of India was considered as illegal Kala bazaaris or an investor for terrorist and/or naxal activities and then asked to prove their innocence by monetizing the currency notes they had. Our judicial system that takes pride in the fact that it has not punished any innocent till date however our judicial system let India and its every citizen down, by letting Executive give punishment to 125 crore citizens, for queuing up in harsh weather conditions, totally unplanned and unmanaged currency conversion exercise across the nation, to the extent that there were life casualties of few. Worse off till date not a single person (be it RBI governor, Finance secretary, principal secretary, finance minister etc) who was responsible for this punishment and life losses, has been asked a single question. Even worse than worse not a single penny has been disbursed to the family of those who lost their lives in this demonetization exercise of the government.  It is surprising that judiciary cowed to the executive and let it punish not one or two but each and every citizen, judiciary let executive punish 125 crore Indian population for the witch hunt of black money and kala bazaaris or funding sources of terror and naxal activities in the country. Judiciary let down India when Indian government had no facts or figures to support their claims of Black money, kala bazaaris, terrorist or naxal activities. In the past judiciary has not let Executive trouble any individual for Unknown crime or crime by unknown person(s). Demonetization was a classic example of unknown crime (no facts or figures with state) by unknown person or persons however then also Judiciary did not stand firm for the people of this country and let the people bear the pains of proving their innocence.

Lastly in the demonetization, the government of the day says that it has identified 18L accounts that monetized currency beyond the limits set during demonetization. This means that Indian government will treat these accounts as Kala Bazaari even when their crime is not yet established. Let me say how. Indian system waives off filing of tax returns by individuals who earn within nontaxable limit (anything less than 2.5 lakh rupees today does not require tax return or formalization of money they make). Today average age of an Indian is 29 years, means for 11 years this individual have been accumulating wealth that would surpass the limit of 2.5 lakh rupees imposed in the demonetization and for this, this individual will be marked as Kala Bazaari. Even before establishing the guilt / crime of this person he will be treated as a kala bazaari until unknown time frame. Now my question to the judiciary, how will the judiciary in this country stand tall on the fact that every person is considered innocent until proved guilty. It is letting Executive punish person(s) even before establishing their guilt

Precedence for liability defaults:

Secondly, judiciary has weekend the financial system of the country for years to come. In the past all over the world, demonetization happened by preventing currency circulation, not by illegalization of the currency notes after certain date. By letting Executive convert their legal liability to illegal liability, judiciary has let a precedence build up that can be cited by individuals and organizations in future to reduce their liabilities and or even dishonor their liabilities. Please understand that RBI was committed to pay the holder of the 500 or 1000 Rs currency note the same amount with no expiry date of this currency certificate. Now the date after which conversion stopped and the individual(s) who were unable to monetize their old currency for whatever reason, that reduced the liability of the central bank. As per RBI report 13000 crores that did not get converted is the reduced liability of RBI. This plot can now be used by institutions, organizations and individuals in future to cheat people of their money. For example, banks can say to their account holders, that after so and so date if the holders do not replace their deposit certificates bank will not be liable for those deposits. The banks have now a precedence that if RBI can do this why cannot they do the replacement of their liability certificates. They can cheat the honest citizens of India off their hard-earned money. We can only hope that Judiciary will strengthen itself again to stand for the benefits and rights of the people of this country and prevent this precedence from being used again in the future

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