Meet Justice BV Nagarathna: The SC Judge Who Didn’t Rule In Favor Of Centre’s 2016 Demonetization Move

BV Nagarathna?

Justice BV Nagarathna further said that employees in the temple are not entitled to gratuity under the Payments of Gratuity Act.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the decision of the Central government to demonetize the currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denominations in 2016.

A five-judge Constitution bench dismissed a batch of petitions challenging the Centre’s 2016 decision to demonetize Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes and said the decision, being the Executive’s economic policy, cannot be reversed.

However, Justice BV Nagarathna expressed her strong dissent after a Supreme Court Constitution bench upheld the decision of the notes ban by the Centre with a 4:1 majority.

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She called the November 8, 2016 notification of the Centre “unlawful”. She argued that according to the Reserve Bank of India Act, RBI should have independently recommended demonetization and not through the government’s advice.

The government notification on demonetization was “unlawful” and the notes ban process could not have been initiated by the Centre, justice BV Nagarathna said. “In my considered view, the action of demonetization by November 8 notification was unlawful.

But status quo ante cannot be restored now since it was in 2016,” she said. Demonetisation was “an exercise of power, contrary to law, and therefore unlawful,” she further stated.

Who Is Justice BV Nagarathna?

Born on October 30, 1962, Justice Nagarathna started out as a lawyer in Bengaluru and practiced constitutional law, and commercial law, including insurance law, service law, administrative and public law, the law about land and rent laws, family law, conveyancing and drafting of contracts and agreements, arbitration and conciliation

Justice BV Nagarathna is currently serving as a judge in the SC.  Before serving in the top court, She was a judge in the Karnataka High Court. She was appointed as an additional judge in 2008 and was elevated to the position of permanent judge of the Karnataka HC two years later. Interestingly, she is in line to become India’s first woman Chief Justice of India (CJI) in 2027.  Her father, ES Venkataramiah, was CJI for six months in 1989.

Justice Nagarathna’s Landmark Decisions

Among the landmark judgments delivered by Justice Nagarthna is a directive on the need to regulate broadcast media.

“While truthful dissemination of Information is an essential requirement of any broadcasting channel, sensationalism in the form of ‘Breaking News’, ‘Flash News’ or in any other form must be curbed,” she wrote in the 2012 judgment. She also urged the Centre to form an autonomous and statutory mechanism to regulate broadcast media.

In a judgment delivered by her in 2019, Justice Nagarathna stated that a temple is not a commercial establishment.

Justice BV Nagarathna further said that employees in the temple are not entitled to gratuity under the Payments of Gratuity Act.

However, she also said they can avail of similar benefits under the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowment Act.

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