The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India to produce records relevant to the government’s 2016 decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, reported Live Law.

Attorney General R Venkataramani said that the documents will be produced in a sealed cover.

A Constitution Bench of Justices S Abdul Nazeer, BR Gavai, AS Bopanna, V Ramasubramanian and BV Nagarathna that heard 58 petitions challenging the 2016 decision reserved its verdict. The bench allowed parties to submit written submissions by December 10.

On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes would cease to be legal tender in India from midnight. Modi had said that the decision had been taken to “fight corruption, black money and terrorism”.

The Rs 2,000 notes and Rs 500 notes with a new design were introduced after demonetisation.

Several persons, many of them elderly, had died while standing in long queues to exchange their money. As millions of families were left stranded with no cash, many even killed themselves after failing to exchange old notes for valid currency.

The petitioners have claimed that the exercise violated several constitutional rights of citizens, such as the right to property (Article 300A), right to equality (Article 14), right to carry on any trade, business or occupation (Article 19) and right to life and right to livelihood (Article 21).

During the hearings, the Supreme Court had said that it will not play the role of a silent spectator only because it was an economic policy decision.

The Central government had defended the exercise, telling the Supreme Court on November 16 that demonetisation was a “well-considered decision” taken after advance preparation and consultation with the Reserve Bank of India.

The government had said there were several benefits of the demonetisation exercise such as reduction of fake currency notes, an increase in digital transactions and the detection of unaccounted income.

On Monday, Advocate General R Venkataramani had said that the hardships faced by the public due to demonetisation cannot be considered a fault of the 2016 decision.

Venkataramani had said that it was not appropriate to consider only hardships faced by the public when the the government was addressing problems such as fake currency, black money and terror funding.

A day later, the Reserve Bank of India also backed the demonetisation exercise, reported The Hindu.

“I don’t want to sound pompous but this was really a part of nation-building,” senior advocate Jaideep Gupta, appearing for the central bank, had told the court.