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What is the doctrine of proportionality? Do you think demonetisation was purposeful and proportionate in unearthing fake currency and hoarded wealth and combating terror funding vis a vis the difficulties faced by the common people after its announcement? Critically comment.

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

4. What is the doctrine of proportionality? Do you think demonetisation was purposeful and proportionate in unearthing fake currency and hoarded wealth and combating terror funding vis a vis the difficulties faced by the common people after its announcement? Critically comment. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The HinduIndian Express

Why the question:

The Supreme Court evaded pronouncing on the legality of the measure for six years. Now it has, as was widely expected, upheld the legality of demonetisation in a 4-to-1 decision.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the doctrine of proportionality and its application the case of demonetisation.

Directive word: 

Critically comment – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary. When ‘comment’ is prefixed, we must express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining doctrine of proportionality.

Body:

First, Highlight key objectives of demonetization.

Next, mention of the purpose was proportional to action in caste of demonetisation – Discuss the rationale given that suggests that demonetization has been moderately successful in tackling black money – increasing tax base, formalization of economy etc

Next, mention of the purpose was not proportional to action in caste of demonetisation – Discuss why demonetization was an abject failure in tackling black money. Highlight reasons such as logistical difficulty in penalising all those who converted unaccounted money into legal tender, demonetisation worked as an unintended amnesty scheme, it was a self-inflicted shock– slowdown in GDP, loss of jobs, hit the informal sector etc

Conclusion:

Give a fair and balanced view on demonetization with respect to doctrine of proportionality.