[Breaking] Demonetisation: SC Refuses To Stay Proceedings In HCs But Issues Notice To All PIL Petitioners On Transfer Plea

[Breaking] Demonetisation: SC Refuses To Stay Proceedings In HCs But Issues Notice To All PIL Petitioners On Transfer Plea

The Supreme Court today refused to stay the proceedings in PILs challenging demonetisation filed in various High Courts but issued notice to all petitioners.

Attorney Mukul Rohatgi submitted before a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur that PILs have been filed in High Courts in Mumbai, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra, Kolkata and altogether there were nearly 15 of them.

All the petitioners have been asked to file their replies by Friday next week as to what is their stand on Centre's plea to transfer all pleas to the Supreme Court or Delhi High Court.

AG requested a stay on proceedings to prevent "chaos and confusion" but CJI Thakur refused it saying "that is difficult .There may some individuals seeking some immediate reliefs we cannot shut them out suddenly. So let us wait for the replies"

"SITUATION NORMALISING": AG

The CJI sought to know what was the situation on the ground to which the AG said that"it is much better"

He said the real problem being faced was transferring the money from RBI to RBI branches and then to banks.

AG said Rs 6 lakh crores have been collected so far and "banks will soon be flush with funds"

"Interest rates will soon come down another positive development is big surge in digital use" he added.

Meanwhile the main matter challenging the constitutional validity of demonetization is listed for November 25.

On November 18 the court had said public seemed to be frantic due to the currency crunch following the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes and asked centre to take all measures to alleviate the sufferings of people.

It had refused to transfer petitions pending in various High Courts to the Supreme Court that day also saying “we cannot shut out out people from approaching high courts also and HCs are more aware of magnitude of problem in each state"

The bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur had however asked the Attorney General to file a transfer petition and said the matter will be taken up at a later date.

“We can consider transferring all petitions to the Delhi High Court ..anyways you file a transfer petition”, the CJI had told Rohatgi.

“The supreme court is already examining the issues and passing orders and therefore the high courts and lower courts needed to be restrained from hearing pleas to prevent confusion”, the AG had said adding such a step was taken in 2G and coal scam matters.

AG said PILs on the issue was pending in Mumbai, Andhra, Karnataka, Chennai and Kerala.

On November 15 the Supreme Court had refused to interfere with the central government's decision to demonetise Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes but sought an affidavit as to what urgent extra measures can be taken to put an end to the severe inconvenience people faced.

WHAT HCs SAID TILL NOW

The Calcutta High Court had on Friday, the same day when SC said people were frantic and there could be riots” had slammed the Centre saying though it cannot change the government policy, there was a lot lacking in the implementation of the move.

Hearing a PIL filed by an advocate, Ramaprasad Sarkar, the High Court had said, “The Centre is asking people to open bank accounts and deposit the money. Do you even know how much harassment a person has to face while opening a bank account? A person’s income which does not fall under the taxable bracket is facing trouble. What is the Centre doing for the common man?” asked the court.

The Karnataka High Court has already dismissed a plea by a lawyer against demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes, observing that though there are initial problems, those would not be perennial. A bench, in its order on a PIL filed by one Mohammed Haroon Rasheed just couple of days after the government announced the move, said it had no reason to doubt the bona fide of the Central government for implementing demonetisation.

This article has been made possible because of financial support from Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation.