A couple of developments have already taken place in the courts after Prime Minister Modi’s surprise announcement of his decision to discontinue recognition of five hundred and thousand-rupee currency notes as legal tender.
A writ petition has been filed before the Supreme Court by a lawyer and in Bombay, a couple of lawyers practising in the High Court today mentioned the matter before the single vacation bench of Justice MS Karnik to take suo-motu cognizance of the central government’s decision as it has inconvenienced the public at large. Advocate Sangam Lal Pandey who’s petition will be mentioned tomorrow in the Supreme Court has sought for a writ of certiorari quashing this “illegal and arbitrary announcement” also a writ of mandamus “commanding the opposing party(centre) to provide stipulated time to the citizens of India” for “their necessary” activities like “medical, marriage ceremonies, farmers and middle and lower class citizens for their necessary requirements and education etc.”
While the Bombay lawyers Jamshed Mistry and Jabbar Shaikh argue that before the November 8 notification which was issued last night, there was a November 2 notification. This Nov 2 notification says that a few number of new 100 rupee notes were to be introduced as a pilot project within 15 days and that was to cover ten per cent of all ATM’s. They have reasoned that within 6 days how could the banks have been prepared for such a drastic step. In 1946 an ordinance was passed, wherein currencies of 100, 1000 and 10,000 rupee denominations were discontinued after a separate Section 26(a) was added to the RBI Act. In 1978, there was an ordinance and a separate act called The High Denomination Bank Notes Act, 1978.
The petition in Supreme Court has called the Prime Minister’s decision a “tuglaki farman” citing several inconveniences that the general public will face as a result of this decision.
While SC may hear this petition tomorrow, the Bombay HC has directed the lawyers to approach a regular bench once court reopens on a regular basis after the Diwali vacations end. Hence a writ petition will now be filed and mentioned on November 15.
Read the petition here.