SC refuses to stay govt's order on demonetisation, next hearing on Nov 25

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Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India

Los angeles : The Supreme Court on Monday refused to stay Narendra Modi’s government notification demonetising Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, however it asked about out the steps taken to minimise public inconvenience.

The remarks, “We will not be granting any stay,” were made when the court was hearing petitions challenging government’s demonetisation scheme.

A bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and D Y Chandrachud said, “But there is some inconvenience also to the public at large.  You (Centre) can have surgical strike against black money but you cannot have surgical strike against people of the country.”

The bench later posted the matter for further hearing on November 25.

Meanwhile, Kapil Sibal, who was appearing for one of the petitioners, maintained that he was not asking for a stay on the notification but seeking answers from the government about the steps taken to remove public inconvenience.

Attorney General (AG) Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre, outlined the idea behind demonetisation and gave his case:

  • As many as 24 crore bank accounts including 22 crore opened under the ‘Jan Dhan Scheme’.
  • Two lakh ATM machines could not have been deliberated in advance to be in tune with new notes.
  • There are approximately one lakh branches of various banks and two lakh ATMs besides the post offices across the country to dispense cash to common people.
  • The restriction on withdrawal is there to ensure that the money be paid to maximum number of people.
  • Centre has complied with section 26(2) of the RBI Act and the present “surgical strike has to be seen in the context of safety and security of the nation, its border, and financial terrorism unleashed through fake currency.”

On November 10, the apex court agreed to hear pleas against Narendra Modi government and now the hearing have been postponed to November 25.