The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to stay proceedings in High Courts against the Modi government’s decision to scrap Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. The Apex court issued notices to the petitioners who have challenged the demonetisation move on various grounds, including calling the decision illegal. Some have also questioned the limits on cash withdrawals.
A bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur, however, declined to stay the proceedings and ordered the next hearing on December 2. The Centre had approached the Apex court seeking transfer of the cases, contending that proceedings in various courts were creating difficulties.
The court had on Monday agreed to hear the Centre’s plea that all demonetisation cases be shifted to one High Court or the Supreme Court. The transfer plea was filed by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi.
The court had on November 18 dubbed as a “serious issue” the long queues outside banks and post offices, saying the situation was serious and there could be riots. Hearing a Public Interest Litigation the same day, the Calcutta High Court sought a report from the Modi government on steps taken to “alleviate the sufferings of common people”.
It pulled up the Centre for not applying its “mind properly”, doing “no homework” and “changing procedure” everyday. The government’s decision to demonetise high-value bank notes has led to snaking queues outside banks and ATMs.
The notes accounted for 86% of the currency in circulation, creating a huge demand and supply gap in the country where bulk of transactions are cash driven.