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Is demonetisation unconstitutional? SC frames 9 questions to decide on constitutional validity of Modi Govt's currency ban move

The SC Asked Central Government: When You Made The Policy On Demonetization, Was It Confidential? Why District Co-operative Banks Are Not Being Allowed To Accept Deposits In Old Currency To Ease Cash Crunch Situation In The Country,, The Apex Court Also Asked. The Next Hearing Will Be On 14 December.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Apoorva Nawaz | Updated on: 09 Dec 2016, 04:48:45 PM
Demonetisation hearing continues in Supreme Court, Prashant Bhushan says recalibration was not done well

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court on Friday came down heavily on the Central government for the measures taken for demonetisation move and asked 'when the centre made the policy on currency ban.

The SC asked Central Government: "When you made the policy on demonetization, was it confidential?"

"Why district co-operative banks are not being allowed to accept deposits in old currency to ease cash crunch situation in the country,", the apex court also asked. 

The top court also framed 9 questions for adjudication to decide whether demonetisation was unconstitutional or not.

The apex court also sought suggestions from petitioners and government on measures that can be taken to reduce the inconvenience post demonetisation without affecting the objectives of policy.

The next hearing will be on 14 December.

Three judge bench of Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Chief Justice of India TS Thakur heared the case, while Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi represented the Centre. Taking up the issue, the court asked the central government, about the timing of the currency ban. The apex court asked government, "when you made the policy on demonetisation, was it confidential?" 

Questioning the banks for denying the withdrawal limit of Rs 24,000 per week, the Supreme Court asked Attorney General, "If you had fixed the withdrawal limit of Rs 24000 per week per account then it should not be denied by banks." To this, the AG replied that Rs 24,000 is the upper limit of withdrawal from a savings account on which CJI TS Thakaur questioned why not fix a limit of minimum amount e.g. ? 10,000 which must be adhered to by the banks.

The issue was raised when petitioners said that even in the national capital banks are out of cash.

AG Rohatgi briefed the apex court that government had taken all the necessary steps to ease inconveniences of the general public demonetisation.

Contesting the government’s claim of necessary steps, senior Supreme Court representing the plaintiff, Prashant Bhushan informed the court that there was no cash in ATMs, recalibration was not done well and cooperative banks were being discriminated. 

The court was hearing a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the decision to demonetise Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes, besides on the issue of inconvenience faced by the common man due to it.

The Centre has recently moved the apex court seeking transfer of all the petitions pending in various high courts to either the Supreme Court or one of the high courts.

The Supreme Court on Friday began hearing on the measures taken by the Centre to ease suffering of people in rural areas and cash crunch situation in the country. The Apex court was also hearing the constitutional validity of the demonetisation move by PM Narendra Modi on November 8.

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First Published : 09 Dec 2016, 01:11:00 PM