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बेसिक इंग्लिश का दूसरा सत्र (कक्षा प्रारंभ : 22 अक्तूबर, शाम 3:30 से 5:30)
Nov 17, 2016

What we are discussing?: Demonetisation of  Rs.500 & Rs.1000 Currency

The Supreme Court refused to stay the November 8 government notification demonetising Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 currency.

Refused to Stay the Government Notification

A Bench comprised Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said that fighting the black money menace was a ‘laudable’ step, refused to stay the government notification demonetizing Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes. 

What the Court Said?

  • The apex court asked the Centre to take immediate measures to alleviate the hardships and sufferings of the traumatised common man who is forced’ to stand in queues to withdraw a little bit of his own hard-earned money. 
  • The bench questioned the Centre, "Tell us, instead of forcing citizens to stand in queues for his own money...and it is traumatic for people to stand in lines for hours doing nothing, why can't you raise their cash withdrawal limit to a reasonable limit?" 
  • The bench said, “Carpenters, maids, vegetable sellers etc are dependent on cash. Your aim is to wipe out black money but people are traumatized. Why can’t the withdrawal limit be raised to a reasonable level so that there is less number of people standing in the queue?” 
  • The apex court did not issue notices to the Centre or the RBI and asked them to file a comprehensive affidavit detailing steps taken so far to ameliorate the harassment and inconvenience caused to citizens due to demonetization of the high-value currency notes.

What the Govt.Said?

  • The government told the apex court that the situation was being constantly monitored at the highest level and just now, it has been decided that the banks would allow the withdrawal of Rs 50,000 per current account per week and the facilities would also be available to companies. The government was represented by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi.
  • Attorney General outlined the idea behind demonetisation and said large number of fake currency has been used to finance terrorism in various parts of the country including in Jammu and Kashmir and northeastern states.
  • He, however, agreed with the bench that some inconvenience to common citizens occurs as this kind of ‘surgical strike’ is bound to have ‘some kind of collateral damage’.

The bench said, “You (Centre) can have surgical strike against black money but you cannot have surgical strike against people of the country.”

  • Attorney General also said there were as many as 24 crore bank accounts including 22 crore opened under the ‘Jan Dhan Scheme’ and the Centre was hopeful to ‘ramp up’ the outflow of the cash to banks, post offices and two lakh ATMs across the country. Two lakh ATM machines could not have been deliberated in advance to be in tune with new notes as the cash would have been out of the banks. Secrecy is the key to such actions.

The Appeals

  • Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for one of the petitioners, however, said he was not asking for a stay on the notification but seeking answers from the government about the steps taken to remove public inconvenience.
  • He said the petition has also challenged the constitutional validity of the notification as the provision of the Reserve Bank of India Act has not been complied with.
  • He referred to section 26(2) of the Act and said the government was not authorised to demonetise all series of currency notes of high denominations in one go. There has to be a legislation if the government wants to demonetise the entire series of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes. In 1978, a law was brought to demonetise the currency notes of particular denominations.
  • The petitioners had alleged that the sudden decision has created chaos and harassment to public at large and the notification of the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance be either quashed or deferred for some time.

The apex court, on November 10, had agreed to hear pleas against the November 8 decision of the Central government that these notes are no longer a legal tender. Out of the four PILs on the demonetisation issue, two were filed by Delhi-based lawyers Vivek Narayan Sharma and Sangam Lal Pandey, while two others were filed by individuals, S. Muthukumar and Adil Alvi.

Recent Development

The government on November 17 sought a stay from the Supreme Court on cases filed in different high courts and subordinate courts challenging the demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 currency notes. A bench of Justice Anil R. Dave and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar agreed to list the appeal for 18 November after Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi mentioned the matter for an urgent hearing. The Attorney General told the bench that the matter be listed for the court of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur that was already hearing a batch of four petitions challenging the government's move.

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