In the aftermath of the government’s decision to demonetise high currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000, the judiciary has spoken on the issue while hearing petitions related to the move to ban the same. On Friday, the Supreme Court bench, led by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur and Justice A R Dave, observed that queues outsides banks and ATMs indicated a crisis scenario for the people. While the apex court also asked both parties to be ready with data in writing explaining the multiple sides to the demonetisation decision, Calcutta High Court stressed upon the need for measures to control the crisis.
*Supreme Court: “Last time you said there will be relief for people in the coming days but you have squeezed the exchange limit to Rs 2,000 only. What is the difficulty?… It is a serious issue which requires consideration.”
*Calcutta High Court: The bench highlighted the needs for “some measures to alleviate the sufferings of the common people.” It also said the move was taken without sufficient homework.
*Supreme Court: “Some measures are required. See the kind of problems people are facing. It is a crisis. People have to go to the high court. If we shut them from going to the high court, how can we know the magnitude of the problem. People going to different courts indicates the magnitude of the problem,”
*Supreme Court: “Ordinary people are affected. People are frantic. People have the right to approach courts.” Asking the Centre to see the difficulties, the bench said, “Can you (the Centre) dispute?”
*Calcutta High Court: The court said there must be some measured for those having illness or some kind of urgency. It also said that “medical institutions, private and public transport — rail, air, bus — and also essential commodities” should not be affected by demonetisation.
Appearing for the Centre on Friday, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had expected the Supreme Court to issue directions to courts not to hear demonetisation-related cases. However, the bench led by CJI concluded that if they stopped people from going to courts, they would not be able to assess the magnitude of the problem. After the court rejected Centre’s plea, Rohatgi said they would file a transfer petition. The matter will now be heard on November 25. The Calcutta High Court will also be hearing a plea made on behalf of disabled people seeking a modification which would allow the disabled people to have an authorised representative exchange their money.