The Delhi High Court Friday said that it will not go into the correctness of the Centre’s policy on demonetisation as the Supreme Court is already seized of the issue. A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice V K Rao also refused to issue any direction to the Centre to remove the cap on daily withdrawal of money deposited by the public in banks before demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.
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“We would not go into the correctness of the Centre’s policy on demonetisation as the Supreme Court is already seized of the issue,” the bench said. The court said the people can always withdraw their money, so there is not point of issuing any direction.
It said that the government decision to put a cap on weekly withdrawal of Rs 24,000 has come to an end on November 24 midnight, therefore it do not want to go into the merit of the case which has sought quashing of Clause 2 (VI) of the Centre’s notification.
“Virtually by way of this writ petition you are challenging the notification on demonetisation, we cannot go into it as the Supreme Court is already looking into it,” the bench said, adding that even otherwise “we find that the restriction was till November 24, and the same has expired”.
The court’s order came on a plea by Ashok Sharma, who, through his counsel A Maitri, had urged for a relief on the ground that the Centre’s decision to put a cap on weekly withdrawal of Rs 24,000 is “affecting right to livelihood” of the people at large.
Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, however, said that the two high courts have already dismissed the pleas challenging the demonetisation and the Supreme Court is seized of the issue.
He further submitted that the cap on withdrawal was till Thursday midnight and now the government has come out with a new press release with certain amendments.
Thursday, the Centre had extended till December 15 the facility of using old Rs 500 notes in public utilities and included more services like mobile recharge but stopped the over-the-counter exchange of defunct currencies and use of Rs 1,000 notes.
The petitioner, a resident of Delhi and a businessman, had urged the high court to quash clause 2 (VI) of the notification by which conditions were imposed on withdrawal of money from bank accounts.
“A reading of the notification shows that Clause 2 (VI) was intended for cash deposits, which were to be tendered between November 9 and December 30. This clause as well as the notification has no connection with the bank deposits, which were made prior to November 8,” the plea had said.
“On account of the notification, there is no normal banking transaction available, so the petitioner has been unable to carry out his business and Clause 2 (VI) of the notification has affected his right to livelihood,” Sharma’s lawyer had submitted.
Under the earlier clause 2 (VI), the weekly withdrawal limit from the banks was Rs 20,000, while the daily limit was Rs 10,000. Later, the weekly limit was increased to Rs 24,000 and the daily limit was scrapped. From the ATMs, the daily limit is Rs 2,000.