SC on demonetisation: Long queues outside banks a ‘serious issue’

Out of the four PILs in the apex court 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.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: November 18, 2016 9:20 pm
demonetisation, supreme court, currency ban, rs 500 currency note, rs 1000 currency notes, atm, atm queues, india news, latest news Demonetisation: “Some measures are required. See the kind of problems people are facing. 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,” the bench said.

The Supreme Court on Friday dubbed as a “serious issue” the long queues outside banks and post offices and expressed its reservation on the Centre’s plea seeking a direction that no other court in the country should entertain petitions challenging the November 8 notification demonetising Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes.

WATCH VIDEO: Here’s What Supreme Court Said On Government’s Demonetisation Move

It is a serious issue which requires consideration,” a bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice A R Dave said, while asking the parties to be ready with data and other issues in writing.

“Some measures are required. See the kind of problems people are facing. 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,” the bench said.

It made the remarks as Attorney General (AG) Mukul Rohatgi submitted that any matter relating to challenge to the demonetisation issue be heard by the apex court only.

However, the bench said, “People are affected. People are frantic. People have the right to approach the courts,” noting that there are difficulties and “can you (the Centre) dispute”.

The AG said there is no dispute, but the queues are getting shorter and even suggested that the CJI can go out during lunch and himself look at the queue.

“Kindly go in the lunch time,” the AG told the bench and took objection to senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for a private party, for allegedly exaggerating the situation.

“It’s a political attempt in the court. I have seen your (Sibal’s) press conference also. You are not appearing for a political party, but for an advocate. You are turning the apex court into a political platform,” Rohatgi said.

At the outset, the bench questioned the relief measures undertaken by the Centre by saying, “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? ” the bench asked Rohatgi. The AG explained the situation by stating that after printing, the currency has to be moved to thousands of centres across the country and ATMs have to be re-calibrated.

WATCH VIDEO: Big Relief For Farmers, Families Celebrating Weddings: Find Out More

“There is no shortage of funds,” he said. To questions from the bench, the AG said Rs 100 notes are in circulation and the ATMs needed to be re-calibrated to issue new currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000.

He also elaborated on the steps taken by the government to meet the situation by stating that besides reducing the exchange limit, farmers have been allowed to withdraw Rs 50,000 and people having weddings at home can withdraw Rs 2.5 lakh.

“At a petrol pump, which has card swipe machine of SBI, people can go and withdraw money upto Rs 2,000. We have been monitoring the situation day-by-day,” Rohatgi said and added that the idea was to push the new notes of Rs 2,000 as one note of Rs 2,000 is equal to 20 notes of Rs 100.

At this point, Sibal interrupted and said the problem is of printing as they need to print Rs 23 lakh crore, but they do not have the capacity to do that.

“Already they have frozen Rs 14,000 crore and it is not clear under which law they have done so,” he said, contending that it is a serious situation where people cannot withdraw their own taxed money.

“They are trustee, how can they not let us withdraw our legitimate money,” he said, adding that “the situation has turned from bad to worse”.

Sibal said that the government was not concerned about the people living in remote areas of the north-east, Himachal Pradesh and Naxal-hit district of Bastar where people have to walk for 20 kms to reach an ATM.

While the Congress leader was making the submission pointing out the deficiencies and the steps taken by the Centre, the AG said, “We need not give any explanation as right now it is the interim application that has to be heard.”

Realising that the bench has reservation in entertaining the Centre’s application, Rohatgi said, “We will file a transfer petition”.

The matter will be heard again on November 25. The Centre has moved the apex court seeking a stay on the proceedings before various high courts and other courts except the apex court against demonetisation issue, saying otherwise it will create a lot of confusion.

The apex court had on November 15 refused to stay the government’s demonetisation notification, but asked it to spell out the steps taken to minimise public inconvenience.

Out of the four PILs in the apex court 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.

The petitioners have alleged that the sudden decision has created chaos and harassment to the public at large and the notification of the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance be either quashed or deferred for some time.

Prime Minister Narendra, in a televised address to the nation on November 8, had announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes will no longer be legal tender from November 9.

He had said the government has declared a “decisive war” against black money and corruption.

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  1. K
    Kunal
    Nov 18, 2016 at 10:48 am
    Now the Line Outside Banks is very less.. People should wait for 1 more week
    Reply
    1. J
      Jim
      Nov 18, 2016 at 10:28 pm
      Arre why did my lords not join khujliwal and loudspeaker didi's protest march?
      Reply
      1. J
        Jiho Junket
        Nov 18, 2016 at 7:15 pm
        4 people in the w of India have been really affected and have filed PILs. Good to know. Stats dont lie ... journalists do.
        Reply
        1. S
          Sonia
          Nov 18, 2016 at 4:29 pm
          Honorable PM should show all political party 's fund how they got and with whom ?? I think 75℅ black money holder are political leader. They should show us. And also said why goverment give special offer to vijay Malia as loan ?? PM wear a mask to show that this for against corruption and black money but actually that for their friends like vijay Malia.
          Reply
          1. M
            Mr tajammul
            Nov 18, 2016 at 5:41 pm
            It is very bad to see that govt never planned for the job which they said we prepared .these people never thought what will happen to the people living in villages because in cities we are facing lots of problem daily wages people are standing in ques rather than going for work
            Reply
            1. N
              Nbalu two
              Nov 18, 2016 at 3:49 pm
              The only be if it because of this demonetisation is destruction of fake 1000 and500 rupee notes .so a good move.
              Reply
              1. N
                Neeraj
                Nov 19, 2016 at 12:58 am
                Supreme court must dismiss BJP governemnt and put Modi behind bars indefinately for mind boggling pain of 100 crore people.
                Reply
                1. P
                  PG
                  Nov 18, 2016 at 4:40 pm
                  Was CJI expecting things will run with no Qs? Probably, the learned judges of SC must of have landed from outer space... Besides, their comments of riots, etc., are they trying to instigate? Why cannot these folks stick to civility?
                  Reply
                  1. S
                    Soundar
                    Nov 18, 2016 at 12:49 pm
                    There is a English saying that you can fool some of the people all the time , and all the people some of the time but you can not fool all the people all the time. But Mody can fool all the people all the time. Here are the examples:- a) During election ha promised to bring black money stacked abroad within 100 days but nothing done. b) Demonitization will brought down corruption but his own state port trust officials caught red handedly accepting bribe of 2.5 lakes that too 2000 rupee notes.
                    Reply
                    1. S
                      SubbuI
                      Nov 18, 2016 at 12:49 pm
                      WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE TO TELL OUR TALLEST GOD SEND LEADER HOW TO RUN THE ATM AND BANKS. OUR SUPREMO LEADER SRI MODI WILL DECIDE HOW TO ISSUE MONEY.FEW OLD AND THIS KIND OF PEOPLE STANDING FOR MONEY DIES. IT IS NOT BIG ISSUE. NATION BUILDIND NEED SOME HUMAN SACRIFICES LIKE A SPIRITUAL POOJA.ONLY SRI MODI CAN DO THAT.MODI IS INDIA AND INDIA IS MODI. OUR LEADRES SRI MODI AND SRI AMIT SHAH ARE LIKE LORD RAM AND . JAI MODI,JAI SHAH-HAIL MODI
                      Reply
                      1. S
                        Stonecold
                        Nov 18, 2016 at 3:38 pm
                        All the s praising demonitisation have any idea that it is going to remove only 0.1 percent black money from the system . What a waste of time and human resources .
                        Reply
                        1. A
                          Anonymous
                          Nov 18, 2016 at 4:01 pm
                          No doubt people are suffering a bit or lot... but do onething all of you noticed that Most of people's are in support of this move.... as far as political parties are concerned only those are crying who do holds the blackmoney. N I believe this fantastic decision of demonetization is beyond superme courts area of operations. N My advice to all of you guys is not to be so panic... trust me this move is really going to have marvelous results in long term.
                          Reply
                          1. M
                            Maracan
                            Nov 18, 2016 at 1:41 pm
                            SC is full of brahmins. Only if Shri Modiji takes over SC and appoints its judges, will those stupid SC judges will come in like with Shri Modi's policies. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Am I right Brahmin dogs?
                            Reply
                            1. M
                              Maracan
                              Nov 18, 2016 at 12:46 pm
                              ALL was well planned.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;1) ouster of Raguram Rajan lt;br/gt;2) induction of a dummy RBI governor
                              Reply
                              1. A
                                Arshan
                                Nov 18, 2016 at 11:18 am
                                Justice bench sitting with boxes of old notes themselves, hence their "concerns" for man in the street. Before big baaps won't give ordinary worker 25 paisa, now suddenly very concerned about the poor. Suddenly crying crocodile tears for the poor. Now they want chaiwalla to have chance to exchange old notes. Very thoughtful of them!!!
                                Reply
                                1. A
                                  Anil Nirodi
                                  Nov 18, 2016 at 1:52 pm
                                  Is long lines in the courts of India for litigants and under trials waiting for justice for decades on end since last 70 years not a serious issue? How come no solutions were found thus far except blaming the Govt of the day.
                                  Reply
                                  1. A
                                    ams
                                    Nov 18, 2016 at 11:58 pm
                                    BJP and other political parties are THE MAFIA. You are living in FOOLS PARADISE.
                                    Reply
                                    1. D
                                      Diplomat
                                      Nov 18, 2016 at 10:57 am
                                      Money exchanged and withdrawn will be over soon. Queues will start again especially in the 1st week when all payments are due, currency chests of the bank will be tested again. Since the Rs.2000 notes are signed by new RBI governor, they must have been printed only after 4th Sept. Next denomination is Rs. 100 and new Rs.500 are just coming in. It means there is no sufficient time to print sufficient notes till now. Matter can get worse again.
                                      Reply
                                      1. A
                                        Anil
                                        Nov 18, 2016 at 8:30 pm
                                        Can the honorable courts give us an idea as tolt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;a) how this could have been executed better, without compromising the objective.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;b) how the judiciary plans to cleanup the crores of pending cases, in a better way without compromising the quality.
                                        Reply
                                        1. A
                                          anon
                                          Nov 18, 2016 at 8:20 pm
                                          I am all for this demonetization but it should help bring down the property prices. There will obviously be a huge opposition to this as a lot of powerful people have a lot at stake. That includes corrupt lawyers, lawmakers and our useless judges who will take up PIL's of a political nature while on the other hand cry that they are not staffed. This failure of our justice system is the root cause of all this and this is a last resort the GOI had. But Modi should plummet on regardless. The judiciary needs to be leashed in.
                                          Reply
                                          1. a
                                            anup.a.kulkarni
                                            Nov 18, 2016 at 2:13 pm
                                            Courts are worst performing insution when it comes to "easy accessibility" and "time bound justice" for common man.lt;br/gt;Don't point fingers to bank. First look at yourself. lt;br/gt;If there was proper justice in last 70 years of history in all cases, there wouldn't have been so much black money in system and people wouldn't have to stand in queue.
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