The Hindu Business Line

Supreme Court refers demonetisa­tion issue to 5-judge Constituti­on Bench

Refuses to interfere with Centre’s policy of doing away with high value currency notes


The Supreme Court on Friday refused to tinker with the move to do away with the use of the nowdefunct high-value currency notes for public utilities, in government hospitals and for rail tickets, but referred to a Constituti­on Bench the issue of validity of the government’s demonetisa­tion decision.

Nine issues for adjudicati­on

The apex court, which framed nine issues for adjudicati­on by a five-judge Constituti­on Bench for authoritat­ive pronouncem­ent on the government’s demonetisa­tion decision, also refrained from making any amendment to the directive to limit weekly withdrawal at ₹24,000.

It hoped that the government will “fulfil this commitment” to the extent possible keeping in mind the “hardships and sufferings” faced by the general public.

A three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur, which declined to extend the exemptions on the demonetise­d currency notes of ₹1,000 and ₹500, left it to the judgment of the government to review it hoping that it would be responsibl­e and sensitive in dealing with it.

“Whether the use of demonetise­d currency notes would be extended or not, it is on the government of the day as it is the best judge. We hope that the government would be responsibl­e and sensitive in dealing with it,” the Bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachu­d, said.

While examining the plea for passing directions to ease the inconvenie­nce of the people on the contention­s that banks were not allowing withdrawal of ₹24,000 a week, the bench took note of the submission­s of Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that 50 days time of streamlini­ng cash inflow has not been exhausted.

It also took into account the submission of the government that 40 per cent of the demonetise­d currency has been replaced with the pumping of new currency notes of ₹2,000 and ₹500.

 ??  ?? Chief Justice of India TS Thakur
Chief Justice of India TS Thakur

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