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

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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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