NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused the Centre’s request to stay the proceedings pending before various High Courts on petitions challenging the demonetisation notification by the government and issued notice to all the petitioners on the transfer plea by it. The Centre had approached the apex court seeking transfer of all these cases to either the apex court or one of the High Courts.
However, a three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur refused the Centre’s request to stay the proceedings pending before various High Courts, saying people may get immediate relief from them. “We don’t want to stay it.
There are various issues. People may get immediate relief from the high courts,” the Bench told Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi. During the hearing, the Bench asked the AG, “We think you must have taken appropriate steps. What is the situation now? How much have you collected so far?” The AG said the situation is much better and more than Rs 6 lakh crore has been deposited so far in the banks since the demonetisation move. He said the demonetisation move was aimed at removing 70 years of ‘slush money’ and the government is monitoring the situation day-by-day and hour- by-hour. Rohatgi informed the court that the government has set up a committee which will take stock of the ground situation across the country following the demonetisation move.
The Bench has fixed the matter for December 2 and has directed the individuals who are petitioners before different High Courts to file their response on the Centre’s transfer plea by then.
Last week, the apex court had dubbed the present situation in the country as a serious issue with 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 entertain petitions challenging the November 8 notification demonetising Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes.
Issues that have come up before the HCs include removal of the weekly cap of Rs 24,000 on withdrawals, use of old currency notes at public utilities and ensuring sufficient cash in ATMs.