Supreme Court refuses to stay cases against demonetisation

A bench headed by chief justice of India T.S. Thakur issued notice to all petitioners who have challenged demonetisation across courts


The bench had also questioned the relief measures undertaken by the Centre and asked why it had squeezed the exchange limit to only Rs2,000. Photo: Mint
The bench had also questioned the relief measures undertaken by the Centre and asked why it had squeezed the exchange limit to only Rs2,000. Photo: Mint

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to stay proceedings against demonetisation of high-value banknotes across various high courts.

A bench headed by chief justice of India T.S. Thakur issued notice to all petitioners who have challenged demonetisation across courts, to a plea by the central government that all the cases be transferred to the apex court or one of the high courts.

Attorney general (AG) Mukul Rohatgi told the court that the situation following the 8 November demonetisation, which led to a cash crunch and long queues forming outside banks and ATM kiosks, was improving and the Centre was monitoring the situation on a daily basis.

He said that the Centre had observed a surge in digital use of money and banks had received deposits of more than Rs 6 trillion till now. The large deposits of cash in banks will lead to a decline in lending rates, Rohatgi added.

The Supreme Court bench, also comprising justices D Y Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao, declined however to stay the proceedings in the high courts.

“There are various issues. People may get immediate relief from the high courts,” the bench said.

The apex court had at the last hearing expressed concern over the aftermath of the demonetisation of high-denomination currency notes, and expressed reservations over the Centre’s plea seeking the transfer of proceedings from high courts to the Supreme Court.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a televised address to the nation on 8 November, said Rs 500 and Rs1,000 banknotes will cease to be legal tender as part of a crackdown on black money, and counterfeit currency notes that go towards funding terrorist groups.

PTI contributed to this story

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