Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of demonetisation on 8 November brought up many question on banning currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000. Some people removed their outrage through social media, and the some went a step forward, and filed public interest litigations (PILs) in High Courts across the nation and in Supreme Court as well. Yesterday, 25 November, the Supreme Court gave the Centre a week’s breather from judicial scrutiny on its move on demonetisation. The Supreme Court said it would hear all petitions on demonetisation on 2 December.
The Supreme Court on 2 December will hear all pleas including the transfer petition filed by the Centre on the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes.
The Supreme Court also said it would examine the inconvenience aspect and constitutional validity of the 8 November notification on demonetisation.
Appearing on behalf of the petitioners, senior lawyer and congress leader Kapil Sibal urged the Supreme Court to take harsh steps on the government as this a really serious issue. He also told the bench that people are starving in the streets as there was no cash at all.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, on his part, said it would be better if the Supreme Court heard the opposing petitions at the same time as the government’s plea seeking their transfer to a single court, as the latter is also scheduled for hearing on 2 December. The Centre in its affidavit told the apex court that demonetisation is a step to reduce ratio of cash transactions, adding the objective is to unearth illegal parallel economy.
Here are some the PIL’s filed on Demonestisation:
- The Communist Party of India (Marxist), The CPI(M) through its general secretary Sitaram Yechury, has filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the government move of banning Rs 500 and 1000 currency notes in the country on 23 November 2016.
- A plea was on 10 November, 2016 filed in the Supreme Court seeking quashing of the government’s decision to demonetise currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination on grounds that it infringed on citizens right to life and to trade, among others. The plea, filed by Delhi-based lawyer Vivek Narayan Sharma, has sought either quashing of the notification or a direction to the Centre for grant of “reasonable time frame” to citizens for exchanging the demonetised currency notes to avoid difficulties.
- A lawyer from Uttar Pradesh has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court, challenging the Centre’s move to scrap existing currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations. The PIL, filed by Sangam Lal Pandey, seeks to quash the move, terming it “arbitrary” and a “huge inconvenience” to the public. The petitioner will mention the matter for urgent listing on 9 November, 2016.
- The demonetisation of notes of higher denomination came under scrutiny of the courts on 18 November, the Calcutta High Court seeking a report from the government on steps taken to “alleviate the sufferings of common people”, and pulling up the Centre for not applying its “mind properly”, doing “no homework” and “changing procedure” everyday. Ramaprasad Sarkar, the petitioner who is an advocate, later said: “The court told the advocate for the central government that they need to submit, in writing, the steps taken by them before the bench by 25 November.”
- Two Public Interest Litigations (PILs) were filed in the Supreme Court on 10 November, challenging the government’s decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes in order to check black money. Both the petitions have been filed by practising lawyers: Advocate-on-Record at the Supreme Court Vivek Narayan Sharma, and Sangam Lal Pandey. Sharma’s petition, running into 39 pages, questions the manner in which the scheme was implemented. He has alleged the government “failed to follow constitutional rule of law, principles of natural justice and provide sufficient time to citizens of India to prepare for such phasing out of specified bank notes.” The other PIL, filed by Pandey, has also pointed out the various difficulties faced by the public due to the sudden discontinuation of the currency notes.
- One PIL was filed in the Bombay High Court on 15 November, highlighting the common man’s problems post-demonetisation. Petitioner Dr. Kanagasabapathy Sundaram Pillai, the petition alleged that since no advertisements are allowed on denominations that are legal tenders, the Swachh Bharat logo on the new Rs 2,000 note was illegal, hence, the circulation of these notes should be “stayed immediately”.
- A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in Calcutta High Court on 16 November, 2016 against the demonetisation of high value currency notes by the Centre. The PIL was filed by Imran Khan, the younger son of Javed Khan, state minister of disaster management.
- A public interest litigation filed in the Hyderabad High Court has sought suspension of the Union government’s 8 November notification demonetising Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. K Srinivas, a lawyer, filed the petition through advocate P V Krishnaiah 9 November, 2016, challenging the section 26 (2) of the RBI Act, 1934, and sought direction declaring the notification No. S O 3407 (E), dated November 8) issued by the government as “arbitrary, illegal and unconstitutional”.
- A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition been filed on 10 November, in the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court (HC) challenging a notification issued by the Union Ministry of Finance demonetising Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes from 9 November and seeking a consequential direction to the Centre to declare the currency notes valid until 30 December. The petitioner M Seeni Ahamed, State General Secretary of Indian National League stated that the sudden scrapping of high denomination currency notes and several restrictions imposed on bank transactions had caused immense hardship to many uneducated people who did not have bank accounts. While appreciating the reasons cited by the Centre that the demonetisation move would eliminate fake currency and black money, he said the government was also duty-bound to implement its decision without causing severe hardship to the common man.
- A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Bombay High Court by the Vice President of the youth wing of Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS). The PIL filed by Akhil Chitre is likely to be mentioned before a bench headed by Chief Justice Manjula Chellur on 16 November, 2016. The petition seeks direction for proper implementation of the demonetisation policy. The petition has made the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Centre and the state government the main respondents. Through this petition Chitre has focused on the difficulties faced by people to get money of smaller denominations and exchange of notes for Rs 500 and Rs 1000 withdrawn.
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