The Union government today filed a caveat in the Supreme Court saying that it should also be heard if the apex court entertains any petition on demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court today indicated that it may hear on November 15 a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the government decision.
“Let it be listed on Tuesday if the petition gets numbered by the registry,” a three-judge bench headed by Justice A R Dave said when a lawyer today sought urgent hearing of his plea on the ground that demonetisation is causing a lot of problem to the common citizens.
The plea was mentioned by advocate Sangam Lal Pandey who has filed the PIL in his personal capacity.
He has sought quashing of the November 8 notification of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) of Finance Ministry on the grounds that the common public has not been granted sufficient time and as a result they are facing a lot of hardship.
The PIL has also sought a direction to the Centre that sufficient time be given to the citizens for exchanging the demonetised currency notes.
Besides this petition, another plea was filed yesterday in the apex court seeking quashing of the decision to demonetise Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes on grounds that it infringed on citizens’ right to life and to trade, among others.
The PIL filed by Delhi-based lawyer Vivek Narayan Sharma, which could be listed for hearing during the week, has termed the notification of DEA as “dictatorial” claiming it did not grant reasonable time to citizens for exchanging the specified bank notes to legitimate notes to avoid “large scale mayhem, life threating difficulties”.
The plea 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.
The Prime Minister, in a televised address to the nation, declared that high denomination notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 will no longer be legal tender from last midnight. He said that the Government has declared a “decisive” war against black money and corruption.
The plea, referring to news reports, said demonetisationof Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes would mean more than Rs 15 lakh crore worth of high-value legal tender being withdrawn from circulation.
It, however, said the petitioner was not against the scheme of phasing out of specified bank notes, but against the manner of its implementation as it has created “panic and Emergency-like situation all around India”.
“… 1.25 billion of citizens are going to be clueless about running their day-to-day life till the time the transition from specified bank notes to new bank notes takes place. The whole chain of transaction will be affected, making people worry more about procuring money, leaving them standing in line, in banks, to obtain legitimate currency notes and affect their work & trade,” the plea said.
“In the next few weeks or may be months, almost all citizens of India are going to face grave harassment in almost every small day-to-day affair and “elementary services like hospitals payments, schools fees payments, toll fees payments, out-station hotel payments, labour payments, local transport payments, buying of essential items like grocery, clothes, pollutions masks, air cleaner, winter clothes, kids care items, old-age care items etc”, it added.
Referring to an RBI report, the PIL said “out of the total Rs 16.42 lakh crore value of bank notes in circulation as on March 31, 2016, as much as Rs 14.18 lakh crore, i.e. over 86 per cent, consisted of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.”
The decision would lead into large queues in banks and post offices and even ordinary purchases of vegetables and other essentials in markets are going to be impacted badly, it said.
(With PTI inputs)