Supreme Court refuses to restrain lower courts from hearing pleas on demonetisation
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Supreme Court refuses to restrain lower courts from hearing pleas on demonetisation

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to restrain various high courts and subordinate courts from hearing petitions against the Union government’s demonetisation notification, saying “people are facing real problems and we cannot shut them from moving courts to register their grievances.”

The SC, however, asked the Centre to file a plea seeking transfer of cases filed in different courts across country to one high court.

Attorney general Mukul Rohatgi listed out several measures taken by Centre to ease the situation owing to demonetisation. He said the situation is being monitored at the highest-level everyday and things are getting sorted out. “Queues are getting shorter,” he said.

The SC observed that the government had promised during the last hearing to increase withdrawal limit from Rs 4,500, but it has reduced it to Rs 2,000. “Why? Is there shortage of even Rs 100 notes,” the SC bench asked.

The government on Thursday reduced the exchange of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes from Rs 4,500 a day to Rs 2,500. Justifying the move to cut the exchange limit, finance minister Arun Jatiley said that that the exchange window of Rs 4,500 a day was being misused and this had led to the government reducing the amount to Rs 2,000 in a bid to curb use of “currency mules” to change illegal wealth to new notes.

“The queues are becoming smaller. Deposits and withdrawals are progressing well… With this (however), the facility to exchange Rs 4,500 has been misused. The government will not accept this misuse. This amount has been reduced,” the FM said.

During the hearing, attorney general Mukul Rohatgi and senior advocate and Congress leader Kapil Sibal had a verbal spat over problems faced by people due to demonetisation. The attorney general acused Kapil Sibal of politicising the court proceedings because of his affiliation to political party’s stand. Sibal, on his part, said that the government is inept and clueless about handling the situation that has arisen because of ill-planned demonetisation.
Rohatgi said Sibal was bringing politics into court room. “I have heard you in the press conference yesterday. You are speaking the same language here in court on demonetisation,” he said. Sibal replied: “I have freedom of speech to criticise government policies. I am talking here about the problem faced by people not politics.”The SC asked Sibal to file documents substantiating his charges on inept handling of demonetisation and posted the matter for further hearing on November 25.

Source: indiatimes