The Bombay High Court refused to hear a plea challenging the Union government’s move of demonetising Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 500 currency notes, saying the Supreme Court is already hearing a petition on the issue.
The petition, filed by lawyers Jamshed Mistry and Jabbar Singh, urged the high court to take suo motu cognisance of the government’s decision taken in “great haste” to scrap high-value currency notes, contending it has caused inconvenience to the general public.
A division bench headed by Justice A S Oka, however, said the Supreme Court is already hearing a petition pertaining to the same issue and has also passed certain directions to the Union government.
“The apex court has refused to stay the scheme. We cannot hear it now. If you (petitioners) want, file an application in the Supreme Court,” Justice Oka said.
Mistry and Singh, in their plea, said the law has already been laid down wherein the government needs to come out with an Ordinance first and then an Act.
Mistry said that during the Emergency, the Ordinance followed by an Act called the High Denomination Bank Notes Act, 1978, was passed to bring demonetisation into effect.
“Therefore, the requirement is that the current demonetisation could have been done only through an Ordinance or amendment of the Act and not merely through a gazette notification,” he said.
The lawyers argued that merely giving four hours notice is not a notice at all and that one’s right to life and right to occupancy or to conduct business, as guaranteed under the Constitution, were severely affected.