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Supreme Court refuses to grant interim relief in cases challenging demonetisation

The Supreme Court Friday in its interim order on demonetisation refused to interfere with the Centre’s decision firmly underlining that ‘these are matters of fiscal policies.’ The court further restrained all high courts from examining the issue, stayed proceedings there and transferred them to itself.

Stressing that the government is the best judge, the court refused to extend dates for exemption of old Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes for certain services.

“We hope that the government is sensitive and responsible in dealing with the issue and we leave it to their best judgement,” said a bench comprising chief justice T.S. Thakur and justices D.Y. Chandrachud and A.M. Khanwilkar.

It asked the government to fulfill the commitment of Rs. 24,000 withdrawal per week to the extent possible.

The apex court said that it won’t interfere in the government’s decision and would refer petitions challenging November 8 notification on demonetization to five-judge Constitution bench by framing nine questions for adjudication. The bench will explore constitutionality of the demonetization.

The court stayed proceedings on petitions against demonetisation notification in all high courts and said only apex court will hear them.

Supreme Court accepted the assurance of Attorney General that Rs. 8,000 crore collected by district cooperative banks between November 11 to 14 will be allowed to be exchanged.

Earlier, senior advocate Kapil Sibal had said that the use of demonetised Rs. 500 notes has come to an end and some order needed to be passed. Sibal had sought an interim order on the issue.

Chief Justice of India, T. S Thakur had asked the government if anything could be done to ease the suffering of the people. He had said that “People are suffering. It is a serious problem”. The Narendra Modi-led Central government had earlier submitted an affidavit saying that the demonetisation drive by implemented by them was a sincere attempt at unearthing black money that had been stashed over 7 decades.

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