The Centre on Thursday moved the Supreme Court seeking to restrain various high courts and other courts from entertaining petitions against its November 8 decision to demonetise R500 and R1,000 banknotes. A bench led by Justice Anil R Dave agreed to hear the plea after Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi sought a stay on the proceedings in various courts as the apex court is already hearing the issue. Chief Justice T S Thakur is likely to hear the matter on Friday.
Various similar petitions are pending before the high courts of Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka and Hyderabad, and the Bombay civil court. While some have been dismissed by the courts, there are still some matters pending before different courts, the Union of India said in its application.
While the apex court is hearing a batch of four PILs against the Centre’s demonetisation move, it had on Tuesday refused to stay the government notification but asked it to spell out steps taken to minimise public inconvenience.
Two PILs have been filed by Delhi-based lawyers Vivek Narayan Sharma and Sangam Lal Pandey, while two other individuals, S Muthukumar and Adil Alvi, have joined the issue. The PILs have questioned the rational and modus operandi behind the drive.
The PIL before the Hyderabad HC has alleged that sufficient time frame had not been given for the transition and it would create unprecedented chaos and panic among people. Another PIL before the Gujarat HC seeks to extend the date of validity for exchanging R500 and R1,000 notes and also asks the court to direct private hospitals to accept the old notes.
The PILs have alleged that the sudden decision has created chaos and harassment to the public at large and the notification of the department of economic affairs, ministry of finance, be either quashed or deferred.