The Madras High Court today suggested actor-turned-politician R Sarath Kumar to get clarification from the Supreme Court on whether it can go into his plea on return of his seized money during the previous assembly polls as it also involves demonetised currency. A division bench of justices Rajiv Shakder and N Sathishkumar made the suggestion to Sarath Kumar’s counsel while hearing his appeal. Kumar, in his appeal had sought a direction to the Chief Electoral Officer to return Rs nine lakh, seized from him during the 2016 assembly elections.
He had sought the money to be paid to him by cheque or demand draft and not in cash, since currency notes seized from him during the 2016 assembly poll had subsequently been demonetised. Justice M Duraiswamy had earlier dismissed Sarath’s writ plea holding that the Supreme Court had restrained all high courts from entertaining or deciding petitions on demonetisation or matters related to that.
In his appeal against the single judge order, the actor contended that his plea was not against demonetisation per se but was only related to the consequences that have followed. The bench, however, suggested to the counsel to get clarification from the top court whether the high court can take up the case, since it is also connected to demonetisation issue. The suggestion to seek clarification was made to other authorities concerned as well.
On May 7, 2016, election authorities seized Rs nine lakh from Sarathkumar’s car near Tiruchendur in Tamil Nadu. Since the cash seized comprised the demonetised notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000, he moved the high court seeking direction to the CEO, Thoothukudi Collector, and Tiruchendur Returning Officer to return the money through cheque or demand draft.