Centre seeks stay on cases challenging demonetisation

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New Delhi, Nov 17 : The government on Thursday sought a Supreme Court stay on cases filed in different High Courts and subordinate courts across the country challenging the demonetisation of Rs 500 and 1,000 currency.

The Supreme Court agreed to list the application for Friday after Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi mentioned the matter for urgent hearing.

The Attorney General told a bench of Justice Anil R. Dave and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar that the matter may be listed before a bench headed by Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, which was already hearing a batch of four petitions challenging the government’s November 8 move.

The government also sought an order to restrain the High Courts and subordinate courts from entertaining any petition challenging demonetisation.

The Centre urged the Supreme Court to pass an order that any challenge to the spiking of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes could be taken up only by the apex court.

Pointing out that some petitions filed before different courts, including High Courts, have since been dismissed, the Centre’s plea pointed to petitions before High Courts of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Bombay and Gujarat.

One petition is pending before a civil court in Mumbai.

The government said it had demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes after following due procedure as prescribed under law.

The Supreme Court is a hearing four petitions — two by Delhi-based lawyers Vivek Narayan Sharma and Sangam Lal Pandey — and two by S. Muthukumar and Adil Alvi, who have questioned the justification for the demonetisation move and the procedure followed.

Hearing the four petitions on November 15, the apex court directed the Centre to list out the steps the government had taken to avoid hardships and inconvenience to the common man.

The next hearing is slated for November 25.