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SC Refuses To Stay Hearings On Demonetisation, Says Tense Situation Can Lead To Riots

Next date of hearing is 25 November.

18/11/2016 1:19 PM IST | Updated 18/11/2016 5:11 PM IST
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NEW DELHI, INDIA - NOVEMBER 16: A banker exchanging defunct currency notes at PNB branch, on November 16, 2016 in New Delhi, India. Bank started applying indelible ink on customers' fingers similar to the election system. This is being done to prevent people from transacting multiple times at a branch. As part of sweeping steps to battle black money, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 currency notes will cease to be legal tender from midnight of Tuesday. (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

NEW DELHI -- The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay proceedings in various high courts and lower courts that are related to the central government's demonetisation decision. The Indian government had submitted a fresh plea at the apex court seeking a stay on the proceedings before various high courts and other courts except the SC against its 8 November decision to demonetise high denomination currency notes of ₹500 and ₹1,000.

Reports suggested that the bench said courts could shut its door to people. The Hindu quoted the apex court bench as saying, "This is very serious. This is will require great consideration. People have become frantic, people are affected... There may be riots."

The Supreme Court has asked the government to file a transfer petition if they want a stay. The next date for hearing is 25 November.

A bench comprising justices A R Dave and A M Khanwilkar had on Thursday agreed to hear the plea after Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre, asked for a stay on proceedings in other courts alleging it was going to create confusion otherwise.

Another bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur which is hearing a batch of PILs against the Centre's demonetisation move heard the government's plea today.

While Rohatgi argued that the people of the country were patiently waiting in queues, Justice Thakur, according to The Hindu, said, "No. There is suffering. There is difficulty and you cannot dispute that."

The apex court, on 15 November, had refused to stay the government's demonetisation notification but asked it to spell out the steps taken to minimise public inconvenience.

Of the four PILs in the apex Court on demonetisation issue, two were filed by Delhi-based lawyers Vivek Narayan Sharma and Sangam Lal Pandey, while two others were filed by individuals, S Muthukumar and Adil Alvi.

The petitioners had alleged that the sudden decision has created chaos and harassment to public at large and the notification of the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance be either quashed or deferred for some time.

The Prime Minister, in a televised address to the nation, had declared that high denomination notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 will no longer be legal tender from November 8-9 midnight. He had said the Government has declared a "decisive war" against black money and corruption.

(With PTI inputs)

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