The Supreme Court came down hard on the central government today and declined it's request that it stay all petitions against demonetisation pending in various high courts and other forums. The apex court stated categorically that people have a right to approach courts when they have grievances.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi moved the bench presided over by Chief Justice T S Thakur outlining the steps taken to ease the crisis following the ban on notes of the denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 announced on November 8. He claimed that the queues outside banks and post offices have become shorter and the government was taking all steps to normalise the situation.
At this, the top court asked some tough questions from the government like the logic of reducing the limit of withdrawal from Rs 4,500 to Rs 2,000 while the counsel had promised at the last hearing that the limit will be raised. The reduction was exactly the opposite of the government's word. The court also asked counsel whether there was shortage of Rs 100 notes also. The judges said that people are frustrated and they have a right to approach courts and that they cannot be stopped.
Earlier on Tuesday, there was a verbal spat between Rohatgi and senior counsel Kapil Sibal, who represented one of the several petitioners. While Sibal said that the ordinary people have been put in miserable situation, the Attorney General alleged that Sibal was politicising the issue for the benefit of his party.