The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to stay the Nov 8 government notification demonetising ₹ 500 and ₹1,000 currency and asked the Centre to take immediate measures to alleviate the hardships and sufferings of the traumatised common man who is “forced” to stand in queues to withdraw a little bit of his own hard-earned money.
“Tell us, instead of forcing citizens to stand in queues for his own money… and it is traumatic for people to stand in lines for hours doing nothing, why can’t you raise their cash withdrawal limit to a reasonable limit?” Chief Justice T S Thakur, who presided over a bench that comprised Justice D Y Chandrachud, questioned the Centre.
Noting that the apex court does not want to interfere with the government’s economic policy, Chief Justice Thakur said the objective of demonetisation may be a “surgical strike” on black money, but it should not cause hardship to the common man.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for one of the four petitioners, said what is portrayed as a surgical strike on black money is actually a “carpet-bombing of the common man.”
“Carpenters, masons, daily wage earners, maids vegetable sellers are dependent on cash; we are only wondering if you are capable of doing anything to reduce the trauma of ordinary man?” Chief Justice Thakur asked Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi.
The Bench asked the Centre to file an affidavit by Nov 25, 22016, detailing the various measures it can take to lessen the hardship and inconvenience caused to people without hindering the larger objective of the government notification to get rid of black money and cross-border terror financing.