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Demonetisation: Top court questions government on cash crunch in banks

District cooperative banks are not allowed to accept deposits in demonetised currency. Photograph: (Reuters)

PTI New Delhi, India Dec 09, 2016, 11.06 AM (IST)

The Supreme Court today asked the government why banks were not able to provide money to customers despite fixing a withdrawal limit. It asked the government whether there could be assured minimum withdrawal from banks.

"Can we say that this will be the minimum assured weekly withdrawal amount that a person can get from the bank," the bench asked. It fixed the matter for further hearing on December 14.

The bench headed by chief justice TS Thakur also asked attorney general Mukul Rohatgi to apprise it about the federal government's stand on barring district cooperative banks from accepting demonetised currency notes. It also asked the government whether district cooperative banks could be allowed to accept deposits with certain conditions.

On November 24, the government filed an affidavit in the apex court on demonetisation, stating that the "bold move" would eradicate black money and slush funds which had created a "parallel economy" since independence, hitting the poor and the middle class.

The Supreme Court had agreed to hear pleas of 14 cooperative banks of Kerala on November 29, seeking its nod to transact business like other banks seeking demonetisation of any currency note higher than Rs 100 denomination. 

On December 2, the top court had asked the government to spell out the measures taken to ease the inconvenience and suffering of people in rural areas because of demonetisation. 

The attorney general had said the government was aware of the situation in cooperative banks which lacked proper infrastructure and mechanism as compared to scheduled banks.

While hearing a batch of pleas challenging various aspects of demonetisation, the court had said that all parties should sit together and prepare a list of categories of cases which could be referred to high courts and those that could be heard by the top court.

Rohatgi also asked the court to put a stay on various demonetisation-related cases in high courts.

The bench said that it would take up this issue on next date of hearing.

(WION with inputs from PTI)

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