Demonetisation: Supreme Court sets up 5-judge bench to decide if move is constitutional

New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Dec 16, 2016, 12:09 PM IST

General Rohatgi had earlier filed a transfer petition before the Supreme Court seeking a stay on all pending pleas against demonetisation. Photograph:(Reuters)

The Supreme Court of India bench hearing the petitions against demonetisation transferred the matter to a five-judge constitution bench on Friday and stayed all matters pertaining to various High Courts.

The Supreme Court refused to extend the use of demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in government utility centres like hospitals, railway tickets etc. It asked the government to fulfill the commitment of Rs 24,000 withdrawal per week to the extent possible.

The apex court said that it won't interfere in the government's decision and would refer petitions challenging November 8 notification on demonetisation to five-judge Constitutional bench by framing nine questions for adjudication. The bench will explore constitutionality of the demonetisation.

The Supreme Court also accepted the assurance of Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that Rs 8,000 crore collected by district cooperative banks between November 11 to 14 will be allowed to be exchanged.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal had said earlier that the use of demonetised Rs 500 notes has come to an end and some order needed to be passed.

On Thursday, the court had said that the Centre should adhere to its notification that allowed withdrawal of Rs 24,000 per week from bank accounts after demonetization of high-value currency notes.

(This report first appeared in DNA)