New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear on 15 November two petitions seeking quashing of the government's decision to demonetise Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes on grounds that it infringed citizens' right to life and trade, among others. Two lawyers, who have filed separate PILs in personal capacities against the demonetisation aimed at weeding out fake currency and black money, mentioned their matters for urgent hearing before two benches in forenoon and evening respectively.
They 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 be deferred for sometime. A bench headed by Justice A R Dave asked lawyer Sangam Lal Pandey that his plea would be listed for hearing on Tuesday if it is numbered by the registry.
Another Delhi-based lawyer Vivek Narayan Sharma mentioned his PIL for urgent hearing at 4 pm before a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur and urged that it be listed tomorrow.
When he insisted for early hearing, the bench asked, "Why? How many notes do you have?"
Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, who was present in the courtroom in connection with other case, told the bench that other court has already ordered listing of similar plea on Tuesday for hearing.
"Let it also come up on Tuesday before a proper bench for hearing," the CJI said. The Centre meanwhile has filed a caveat in the registry saying that it be heard if the bench agrees to hear and pass any such pleas.
Pandey, in his plea, has sought quashing of the November 8 notification of the DEA. Sharma has also sought similar relief in his PIL.
Sharma, in his plea, has termed the notification of DEA as "dictatorial" claiming it did not grant reasonable time to citizens for exchanging the specified bank notes to legitimate notes to avoid "large scale mayhem, life threating difficulties".
The plea has sought either quashing of the notification or a direction to the Centre for grant of "reasonable time frame" to citizens for exchanging the demonetised currency notes to avoid difficulties.
"Because constitutional 'Right to Life' and 'Right to Trade' of all the citizens of India is being infringed by Respondent due to unreasonable, unmethodical and dictatorial manner of implementing the said Scheme. Respondent has failed to follow constitutional rule of law, adherence to principles of natural justice and provide sufficient time to citizens of India to prepare for such phasing out of specified bank notes.
"As a result the lives, livelihood, existence, business, trade and education etc. of billions of citizens shall get affected, in innumerable, uncalculated and uncountable ways.
"The implementation of phasing out of specified bank notes, overnight, fails the test of reasonableness and care for its citizens by the Respondent Government," the PIL said.
The Prime Minister, in a televised address to the nation, declared that high denomination notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 will no longer be legal tender from last midnight. He said that the Government has declared a "decisive" war against black money and corruption.