The Supreme Court of India on 16 December 2016 referred cases against note ban to a constitution bench. The ruling was given by a bench comprising the Chief Justice of India (CJI) TS Thakur and justices DY Chandrachud and AM Khanwilkar.
The primary responsibility of the constitution bench will be to review -
• The constitutionality of the demonetization scheme
• Procedural irregularities in its implementation if any
• Violation of citizen’s right by the cap on cash withdrawals from ATMs and bank counters
The bench further framed nine questions for the consideration of the bench. The proposed bench will start functioning in January 2017.
The nine questions framed by the Supreme Court are –
1. Does the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has the power to issue the 8 November 2016 notification to scrap Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes?
2. Does demonetization violate a citizen’s right to property provided by the Article 300A of the constitution?
3. Does demonetization violate a citizen’s fundamental right to equality provided under Part III of the constitution?
4. Does capping withdrawal limit have a basis in law?
5. Does the demonetization have the procedural basis?
6. Is Reserve Bank of India’s power to scrap notes an outcome of excessive delegation of power by the Parliament?
7. What is the scope of the judicial review vis-à-vis fiscal and monetary policy?
8. Can a political party file a writ petition in the Supreme Court against a government policy?
9. Is the decision barring district cooperative banks from handling cancelled currency notes discriminatory?
However, the court refused to provide the interim relief sought by the petitioners.
Senior counsel and former Union Ministers P Chidambaram and Kapil Sibal appealed for an extension of the time limit to use the scraped notes for certain essential payments and allowing district cooperative banks to accept the banned currency notes.
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Who: Supreme Court
When: 16 December 2016