The AG said Rs 100 notes were in shortage. The demonetised notes were over 80% of our currency.

SC says long queues outside banks a serious issue there could be riotsImage: Queues outside bank/ PTI
news Demonetisation Friday, November 18, 2016 - 16:44

The controversy around demonetis​ation​ has reached the corridors of the Supreme Court.

Hearing petitions challenging the ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes the court warned, "This is very serious. People have become frantic, people are affected. There may be riots."

The bench led by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur, and comprising Justice Anil R Dave asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi if there was a problem with printing new notes.

According to The Hindu, Rohatgi contested the court's version and said that people were patiently waiting in lines. 

The CJ then countered it by saying that there was difficulty and suffering and the government cannot dispute that. 

The apex court took exception to the government's decision to reduce the exchange limit to Rs 2000. 

The Attorney General told the court that any case relating to demonetisation should be heard by the apex court only and High Courts should not be allowed to hear such petitions. 

Rejecting this the court said that people were going to the courts for relief and it showed the magnitude of the problem. 

"People have the right to approach courts. We cannot shut our doors to the people. If we shut them from going to the High Court, how can we know the magnitude of the problem," said CJ Thakur

Meanwhile senior advocate Kapil Sibal said that 47 people had died waiting in queues and asked the court to intervene. 

Countering Sibal's argument, Rohatgi called him politically motivated.  He added that the government was issuing notifications everyday only because it was concerned about people's problems.

The Chief Justice then asked whether there was shortage in Rs 100 notes. 

Owning up that there was a shortage, Rohatgi said that "Rs 100 notes were in shortage. The demonetised notes were over 80% of our currency."

The Attorney General told the court that people have been allowed to swipe in SBI card-swipe machines and withdraw money.

The SC will take up the matter on November 25. Four PILs have been filed in the SC alleging that the sudden decision to demonetise has inconvenienced the public and created chaos.

The Centre’s petition seeking a stay on such petitions being heard in HC and other courts across the country will also be taken up by the SC on November 25.

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