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Tomorrow, a bench led by Chief Justice TS Thakur will hear what may well become one of the most important petitions in recent times: that filed by the Union of India seeking a transfer of all pending petitions concerning demonetisation.
More specifically, the Centre’s transfer petition lists twelve different petitions across seven High Courts, including the ones filed by two co-operative banks in the Bombay High Court and one filed in the Delhi High Court. In addition to this, the transfer petition mentions four different petitions in the Kerala High Court, two in the Madras High Court, and one each in the High Courts of Rajasthan, Hyderabad, and Allahabad.
As per the petition, drafted by Diksha Rai and filed by Anil Katiyar, all twelve petitions,
“[Concern] the same substantial question of law of general importance, ie striking down or staying the process of canellation of the legal tender character of specified bank notes/Notification No. 3407 dated 8.11.2016 and Notification No. 3408 dated 8.11.2016 as amended from time to time.”
The petition also claims that all twelve petitions seek “similar reliefs”, and hence the petitions may either be heard by the Supreme Court or be transferred to a High Court.
It is a claim that may well prove to be problematic. In today’s hearing in the co-op bank matter before the Bombay High Court, senior advocate Janak Dwarkadas did try and convince the court that the challenge was not against the demonetisation notifications. However, Justice Oka noted that “propriety” demanded that the matter be kept on hold until the apex court hears the matter.
Along with the transfer, the Centre has also filed an application for a stay of all proceedings across different High Courts. As reported last week, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had mentioned this matter before a bench led by Justice Dave, with the apex court eventually declining to grant any stay.