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Delhi HC to hear PIL challenging demonetization notifications tomorrow

Nalini Sharma

Keeping up with the demonitization crisis, the Delhi High Court will tomorrow hear a PIL that seeks to, amongst other things, cancel the introduction of the Rs.2,000 notes, as well as set aside the demonetisation notifications.

The petitioner Pooja Mahajan, a Delhi based fashion designer, is represented by advocate A. Maitri. 

Mahajan’s petition is one of many that have been filed across different High Courts in the country ever since the November 8 notifications were  released. On November 8, the government issued two notifications under the RBI Act. By virtue of the first, the higher-currency notes were banned and by virtue of another notification on the same day, the higher currency notes were revalidated for certain categories like making payments in government hospitals, pharmacies, railway ticketing counters etc.

Mahajan’s petition claims that these two notifications run contrary to each other, the second notification superseded the first notification, and hence the currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 must be accepted as legal tender.

The advocate for the petitioner told Bar & Bench,

When the government itself is accepting the 1000 and 500 rupees notes as legal tender, then how can they stop the private parties from doing so?”

The petitioner also challenges the constitutionality and validity of the issuance of Rs. 2000 notes by the government. It is contended that the notification directing the issuance of the Rs. 2,000 notes is bad in law because under Section 24(2) no such notification for issuing/circulating bank notes can be passed.

The matter was listed for urgent mentioning today before Badar Durrez Ahmed and Ashutosh Kumar, JJ. and will be heard by the court tomorrow. At the same time, the Central government has approached the Supreme Court to stay all petitions related to demonetisation. While this plea was turned down, the government has moved a transfer petition to move all pending matters to the Delhi High Court. This transfer petition is to be heard this Wednesday.

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