As Centre fails to submit affidavit, SC adjourns demonetisation hearing

NationalAs Centre fails to submit affidavit, SC adjourns demonetisation hearing

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Says it is embarrassing for a constitution bench for adjourning the case till November 24. The Attorney General apologised to the bench for not being able to prepare the comprehensive affidavit and sought a week’s time.

New Delhi: As the Centre failed to file affidavits, the Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned until November 24 the scrutiny of the decision-making process behind the 2016 demonetisation policy, saying “it is very embarrassing.”

The apex asked the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India on October 11 to file a comprehensive affidavit on the 2016 demonetisation decision and also keep the files ready in connection with the Centre’s letter to the RBI, the decision of RBI Board and the demonetisation announcement.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Justice SA Nazeer and comprising Justice BR Gavai, Justice AS Bopanna, Justice V Ramasubramanian and BV Nagarathna adjourned the matter after Attorney General R Venkataramani sought time to file the affidavit. He apologised to the bench for not being able to prepare the comprehensive affidavit and sought a week’s time.

The bench remarked: “Normally a constitution bench never adjourns like this. We never rise like this. It is very embarrassing for the court also.” About the adjournment, Venkatramani said it was embarrassing for him, too.

The lawyers, representing the petitioners, argued against the submissions for adjournment, saying it has never been an accepted practice before a constitution bench. Putting off the proceedings, the apex court said that the government and the RBI must submit their affidavits within a week.

There are more than 50 petitions in the Supreme Court challenging the Centre’s 2016 decision on demonetisation to take the currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations out of circulation.

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