Supreme Court Turns Down Plea To Investigate Officials Involved In Demonetisation

You don't need a Constitution bench to hear this matter, the bench said.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Supreme Court. (Source: Reuters)</p></div>
Supreme Court. (Source: Reuters)

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain an application seeking intervention in a batch of pleas challenging the Centre's Nov. 8, 2016 decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice SA Nazeer asked the petitioner to approach the Bombay High Court with his plea seeking investigation of officials responsible for undertaking the demonetisation exercise.

"Dismissed as withdrawn. You don't need a Constitution bench to hear this matter," the bench, also comprising Justices BR Gavai, AS Bopanna, V Ramasubramanian, and BV Nagarathna, said.

The lawyer appearing for the petitioner claimed Rs 500 notes of the new design were being printed well before a recommendation by the Central Board of the RBI.

The plea filed by RTI activist Manoranjan Roy sought directions for initiation of a time-bound, court-monitored investigation by an independent agency into the conduct of officials with respect to the announcement of the policy to declare currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 as illegal tender.

The plea said the applicant has carefully perused the information and data set out in the RBI annual reports between April 1, 2000 and March 31, 2018.

"During the said period, the applicant noted that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes amounting to over 14 trillion were in circulation. However, within three days of the announcement of the demonetisation, the RBI had collected over 15 trillion which shows fake currency which was in circulation in the Indian economy," he alleged.