Those against note ban must move constitution bench: Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked a batch of 14 petitioners seeking the deposit of their demonetised currency notes to impleaed themselves before the constitution bench to raise their grievances.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud said that besides raising their grievance, the petitioners could also assist the court in the adjudication of the challenge to the constitutional validity of the demonetisation decision.

Attorney General KK Venugopal told the bench that the government will not take any coercive action against them for possessing demonetised currency, stressing that the government will hold its hand in not proceedings against the petitioners only to the extent of money that they mentioned in their petitions and not beyond that.

The batch of 14 petitioners includes NRIs who were not in the country when demonetisation took place and also those who were medically incapacitated. In some cases, people were abroad.

The government had given a December 31, 2016 deadline for depositing the demonetised notes, while for NRIs, it was March 31.

The top court by its December 16, 2016 order had referred all the petitions challenging the legality of demonetisation decision to the constitution bench.

The court had framed nine questions to be addressed by the larger bench which included the validity of demonetisation decision vis-a-vis Section 26(2) and Sections 7,17,23,24,29 and 42 of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 and whether it contravene the provisions of the Constitution’s Article 300(A), which says no person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law.

Further question to be addressed by the constitution bench was “Assuming that the notification has been validly issued under the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 whether it is ultra vires Articles 14 and 19 of the Constitution”.

The constitution bench, the top court by its December 16 order had said, will also examine the scope of judicial review in matters relating to fiscal and economic policy.