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  Metros   Kolkata  19 Nov 2016  Centre didn’t do homework: Calcutta High Court

Centre didn’t do homework: Calcutta High Court

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Nov 19, 2016, 1:57 am IST
Updated : Nov 19, 2016, 2:23 am IST

Demonetisation has caused enormous harassment to common people, says Calcutta High Court.

Calcutta High Court. (Photo: Facebook)
 Calcutta High Court. (Photo: Facebook)

Kolkata: Slamming the Centre for not doing adequate “homework” before announcing the demonetisation of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 currency notes, Calcutta high court on Friday said that this has resulted in enormous harassment to the common people.

The division bench of Chief Justice Girish Gupta and Arindam Sinha also observed that the Union government has taken “hasty” decisions. “The Centre has not applied its mind properly, everyday they are changing procedures, means there was no homework,” the division bench said. The division bench made these observations while hearing a PIL filed by a lawyer Ramaprasad Sarkar. The justices told Mr Sarkar to place information before the court about the measures that have been taken to reduce the hardships faced by the people in the wake of the demonetisation decision. The court will next hear the matter on November 25.

Chief Justice Gupta then went on to ask several questions to the Centre’s lawyer and Additional Solicitor General Kaushik Chanda. He wanted to know whether the Centre is aware of the great inconvenience the people are facing due to cash crunch because it suddenly reduced the limit of withdrawal from Rs 4500 to Rs 2000. The court acknowledged that it cannot change the government’s policy but it can try to minimise the people’s miseries.

The Chief Justice also wanted to know that when the Centre had allowed the use of scrapped notes in government hospitals then why it did not consider the plight of those people who go to private hospitals and nursing homes for treatment. He also pointed out that when the Centre allowed use of old notes in trains then why it did not think of those who travel by long-distance buses.

The judges said that the Centre’s decision was good but its faulty implementation caused suffering to the common people. According to them, there was a clear lack of sincerity on part of the bank officials.

Hearing another PIL, the division bench voiced its displeasure over the lack of arrangements/facilities in the Centre’s demonetisation move for specially-abled people. Hearing the PIL filed by Alauddin Mondol, the court wanted to know why separate queues were not there at the banks were not for specially-abled persons.

Expressing its anger over the Centre’s move to reduce the withdrawal limits the high court asked how can a person survive on Rs 2000.

“Do you know how much a kilo of flour cost?” the court asked. The critical observations came on the day the Supreme Court turned down the Central government’s plea to stay the petitions challenging the demonetisation pending at several high courts and subordinate courts.

Tags: demonetisation, pil, calcutta high court
Location: India, West Bengal, Calcutta [Kolkata]