The Supreme Court termed the Centre’s demand to postpone the hearing on demonetization as shameful. However, a five-judge Constitution Bench of Justice S Abdul Nazeer adjourned the hearing in the matter till November 24 at the request of Attorney General R Venkataramani. The Attorney General sought a week’s time to file a comprehensive affidavit in the matter and apologized to the bench for non-compliance with the previous direction.
“Normally, a Constitution Bench is never adjourned like this,” the bench said. We never wake up like this. It is also very shameful for the court. The Attorney General also said it is shameful for them too. Senior advocate Shyam Divan, representing the petitioners’ counsel Vivek Narayan Sharma and others, said, it has never been an accepted practice before the Constitution Bench. He opposed the adjournment request.
Justice Nagarathna observed, “Normally a Constitution Bench does not adjourn like this. We never wake up like this. It is also very shameful for the court.” However, the court accepted the AG’s request and now the next hearing will be held on November 24. The court also emphasized that the trial, in this case, should be completed this year.
The Attorney General said that he himself is ashamed to seek an adjournment, but the Center needs time so that we can move forward in a better way. Senior advocate Shyam Divan for the petitioner has requested the court to continue with the hearing of the petitioners.
Diwan said, asking for an adjournment from the Constitution Bench is extremely unusual. The petitioners should be allowed to argue and the RBI and the central government can take their time to file the affidavits. Allowing the adjournment, the bench clarified that the government and the RBI would have to submit their affidavits within a week. The next hearing will be on November 24.
Over 50 petitions have been placed before a Constitution Bench challenging the Centre’s 2016 demonetization decision to put Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes out of circulation. He said, “As far as I know the practice of this court. When a Constitution Bench sits…don’t ask for an adjournment. This type of request is very unusual.
So, I would suggest – if they need time then we open our submission and complete it.” Let us tell you that on October 13, the court agreed to review the 6-year-old decision of the Supreme Court. In the year 2016, the Modi government at the Center took the decision to demonetize. The circular passed on November 8, 2016, has been challenged in this matter.