The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that it will examine if petitions challenging the Union government’s 2016 demonetisation move have become an academic exercise and if they can be heard at all, reported PTI.

A five-judge constitution bench of Justices S Abdul Nazeer, BR Gavai, AS Bopanna, V Ramasubramanian and BV Nagarathna posted the matter for hearing on October 12.

On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes would cease to be legal tender in India from midnight. Modi had said that the decision had been taken to “fight corruption, black money and terrorism”.

The Rs 2,000 notes and Rs 500 notes with a new design had been introduced after demonetisation.

The petitioners have claimed that demonetisation violated several constitutional rights of citizens, such as the right to property (Article 300A), right to equality (Article 14), right to carry on any trade, business or occupation (Article 19) and right to life and right to livelihood (Article 21).

Opposition parties have alleged that the exercise failed to achieve its stated objectives, and instead caused hardship to common citizens who depended on cash for their daily needs. Several persons, many of them elderly, died while standing in long queues to exchange their money. As millions of families were left stranded with no cash, many even killed themselves after failing to exchange old notes for valid currency.

At Wednesday’s hearing, the Supreme Court asked whether it would be prudent for the five-judge bench to spend time examining these petitions, Bar and Bench reported.

A counsel for the petitioners said that that several matters were identified and referred to the constitution bench by the Supreme Court in 2016, according to Live Law. He added that the High Courts were barred from hearing petitions relating to the matter.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta replied that nothing survives in the case but the bench can hear the petitions as an academic exercise.

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