The Income Tax Department on Thursday conducted raids in several cities including Delhi and Mumbai, after the Centre demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes on Tuesday. The department is also reportedly tracking large deposits of money that are being made at banks.

The Union government’s decision to ban these notes had faced criticism from several quarters. The Centre on Thursday filed a preventive notice with the Supreme Court seeking that its view be heard if the court decided to hear petitions challenging the demonetisation. This came even as the apex court indicated it would hear a plea against the government’s move on November 15, PTI reported.

The public interest litigation, filed by advocate Sangam Lal Pandey, has sought the cancellation of the demonetisation move on the grounds that the public had not been given time to prepare for the discontinuation of the high-value notes. Pandey’s PIL has asked the court to direct the Centre to provide people sufficient time to exchange the demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

Another PIL against the decision was filed with the Hyderabad High Court. The court will hear the litigation on Friday, ANI reported. Separately, the Trinamool Congress filed a notice in the Rajya Sabha seeking a discussion on the inconveniences caused to the public because of the move. The filings came even as the Centre waived the surcharge imposed on customers for using the ATMs of banks other than the one in which they held an account, NDTV reported.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “happy to learn that citizens” were expressing their “gratitude to bankers and getting notes exchanged in a very patient and orderly manner”. “I assure you [that] the government is unwavering in its effort[s] to create an India that is corruption free,” Modi said on Twitter.

Criticism of the demonetisation

The Centre’s decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, announced on November 8, did not go down well with many in the political and business circles. Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Thursday called the move selfish and questioned its timing. “If they really wanted to curb black money then why did they take this decision after two years,” she said. She said the Bharatiya Janata Party government had created an Emergency-like situation to “hide their inefficiency” ahead of the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. Mayawati said that only people from Gujarat and Mumbai would benefit from the initiative.