The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the government how the I-T department was seizing crore of rupees in new currency every day when banks are not even able to provide people the weekly withdrawal limit of Rs 24,000. Appearing for the Centre, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi blamed bank managers. “Bank managers have done this fraud and they are being nabbed,” Rohatgi said.
The senior lawyer also pointed out that two Axis Bank managers have been arrested for fraud, and said investigators are looking into similar cases, reported The Indian Express. Rohatgi said the government cannot sit at every bank in the country to ensure their proper functioning. Rohatgi said people should be patient for “70 days” and bear with the discomfort because the government had declared a “revolution” against black money and corruption in the country after 70 years.
The bench led by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur observed, “Some have plenty [of new currency], and there are some who have nothing.” However, Rohatgi said that a total of Rs 7.5 lakh crore, including Rs 5 lakh crore in new currency notes, has been made available for transactions. According to him, the cash crunch in the country will be over soon.
The apex court also asked the Centre why the exemption on the use of the demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes at hospitals and petrol pumps could not be extended. Rohatgi said, “It cannot be a matter of judicial review as to which exemptions should continue. After all, these are issues of executive policy.” The exemption ended on the midnight of December 14. The Centre demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on November 8.
The apex court bench reserved its order for the next hearing. The court is expected to announce its verdict in the first week of January.