The Delhi high court has directed that demonetised currency notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 will not be deposited in court treasury and asked judicial officers not to grant any relaxation in this regard.
The bench passed the direction while expressing displeasure over a trial court special judge’ decision allowing a convict to deposit the fine amount in demonetised currency, which became an illegal tender from the midnight of November 8-9.
“It is directed that this order shall be communicated by the registry forthwith to the learned special judge as well as to all the district judges for being circulated amongst all the judicial officers within each of the districts, so that similar relaxation is not granted to any person to permit deposit in the treasury of any amount in the form of demonetised currency notes,” a bench of justice Vipin Sanghi said.
Holding that the special judge’s reasoning was “clearly beyond the judicial competence”, the high court said, “The issuance of currency notes and their demonetisation are purely an executive act and it is not open to the courts to step into the said arena. The aforesaid direction issued by the learned special judge is a clear transgression of his authority.”
The bench said it appeared that such directions may have been issued by the special judge in other cases also and since the demonetised currency notes are still being accepted as legal tender, though for very limited purposes, it is likely that such directions may be issued by the special judge in other cases as well.
The high court was hearing an appeal filed by a convict in a corruption case challenging the trial court’s judgement sentencing the man to three years jail and a fine of Rs 75,000 and seeking suspension of the punishment.
The bench, however, refused to suspend the sentence for the time being and said in case the appeal is not heard by March 31, 2017, it shall be open to the appellant to seek suspension of the remaining sentence.