Opposition stages protest at the Gandhi statue inside Parliament premises over demonetisation, in New Delhi.(Arun Sharma/HT File Photo)
Opposition stages protest at the Gandhi statue inside Parliament premises over demonetisation, in New Delhi.(Arun Sharma/HT File Photo)

In Parliament and Supreme Court, questions over demonetisation singe govt

The government’s move to recall high-value banknotes came under fire in Parliament and the Supreme Court on Friday, with judges questioning cash rationing by banks and opposition lawmakers accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “running away” from a debate.
By Aurangzeb Naqshbandi and Bhadra Sinha | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 10, 2016 01:30 AM IST

The government’s move to recall high-value banknotes came under fire in Parliament and the Supreme Court on Friday, with judges questioning cash rationing by banks and opposition lawmakers accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “running away” from a debate.

As a lingering cash crunch seemed to temper the initial euphoria over the high-stake policy move – aimed at curbing black money and counterfeit currency – the government has appeared less effusive about the November 8 decision. And with only three working days left, it wants to see off the winter session without any major embarrassment in Parliament.

So much so that ruling lawmakers were seen on Friday preventing a debate in the Lok Sabha, prompting opposition charges that the government didn’t want to be called out on the so-called demonetisation move which suddenly culled 86% of cash in the economy.

The Opposition had initially sought a debate with a vote on demonetisation but later relented to one without voting. Only this time, the government has seemed reluctant to hold one at all. A senior minister told HT that it was not a “favourable time” to have a debate in Parliament.

“If they allow me to speak in Parliament, you shall see an earthquake will come,” Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi told journalists. “This is the biggest scam in India’s history. If I say this inside the House, Modiji will not be able to sit.”

The Parliament’s winter session has so far been lost to disruptions by opposition parties, but, in a role reversal on Friday, BJP chief whip Rakesh Singh was seen gesturing to ruling NDA MPs to get up and shout the opposition MPs down.

Residents queue in a line to withdraw money from an ATM in Allahabad. (AFP Photo)
Residents queue in a line to withdraw money from an ATM in Allahabad. (AFP Photo)

For the government, the day was no better at the Supreme Court, which wondered if the restriction on withdrawal of “legitimate and taxed money” violated fundamental rights. Cash withdrawals from banks are capped at Rs.24, 000 a week, but most banks are unable to pay even that.

A bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur asked the government to consider fixing a minimum assured withdrawal which banks cannot refuse and allow district cooperative banks to accept banned 500-and 1000-rupee notes after stringent verification of the customers.

The court told Mukul Rohatgi, the government’s top law officer, to report back the progress on this on December 14 when it will issue an interim order to reduce people’s hardship.

“Did you have any projections as to how much will you receive and how much notes were to be printed? What would be your gestation period?” the bench asked Rohatgi, wondering whether there was any application of “mind” or “planning” before the demonetisation announcement.

A constitution bench will be set-up to hear 25 petitions that have challenged the government’s demonetisation move. The court said it will frame 11 questions for the consideration of the constitution bench.

Back in Parliament, ruling party lawmakers refused to allow Gandhi to initiate a fresh debate while parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar demanded an apology from the opposition benches for disrupting the proceedings during the past days. At one point, BJP leader LK Advani was seen asking his party MPs not to disrupt the proceedings.

Later, a visibly upset Sumitra Mahajan, the Lok Sabha Speaker, adjourned the Lok Sabha till Wednesday morning.

“Jao sab chhutti par (Go on leave, everyone),” she said on the microphone. Her rebuke came a day after President Pranab Mukherjee castigated MPs for disruptions, asking them to run Parliament “for god’s sake.”

With only three working days left this session, the government is unwilling to allow opposition leaders an opportunity to attack it in Parliament for people’s hardship due to demonetisation, said sources.

“The Prime Minister is giving speeches across the country but is afraid of coming to the Lok Sabha and is not willing to sit there,” Rahul Gandhi said, wondering about the reason for this “nervousness”.

Read | Those at ‘epicentre’ of scams talk about ‘earthquake’: BJP hits back at Rahul

He said the government has changed the narrative on demonetisation from black money to counterfeit currency and now to campaign about turning a cashless society.

The Congress vice-president demanded that Modi come to the House so that it could be discussed “what demonetisation is, who has benefited from this decision and what it means for whom”.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
78% of Covid-19 active cases are concentrated in five states(Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO)
78% of Covid-19 active cases are concentrated in five states(Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO)

India's Covid-19 recovery rate hits nearly 97%: Govt

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Susmita Pakrasi, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 11:33 AM IST
  • India's present active caseload now composes of just 1.62% of India's total positive cases.
Close
A health worker takes a swab sample in Thane. For the first time since the vaccination drive began in Thane, the number of immunisations crossed 102 % on Saturday. (Praful Gangurde/HT photo)(HT_PRINT)
A health worker takes a swab sample in Thane. For the first time since the vaccination drive began in Thane, the number of immunisations crossed 102 % on Saturday. (Praful Gangurde/HT photo)(HT_PRINT)

Maharashtra: Thane records 260 fresh Covid-19 cases, two more fatalities

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 11:08 AM IST
The Covid-19 count in Thane district of Maharashtra reached 2,52,723 with 260 new cases, while two more fatalities pushed the death toll to 6,140, an official said on Thursday.
Close
Farmers protest during a tractor rally at the Inner Ring Road in New Delhi, India, on January 26, 2021. (Bloomberg)
Farmers protest during a tractor rally at the Inner Ring Road in New Delhi, India, on January 26, 2021. (Bloomberg)

Farm stir: Jan 26 violence a conspiracy, says SAD; demands international inquiry

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Harshit Sabarwal, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 28, 2021 11:11 AM IST
The protesting farmers earlier said that ‘anti-social’ elements had orchestrated the violence in Delhi in order to hijack their peaceful protests against the three farm laws- which were passed by Parliament in September.
Close
The Supreme Court. (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
The Supreme Court. (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

SC asks Centre to fix timeline for judicial appointments: All you need to know

By HT Correspondent
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 11:07 AM IST
The court said there were 189 proposals regarding appointments pending with the government as on December 31
Close
People walk across a footbridge as snowclad Zabarwan mountains are seen in the backdrop, after a heavy snowfall, in Srinagar, earlier this month. (File photo)
People walk across a footbridge as snowclad Zabarwan mountains are seen in the backdrop, after a heavy snowfall, in Srinagar, earlier this month. (File photo)

Cold wave keeps grip on Kashmir; Srinagar records -5.6°C

By Mir Ehsan
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 11:04 AM IST
The India Meteorological Department has predicted another spell of snowfall in Kashmir in the first week of Febuary
Close
Farmer unions said the agitation at Singhu, Tikri and other border areas of the national capital will continue.(PTI Photo )
Farmer unions said the agitation at Singhu, Tikri and other border areas of the national capital will continue.(PTI Photo )

Delhi Police issues notices to 20 farm leaders, asks them to reply within 3 days

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 28, 2021 11:37 AM IST
Earlier on Wednesday, deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Chinmoy Biswal had sent a notice to Sanyukt Kisan Morcha Darshan Pal asking him why action should not be taken against him and his allies.
Close
Home Minister Amit Shah will visit injured policemen today. (PTI file)
Home Minister Amit Shah will visit injured policemen today. (PTI file)

Republic Day violence: Amit Shah to visit injured police officers today

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
UPDATED ON JAN 28, 2021 10:59 AM IST
Delhi Police claimed to have handled the sudden violence with restraint averting a major law and order situation in the Capital on Republic Day.
Close
Representational Image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Representational Image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Conmen defrauding people through online dating apps, warns Interpol

By Neeraj Chauhan
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 10:27 AM IST
The CBI, which is the nodal agency of Interpol in India, will alert the states about Interpol’s Purple Notice for awareness about the online dating scam
Close
Active Covid-19 cases in country stand at 1,73,740, while 1,03,73,606 people have recovered from the disease, Union health ministry said.(PTI)
Active Covid-19 cases in country stand at 1,73,740, while 1,03,73,606 people have recovered from the disease, Union health ministry said.(PTI)

70% of India's Covid-19 cases from Maharashtra, Kerala: Harsh Vardhan

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Susmita Pakrasi, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 28, 2021 10:45 AM IST
  • Harsh Vardhan said that 147 districts in the nation have not seen a case of Covid-19 in last 7 days.
Close
The couple were forced to organise a community feast as well. (Representational Image)
The couple were forced to organise a community feast as well. (Representational Image)

Odisha couple forced to perform symbolic last rites of son with rare disorder

By Debabrata Mohanty
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 10:15 AM IST
The boy suffers from giant congenital melanocytic nevi that caused hairy growth on his face, chest and right hand
Close
Students undergo thermal screening in Kanyakumari.(PTI)
Students undergo thermal screening in Kanyakumari.(PTI)

India reports 11,666 new cases in 24 hours, active cases below 1.74 lakh

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
UPDATED ON JAN 28, 2021 10:19 AM IST
147 districts in the country reported no new Covid-19 case in the last seven days.
Close
Farmers protest during a tractor rally near the Singhu border crossing in Delhi,(Bloomberg)
Farmers protest during a tractor rally near the Singhu border crossing in Delhi,(Bloomberg)

Farmers' protest: NH-24, route connecting Delhi with Ghaziabad opened

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Susmita Pakrasi, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 28, 2021 10:46 AM IST
  • Announcing the decision to end the protest, BKU (Bhanu) president Thakur Bhanu Pratap Singh told reporters that he was deeply pained by whatever happened during the tractor rally in Delhi on Republic Day.
Close
Representational Image. (HT file)
Representational Image. (HT file)

Uttar Pradesh to complete Covid vaccination of health workers by Feb 5

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Sameer
UPDATED ON JAN 28, 2021 09:18 AM IST
The state recorded 173 Covid-19 cases on Wednesday while 333 patients were discharged from hospitals. It has 6,368 active cases. With four more deaths, the toll from the pandemic in the state rose to 8,636
Close
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath was speaking on Ram Temple at Gorakhpur on Wednesday. (PTI Photo)
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath was speaking on Ram Temple at Gorakhpur on Wednesday. (PTI Photo)

Yogi Adityanath calls for generous donations for Ayodhya Ram temple construction

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Abhinav Sahay, Lucknow
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 09:01 AM IST
  • The Gorakhpur temple trust has donated 50 lakh and 51 lakh has been donated by Gorakhnath temple in Devipatan, said a spokesperson of the Goraknath temple trust.
Close
Representational image. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT PHOTO)
Representational image. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT PHOTO)

Island tourism, deep-sea mining highlights of India’s Blue Economy policy

By Jayashree Nandi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 08:58 AM IST
The highlights of the policy include an accounting framework to assess the growth of the blue economy; mapping of India’s coastal zones for integrated coastal and marine spatial plans
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP