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New Delhi: The Supreme Court refused to stay the government's notification demonetising Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes on Tuesday.

"We will not be granting any stay," said a bench comprising Chief Justice TS Thakur and DY Chandrachud.

During the hearing, the Chief Justice said the objective seems to be laudable "but there is some inconvenience also to the public at large".

The bench also said "You (Centre) can have surgical strike against black money but you cannot have surgical strike against people of the country."

The Apex Court did ask the government to spell out the steps taken to minimise public inconvenience.

Senior advocate and Congress leader Kapil Sibal, appearing for one of the petitioners, however, said he was not asking for a stay on the notification but seeking answers from the government about the steps taken to remove public inconvenience.

The bench asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to file an affidavit about the measures already undertaken by the government and the Reserve Bank of India to minimise public inconvenience and also the steps likely to be undertaken in future.

Without issuing any notice to the Centre or the RBI, the bench posted the matter for further hearing on 25 November.

Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre, outlined the idea behind demonetisation and said large number of fake currency has been used to finance terrorism in various parts of the country including in Jammu and Kashmir and northeastern states.

He, however, agreed with the bench that some inconvenience to common citizens occurs as this kind of "surgical strike" is bound to have "some kind of collateral damage".

 

The AG was assisted by a team of lawyers, including two Additional Solicitors General, and a senior official from the Finance Ministry.

 

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