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5-judge bench to deal with pleas

New Delhi: A five-judge constitution bench, which would decide the validity of the Centre's November 8, 2016, decision to scrap Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, would also deal with the pleas seeking to deposit the demonetised currency, the Supreme Court today said.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra disposed of as many as 14 petitions, seeking its nod to deposit scrapped currency notes on the ground that they could not be deposited during the window period provided by Reserve Bank of India due to compelling reasons.
It asked the petitioners to file interlocutory pleas in the pending petition to be dealt with by the constitution bench.
"We think it appropriate that the writ petitioners shall file interlocutory pleas in the pending writ petition...before the Constitution bench," the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said.
The top court said it has not opined on the merits of the validity of the ordinance or on the demonetisation decision, which would be dealt with by the larger bench along with the individual grievances.
Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, said the persons, who have approached the court for depositing scrapped notes, would not be prosecuted about the amount mentioned explicitly in their petitions.
Some petitioners claimed they had not challenged the constitutional validity of either the provisions of the RBI Act or the Centre' notification, but they want to deposit their demonetised currency notes.
"Our hard-earned money has been confiscated without due process of law and without granting fair opportunity," lawyer Pranav Sachdeva, appearing for one of the petitioners, said, adding that the constitution bench should be constituted as expeditiously as possible.
The bench was hearing a batch of petitions, including one filed by one Sudha Mishra seeking a direction to authorities to allow her to deposit demonetised notes as she could not do so during the period specified by the Centre and the RBI.
The Centre has already filed an affidavit saying that the government was not going to open any window now to deposit the old notes.
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