A division bench of Calcutta High Court comprising Chief Justice Girish Gupta and Justice Arindam Sinha asked the Additional Solicitor General Kaushik Chanda to submit a report before the court regarding the steps taken by the Centre to reduce hardship of people in health care and transport sectors by November 25.
They were hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Ramaprasad Sarkar. The Chief Justice asked the additional solicitor general to apprise about the steps taken by the Central government to ease out ordeal of people in health care and transport sectors.
Chanda said people could deposit money through credit card and net banking. Justice Gupta said the Centre had mentioned that old high value notes would be accepted by state-run hospitals. “But what about nursing homes, pathological laboratories, diagnostic centres and chemists shops. Many people go to private health care centres and why their cases were not taken into consideration,” he said adding, “it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that people do not face trouble.”
Justice Gupta also observed that the Centre had taken the steps without doing prior homework. Everyday they are changing their policies. The whole country is facing disaster and common people are worst-hit. From where black money will come to them,” he asked.
He said that Centre had announced that old currency notes would by accepted during air or train travel. “But what happens to those who travel by bus. Why their cases have not been taken into consideration,” he wondered.
The High Court also observed that bank employees should have taken more active role in such situation to reduce people’s harassment.
However, the court said that it would not direct the Central government to cancel its decision or policy.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is presently in Delhi to fight against the Centre’s order of demonetisation, welcomed the Calcutta HC’s direction.