Sunday April 21, 2019
Home India Demonetizing ...

Demonetizing Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 Currency Notes did not violate Fundamental Rights of People, Centre tells Supreme Court

It has only imposed reasonable restrictions in pursuance to its objective of eliminating black money and counterfeit currency, claims govt

0
//
People standing outside ATM (representative Image), VOA
New Delhi, Dec 2, 2016: The central government on Thursday said that its decision to demonetize Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes did not violate the fundamental rights of the people as it has only imposed “reasonable restrictions” in pursuance to its objective of eliminating black money and counterfeit currency.

“The respondents (Centre’s) act of cancelling legal tender character of existing series of Rs 500 and Rs 1m000 bank notes is only a reasonable restriction and regulatory in nature. Merely because there is restriction on the public to use the old high denomination notes, the regulation cannot be held to be illegal or unreasonable restriction as there is no infringement of fundamental rights for the citizens,” it said in its reply filed before the apex court.

The government cited the Section 26 (2) of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, to defend its decision.

The section says: “On recommendation of the Central Board the (Central Government) may, by notification … , declare that, with effect from such date … , any series of bank notes of any denomination shall cease to be legal tender ….”

It also defended its decision to introduce Rs 2,000 denomination currency notes, saying that it was done in view of the erosion in the purchasing power of the rupee on account of inflation.

Pointing out that currency note of Rs 1,000 denomination was reintroduced in year 2000, the Centre said: “Barring short-lived exceptions, Indian has consistently seen moderate to high inflation since then, thus progressively eroding the value of money in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms,”

The government said this in its affidavit filed by the Union Finance Ministry before the apex court which is set to hear a batch of petitions challenging the decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.

The court will also hear the government’s plea seeking the transfer of cases filed before different high courts and subordinate court challenging the demonetisation either to top court itself or Delhi High Court.

Making a distinction between regulation and deprivation, the government on Thursday said no one has been deprived from using the notes of different denomination or issuing cheques or e-transfer. All that has happened, that too for a limited period, is the restriction on the withdrawal of the money from their accounts.

The government has also sought to describe these restrictions as “reasonable”.

This appears to be the government’s response to senior counsel Kapil Sibal, appearing for one the petitioners before the top court, asking under what law people could be restricted from withdrawing their own money from their bank account.

As in its first affidavit, the government on Thursday give details of the steps it had taken to ameliorate the hardships being faced by the people and to encourage them to take recourse to cashless transactions. (IANS)

Next Story

Ethiopia to Renew Safety Questions After Devastating Plane Crash

The plane was new. The weather was clear. Yet something was wrong, and the pilots tried to return to the airport. They never made it

0
ethiopia, plane crash
FILE - Workers service an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800 plane at the Bole International Airport in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, Jan. 26, 2017. VOA

Investigators rushed to the scene of a devastating plane crash in Ethiopia on Sunday, an accident that could renew safety questions about the newest version of Boeing’s popular 737 airliner.

The Boeing 737 Max 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed shortly after taking off from the capital of Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board.

The plane was new. The weather was clear. Yet something was wrong, and the pilots tried to return to the airport. They never made it.

In those circumstances, the accident is eerily similar to an October crash in which a 737 Max 8 flown by Indonesia’s Lion Air plunged into the Java Sea minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 people on the plane.

Safety experts took note of the similarities but cautioned against quickly drawing too many parallels between the two crashes.

Alan Diehl, a former National Transportation Safety Board investigator, said the similarities included both crews encountering a problem shortly after takeoff, and reports of large variations in vertical speed during ascent, “clearly suggesting a potential controllability problem” with the Ethiopian jetliner.

ethiopia, plane crash
The Boeing 737 Max 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed shortly after taking off from the capital of Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board. Pixabay

But there are many possible explanations, Diehl said, including engine problems, pilot error, weight load, sabotage or bird strikes. He said Ethiopian has a good reputation, but investigators will look into the plane’s maintenance, especially since that may have been an issue in the Lion Air investigation.

By contrast, the Ethiopian Airlines CEO “stated there were no defects prior to the flight, so it is hard to see any parallels with the Lion Air crash yet,” said Harro Ranter, founder of the Aviation Safety Network, which compiles information about accidents worldwide.

“I do hope though that people will wait for the first results of the investigation instead of jumping to conclusions based on the very little facts that we know so far,” he said.

Boeing representatives did not immediately respond for comment. The company tweeted that it was “deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the passengers and crew” on the Ethiopian Airlines Max airplane.

The Chicago-based company said it would send a technical to the crash site to help Ethiopian and U.S. investigators.

A spokesman for the NTSB said the U.S. agency was sending a team of four to assist Ethiopian authorities. Boeing and the U.S. investigative agency are also involved in the Lion Air probe.

ethiopia, plane crash
The plane was new. The weather was clear. Yet something was wrong, and the pilots tried to return to the airport. They never made it. Pixabay

Indonesian investigators have not stated a cause for the Lion Air crash, but they are examining whether faulty readings from a sensor might have triggered an automatic nose-down command to the plane, which the Lion Air pilots fought unsuccessfully to overcome. The automated system kicks in if sensors indicate that a plane is about to lose lift, or go into an aerodynamic stall. Gaining speed by diving can prevent a stall.

The Lion Air plane’s flight data recorder showed problems with an airspeed indicator on four flights, although the airline initially said the problem was fixed.

Days after the Oct. 29 accident, Boeing sent a notice to airlines that faulty information from a sensor could cause the plane to automatically point the nose down. The notice reminded pilots of the procedure for handling such a situation, which is to disable the system causing the automatic nose-down movements.

Pilots at some airlines, however, including American and Southwest, protested that they were not fully informed about a new system that could automatically point the plane’s nose down based on sensor readings. Boeing Chairman and CEO Dennis Muilenburg said in December that the Max is a safe plane, and that Boeing did not withhold operating details from airlines and pilots.

Diehl, the former NTSB investigator, said the Ethiopian Airlines pilots should have been aware of that issue from press coverage of the Lion Air crash.

ethiopia, plane crash
Safety experts took note of the similarities but cautioned against quickly drawing too many parallels between the two crashes. Pixabay

The 737 is the best-selling airliner in history, and the Max is the newest version of it, with more fuel-efficient engines. The Max is a central part of Boeing’s strategy to compete with European rival Airbus.

ALSO READ: United Nations, Tech Giants Lead Push for Green Tech Solutions

Boeing has delivered about 350 737 Max planes and has orders for more than 5,000. It is already in use by many airlines including American, United and Southwest.

The Lion Air incident does not seem to have harmed Boeing’s ability to sell the Max. Boeing’s stock fell nearly 7 percent on the day of the Lion Air crash. Since then it has soared 26 percent higher, compared with a 4 percent gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. (IANS)