A five-judge Constitution bench comprising Justices S. Abdul Nazeer, B.R. Gavai, A.S. Bopanna, V. Ramasubramanian, and B.V. Nagarathna, at the outset asked the petitioners' counsel, whether the issue survives now?
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, submitted that for all practical purposes the issue will not survive, and it may be an academic exercise, for which he is ready to argue.
The bench said it is already burdened with pendency, questioning the taking up the matter for academic exercise. A total of 58 petitions have been filed challenging the Centre's decision to demonetise currency notes of Rs 500, Rs 1,000, in November 2016.
The counsel representing several petitioners argued that the matter survives and the court should hear it. "The question is whether anything survives...", Justice Gavai asked.
The bench noted that there were two aspects in the matter -- the validity of the action and the problem associated with the implementation of demonetisation. After hearing arguments, the top court fixed the matter for further hearing for next month.
The bench clarified that it will examine whether the petitions require consideration or it has become an academic exercise.
In November 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation of all Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes as a measure to curb the circulation of black money in the economy.