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The Delhi High Court today refused to interfere with the Centre's decision to put a Rs 2.5 lakh wedding withdrawal cap, saying there is "no restriction" on "non-cash" transaction.
It also held that policy decisions are taken by the government after considering expert opinion and hence, there was very limited scope for their judicial review.
"The law is well settled that on matters affecting policy. This court will not interfere unless the policy is unconstitutional or contrary to statutory provisions or arbitrary or irrational or in abuse of power, since the policy decisions are taken based on expert knowledge and the courts are normally not equipped to question the correctness of the same.
"The scope of judicial enquiry is therefore confined to the question whether the decision taken by the government is against any statutory provision or it violates the fundamental rights of the citizens or is opposed to the provisions of the Constitution of India,"a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal said.
It said that the restriction on inflow of liquid cash may have resulted in some inconvenience but there was no restriction at all with regard to use of "any-non cash method of operating bank accounts of a person such as payment through cheques, demand drafts, credit or debit cards, mobile wallets and electronic fund transfer mechanisms or the like".
It dismissed the plea of advocate Birender Sangwan, who had sought relaxation on the decision to put a cap of Rs 2.5 lakh on withdrawal for wedding.
The high court also agreed with the contention of the
Centre on circulation of fake currency and said in its eight- -page-order that the "notification itself shows that the said decision was taken having regard to the fact that fake currency notes of the existing series of the value of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 have been largely in circulation and it has been found difficult to easily identify genuine banknotes from the fake ones."
The plea had alleged that the guidelines, which seek detailed list of persons to whom the cash withdrawn is proposed to be paid for marriage and declaration from them that they do not have a bank account, were "arbitrary".
The bench, however, said, "It is a settled principle of law that the power of judicial review cannot be extended to determine the correctness of a policy decision or to find out whether there could be more appropriate/better alternatives."
It did not agree with the another submission that there was "shortage of new currency" and hence, litigants and advocates were facing difficulty in depositing court fees.
"As rightly pointed out by the additional solicitor general that costs/fines imposed by the court in judicial proceedings can also be complied with by net-banking or by DD or any other electronic fund transfer mechanisms etc, similarly, the rentals for the lawyers' chambers can also be tendered by way of cheque/DD or by net-banking.
"Hence, we do not find justification in any of the objections sought to be raised by the petitioner. Hence, the interference by this court is not warranted and the writ petition is accordingly dismissed," the bench said.