Why would you do that was the Supreme Court’s withering response today to a lawyer who complained that the new Rs. 2,000 note bleeds colour when it’s wet.
“Well, don’t put notes in water,” was Chief Justice TS Thakur’s advice to the lawyer, ML Sharma, who is among a group of petitioners who have asked the top court to cancel the ban on Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes announced a little over a week ago by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The sudden outlawing of the old notes has forged an enormous cash crunch and people have been waiting in line at banks to collect limited amounts of the new 500 and 2,000 rupee notes. The latter is magenta in colour and officials have confirmed that if it makes contact with enough water, the colour will run. A video of the note being put through a washing machine went viral.
The Supreme Court has refused to intervene with the government’s decision, but has asked to see a plan on how the lines at banks and other inconveniences will be urgently mitigated.
The government has said the ban on old notes, a move generally praised by experts, will help combat black money, corruption and counterfeiting.