The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a report from its registry on urgent listing of the plea challenging the Reserve Bank of India’s decision permitting citizens to exchange Rs 2,000 notes without any requisition slip or ID proof.
A vacation bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Rajesh Bindal asked the Registry to hand over a report mentioning the plea by petitioner advocate Ashwini Upadhyay.
Earlier, advocate Upadhyay sought an urgent hearing in this matter. However, the top court refused to hear the plea on an urgent basis, stating that the matter was not urgent and it would be taken up in July, after the re-opening of court.
Again, Upadhyay sought an urgent hearing. The apex court told the petitioner that it will see the registry report first.
Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay approached the SC on May 29 challenging Delhi High Court’s order dismissing his plea.
On May 19, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced it would pull out the Rs 2,000 denomination from circulation as part of a “currency management exercise”. Although, the RBI has given citizens time till September 30 to exchange these notes with those of other denominations.
Seeking a stay on RBI and SBI’s notifications, the advocate said that it gives an opportunity to legalise illegal money and hence contrary to the aims and objects of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Benami Transactions Act, Money Laundering Act, Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, CVC Act, Fugitive Economic Offenders Act and the Black Money Act.
“Therefore, Court may stay the notifications so far as they permit an exchange of banknotes without requisition slip and identity proof”, stated the petitioner.
The High Court dismissed Upadhyay’a plea stating, “This decision of the government is purely a policy decision and courts should not sit as an appellate authority over the decision taken by the government.”
“A large amount of notes of this denomination has either reached in lockers of individuals or been hoarded by separatists, terrorists, Maoists, drug smugglers, mining mafias and corrupt people”, said the advocate in his plea before the High Court.
Meanwhile, the RBI told the High Court that the withdrawal of Rs 2,000 notes is a “statutory exercise” and the decision to enable their exchange was taken for “operational convenience”.
This report is filed by ANI news service.