Withdrawal Of Rs 2000 Notes Not Demonetisation But A Statutory Exercise: RBI To Delhi HC


New Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday told the Delhi High Court that the withdrawal of Rs 2000 notes is not demonetisation but a statutory exercise, and the decision to enable this exchange was taken for operational convenience, reported PTI.

Lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay has challenged the notifications by the RBI and SBI enabling the exchange of Rs 2000 banknotes without proof as arbitrary and against the laws enacted to curb corruption.

After the hearing, a bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad said it will an pass appropriate order on the public interest litigation, the report said. “Arguments heard. Judgment reserved. We will look into it. We will pass an appropriate order,” said the court.

According to the report, during the hearing, Upadhyay clarified that he was not questioning the decision to withdraw the Rs 2000 banknote, but he criticized the exchange process that lacked the requirement of a slip or identity proof. He emphasised that the exchange of the Rs 2000 banknote should be permitted by depositing it into a bank account.

“Why is ID proof excluded? Every poor has a Jan Dhan account. BPL persons are also connected to bank accounts,” Upadhyay said. He also claimed that the present arrangement would only enable mafias, gangsters like “Atiq Ahmed’s henchmen” as well as Naxals, the report noted.

The petition has said that a large amount of the currency has reached either an individual’s locker or has “been hoarded by the separatists, terrorists, Maoists, drug smugglers, mining mafias & corrupt people”.

Appearing for RBI, senior advocate Parag P Tripathi said that the court cannot interfere in such matters and that the decision was taken to allow the exchange of the Rs 2000 currency note for operational convenience. 

“This is not demonetisation. Rs 2000 banknote was not commonly used. Other denominations continue to meet currency requirements. This is a statutory exercise. None of the points claimed by the petitioner impinge or deal with constitutional issues,” Tripathi added.

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