A public interest litigation was filed in the Delhi High Court on Monday against permission to exchange Rs 2000 banknotes without obtaining any requisition slip and identity proof.
Lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay contended in his plea that notifications by RBI and SBI in this regard are arbitrary, irrational and offend Articles 14 of the Constitution of India.
The petition said that a large amount of the currency has reached either in individual’s locker or has “been hoarded by the separatists, terrorists, Maoists, drug smugglers, mining mafias & corrupt people”.
The petition highlighted that cash transaction in high value currency is the main source of corruption and is used for illegal activities like terrorism, naxalism, separatism, radicalism, gambling, smuggling, money laundering, kidnapping, extortion, bribing and dowry, etc. and the RBI and SBI should ensure that Rs 2000 banknotes are deposited in respective bank accounts only.
“Recently, it was announced by the Centre that every family should have Aadhaar card and bank account. Therefore, why RBI is permitting to exchange Rs 2000 banknotes without obtaining identity proof. It is also necessary to state that 80 crore BPL families receive free grains. It means 80 crore Indians rarely use Rs 2,000 banknotes. Therefore, petitioner also seeks direction to RBI and SBI to take steps to ensure that Rs 2000 banknotes are deposited in bank account only,” the plea stated.
Depositing Rs 2000 currency notes in bank accounts would ensure that people having black money and disproportionate assets could be identified easily, the plea said.
On May 19, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had announced withdrawal of Rs 2,000 currency notes from circulation, and said existing notes in circulation can either be deposited in bank accounts or exchanged by September 30.
The bank notes in Rs 2,000 denomination will continue to be a legal tender, the RBI said in a statement.
In order to ensure operational convenience and to avoid disruption of regular activities of bank branches, the RBI has said exchange of Rs 2,000 bank notes into bank notes of other denominations can be made up to a limit of Rs 20,000 at a time at any bank starting from May 23.
In a communication to chief general manager of all its local head offices, State Bank of India (SBI) informed that the facility of exchange of Rs 2,000 notes by public up to a limit of Rs 20,000 at a time will be allowed without obtaining any requisition slip.
“Further, no identity proof is required to be submitted by the tenderer at the time of exchange,” the communication dated May 20 said.