The court was hearing a revision plea by Delhi Police, challenging a trial court's decision to discharge four female accused in a kidnapping case.
The Supreme Court was moved on Wednesday challenging the May 29 Delhi High Court order dismissing a plea against Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) decision withdrawing from circulation Rs 2000 denomination currency notes and permitting their exchange without any requisition slip and identity proof.
Challenging the May 29 Delhi High Court order rejecting his public interest plea essentially relating to the exchange of Rs. 2000 denomination currency notes without any requisition slip and identity proof of the person seeking the exchange, the petitioner advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay has sought the stay of the RBI and SBI’s notifications that gives an opportunity to legalise illegal money in the teeth of various statues.
The petitioner advocate has said that exchange of Rs. 2000 denomination currency notes by the banks in the absence of identity proof is in violation of the aims and objects of several statues including Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988, Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003, Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018, and the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015.
“Therefore, the Court may stay the notifications so for as they permit exchange of banknotes without requisition slip and identity proof,” says the plea against the High Court order.
The high court had dismissed Upadhyay‘s plea stating that the it was purely a policy decision of the government and the “courts should not sit as an appellate authority over the (policy) decision taken by the government.”
Upadhyay had sought a direction to the central government to ensure that people deposit Rs. 2000 denomination currency notes in their “respective bank accounts only, so that no one could deposit the money in others’ bank accounts”.
“A large number 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”, he had said in his plea before the High Court.
However, the apex bank (RBI) defending the decision to permit people to exchange Rs. 2000 denomination banknotes without any requisition slip and identity proof, had told the High Court that the withdrawal of Rs 2000 notes is a “statutory exercise” and the decision to enable their exchange was taken for “operational convenience”.
The Reserve Bank had said that the Rs. 2,000 denomination banknote was introduced in November 2016 primarily to meet the currency requirement of the economy in an expeditious manner, after the withdrawal of the legal tender status of all Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 banknotes that were in circulation at that time.