Delhi HC rejects plea against RBI, SBI notice on exchange of Rs 2,000 notes

Petition says says exchange without a requisition slip and ID is arbitrary and irrational; RBI counsel says banking regulator's notification was a statutory exercise, not demonetisation

A man counting Rs 2,000 notes. Photo: Shutterstock

Bhavini Mishra New Delhi

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The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed the plea challenging a part of Reserve Bank of India(RBI) and State Bank of India (SBI) notification for exchange of Rs 2,000 currency notes without any identity proof or requisition slip.  

The court had reserved orders in case on May 23.

Senior Advocate Parag Tripathi, appearing for RBI, had said in the last hearing that the notification was a statutory exercise and not demonetisation.

BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, who filed the plea, said that he has not challenged the RBI notification for withdrawal of Rs 2,000 notes as a currency from circulation as a whole, but has only challenged the provision allowing exchange of the notes without any identity proof.

"The petitioner is filing this PIL under Article 226 seeking a declaration that the RBI Notification dated 19.05.2023 (Annexure-1) and SBI Notification dated 20.05.2023 (Annexure-2), which permit exchange of Rs 2,000 banknotes without obtaining any requisition slip and identity proof, is arbitrary, irrational and offends Articles 14, hence, inoperative," the plea said.

It is necessary to state that RBI admits in para-2 that total value of Rs 2,000 banknotes in circulation have declined from Rs 6.73 trillion to 3.62 trillion, of which 3.11 trillion has reached either individuals’ lockers or has otherwise been hoarded by separatists, terrorists, Maoists, drug smugglers, mining mafias & corrupt people," the petition stated.

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SBI told all its branches that no form or identity proof is required to exchange Rs 2,000 notes.

"The facility of exchanging Rs 2,000 (extended) to all members of the public up to a limit of Rs 20,000 at a time will be allowed without obtaining any requisition slip," SBI said in a circular on May 20.

"Further, no identity proof is required to be submitted by the tenderer at the time of exchange," the circular said.

The RBI had, on May 19, said that Rs 2,000 notes were being withdrawn from circulation. However, bank notes in Rs 2,000 denomination would continue to be legal tender, it had said.

First Published: May 29 2023 | 6:09 PM IST

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