Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday told the Delhi High Court that the withdrawal of Rs 2,000 bank notes is an act of ‘currency management’ and a matter of economic policy. The court fixed the matter for hearing on May 29. The High Court is hearing a PIL challenging the RBI’s decision to withdraw Rs 2000 notes from circulation. A bench headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma requested the RBI to postpone the hearing in view of the fact that the decision on another Public Interest Litigation (PIL) related to the note withdrawal notification has been reserved by the court.
The bench asked the parties to list the matter for Monday. The members of the bench also include Justice Subramaniam Prasad. RBI counsel and senior advocate Parag P Tripathi submitted that the present petition filed by Rajneesh Bhaskar Gupta is infructuous as the withdrawal of Rs 2000 bank notes is not demonetisation but an act of ‘currency management’ and is a matter of economic policy . “This issue of alleged demonetisation is the subject matter of an earlier writ petition on which you have reserved orders. Let that order be issued. After that listen to it. Earlier this week, the court had said that it would pass orders on a plea by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay. The petition claimed that the notifications issued by RBI and State Bank of India (SBI) regarding exchange of Rs 2,000 bank notes without proof of identity are arbitrary and against applicable laws to prevent corruption.
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RBI had said that withdrawal of Rs 2000 note is not demonetisation but a statutory act. It is noteworthy that on May 19, the RBI had announced the withdrawal of Rs 2000 notes from circulation and said that these notes in circulation should either be deposited in bank accounts or be exchanged by September 30. The RBI had said in a statement that the validity of the Rs 2,000 note would continue. At the same time, SBI had written a letter to the Chief General Managers of all its local head offices on May 20, informing them that people would be able to exchange Rs 2,000 notes up to a limit of Rs 20,000 at a time without taking any slip. will not be needed. The letter also said, “No identity proof will be required to be submitted by the people while exchanging the notes.” (agency)
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