A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been moved in Delhi High Court seeking direction to quash the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Notification dated May 19, 2023, whereby the RBI has taken a decision to withdraw the Rs 2000 denomination banknotes from circulation under the clean note policy or otherwise.
Plea seeking direction to RBI and the Ministry of Finance, Government of India to issue a notification/circular for the public at large clarifying the estimated life span of each denomination of banknote which are presently in circulation and also the estimated time/year of being withdrawn from circulation in future by RBI under Clean Note Policy or otherwise.
Petitioner Rajneesh Bhaskar Gupta through a plea submitted that the RBI has no independent power under the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 to direct the non-issue or the discontinuance of issue of bank notes of any denominational values and the said power is vested in only with the Central Government under section 24 (2) of the RBI Act, 1934.
The plea further submitted that neither impugned notification/circular dated May 19, 2023, of RBI, does not speak that Central Government under section 24 (2) of the RBI Act, 1934 has taken the decision of withdraw of denomination of Rs 2000 from circulation nor any such notification has been issued by the Central Government so far regarding withdrawal of denomination of Rs 2000 from circulation.
The plea further submitted that as per the reasoning given by the present RBI Governor, if the estimated life span of denomination of Rs.2000 is about 4-5 years then all other banknotes like Rs 500, Rs 200, Rs 100, Rs 50, Rs 20, Rs 10, Rs 5 etc. printed in the same year of banknote of Rs 2000 must have a same estimated life span and are presumed to be withdrawn under the same Clean Note Policy of RBI at any time without considering the consequences/hardship of the same upon the public at large.
"The small vendor/shopkeeper stopped taking Rs 2000 banknotes after the RBI Notification/circular in question and not considering that the legal validity of the said note remains valid till September 30, 2023, which creates an unprecedented situation for the public at large having such notes and the only remedy is left to move to the bank in his/her official working hours for depositing/exchanging the said Rs 2000 banknote," stated the petition.
"A thousand crore have been spent from the public exchequer i.e. taxpayer money, as a printing cost for printing good quality with better safety measures denomination of Rs 2000 in the tune of Rs 6.7 lakh crore after demonetization in the year 2016, which will be wasted, if such banknotes are withdrawn from the circulation unnecessary without any valid scientific reasons in the interest of the economy of the country," read the plea.
On Tuesday, Delhi High Court kept the order reserved on another Public Interest Litigation stated that that the decision of RBI, SBI and other banks in regard to exchanges of 2000 rupee notes without any identity proof is arbitrary.