Mumbai High Court
Mumbai High Court

Mumbai : A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Bombay High Court, challenging the ordinance passed by the Union government, barring the general public from depositing their demonetised notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 in the branch offices of Reserve Bank of India.

The PIL filed by Congress leader Sachin Sawant has sought quashing of the ordinance dated December 30, which allows only those citizens of India to exchange their scrapped notes, who were outside the country from November 8 to December 30.

In his petition filed through advocate Asim Sarode, Sawant has said, “It is unfortunate that the RBI is showing complete failure in following its mandate of regulating the issuance of currency. The RBI needs to clarify if it is working under some pressure or is being overpowered by any politician.”

Citing the November 8 address by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sawant has said, “The PM himself had assured the people that if on account of some reason, they were unable to deposit their old notes by December 30, 2016, an opportunity would be available to them to go to the specified offices of the RBI up to March 31, 2017.”

“However, the Centre’s ordinance has given an opportunity to exchange the scrapped notes only to Indian citizens who could not previously exchange the currency as they were not present in the country from November 8. This is inconsistent with the assurance of the PM and amounts to ‘breach of the trust’,” Sawant has further said.

The petition further reads, “This decision has unfortunately deprived the citizens of the last opportunity they had been promised to exchange the demonetized currency inflicting upon them ‘grave hardships and distress’ and has adversely affected their rights like ‘freedom of movement, right to life’ and etc as all are connected to some extent to the currency notes available with citizens. Even their right to live a dignified life has also been impacted since those possessing more than ten scrapped notes would inadvertently become offenders in the eyes of law.”

Sawant has also accused the Modi-led government of setting up an example of ‘Bad Governance’ which has resulted in harassment for the public at large. He has also said that the government has become more ‘intrusive’ by taking such a decision.

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