Delhi HC dismisses Plea challenging RBI’s decision to withdraw Rs. 2000 banknotes from Circulation

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On Monday, July 3rd, 2023, the Delhi High Court dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that contested the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) decision to withdraw Rs. 2000 banknotes from circulation. The RBI had withdrawn the Rs. 2000 notes from the economy on May 19th, 2023.

A Division Bench of Justice Satish Chnadra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad rejected the plea.

Rajneesh Baskar Gupta, the petitioner, argued that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) lacks the authority to withdraw the Rs. 2000 banknotes from circulation, asserting that such decisions are solely entrusted to the central government.

Also read: Delhi HC upholds Exchange of Rs. 2000 Currency Notes without ID Proof, dismisses PIL

The petition claimed that the notification issued by the RBI was arbitrary, alleging that the withdrawal of the banknotes was done without proper consideration of the potential difficulties it would cause for the general public.

Conversely, the plea was opposed by the RBI. The apex bank claimed that the withdrawal was part of the Currency Management Exercise and a matter of economic policy.

Lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay had challenged the notifications issued by the Reserve Bank of India and State Bank of India regarding the exchange of Rs. 2000 banknotes without requiring a request slip or identification evidence in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in which the plea was rejected by the same court and bench.

Also Read: Why Rs. 2000 still a Legal Tender if RBI expects all Notes to Come Back

The RBI was represented by Senior Advocate Parag P Tripathi, who argued against the assertion of Ashwini Upadhyay. In addition, he cited the Supreme Court‘s ruling in the case R K Garg v. Union of India and said that it had been decided that the courts would not be convinced to become involved in matters of economic policy.

Also, Mr. Tripathi emphasized that the current situation should not be equated with demonetization, clarifying that it is a statutory exercise. Furthermore, he asserted that the points raised by the opposing counsel, Mr. Upadhyay, do not have any impact on public concerns whatsoever.

On May 19, 2023, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) withdrew the Rs. 2000 banknotes from circulation. The RBI further declared that the public has until September 30th, 2023, to exchange or deposit these notes in banks. It is important to note that despite the withdrawal, the Rs. 2000 banknotes will continue to be recognized as legal tender.

Following the declaration, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor, Shaktikanta Das, made a public statement on May 22nd, 2023, regarding the implementation of the ‘Clean note policy’ for Rs. 2000 denomination banknotes. The governor clarified that the withdrawal of Rs. 2000 notes was carried out as part of the currency management operations of the RBI.

Read More: Rs. 2000 withdrawal is Part of Currency Management, RBI Governor says not to Panic

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