NEW DELHI: A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay challenging the Delhi HC's May 29 judgement allowing exchange of Rs 2000 currency notes without any identification slip.
The petitioner contended that the High Court has failed to appreciate that the RBI and SBI's notifications gave an opportunity to legalise illegal money, and therefore was manifestly arbitrary, irrational and violative of fundamental right to equality.
The High Court had on Monday dismissed the PIL against the notifications issued by the RBI and the SBI on May 19 and 20 respectively to allow exchange of Rs 2000 currency notes without any identification slip.
The court had said this is a purely policy decision related to withdrawal of banknotes and it cannot be said to be perverse or arbitrary or it encouraged black money, money laundering, profiteering or corruption.
In his special leave petition, the petitioner said the High Court had failed to appreciate that the RBI admits in para-2 of the notification that total value of Rs 2000 banknotes in circulation have declined from Rs. 6.73 lakh crore to 3.62 lakh crore.
"It means 3.11 lakh crore has reached individuals locker and the rest has otherwise been hoarded by the gangesters, kidnappers, contract killers, illegal arms suppliers, money launderers, drug smugglers, hootch pedlers, human traffickers, gold smugglers, black marketeers, spurious medicine manifacturers, tax evadors, cheaters, looters, separatists, terrorists, maoists, naxals, mining mafias, land mafias satta mafias and corrupt government employees, public servants and politicians," he said.
Besides, the notifications issued by the RBI and SBI on May 19 and 20 respectively gave an opportunity to legalise illegal money and hence were contrary to the aims and objects of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Benami Transactions Act, Money Laundering Act, Lokpal Act, CVC Act, Fugitive Economic Offenders Act and the Black Money Act.
"The High Court has failed to appreciate that around 30 crore families reside in India and 130 Crore Aadhaar Card have been issued. Thus, it can be reasonably assumed that each family has 3-4 Aadhaar card. Similarly, total number of accounts are 225 Crore out of which 48 crores are Jana Dhan accounts of BPL families. It means that even the EWS and BPL families are connected with Bank. Therefore, granting the permission to exchange Rs 2000 banknotes without depositing them in the bank account or even without obtaining any form of slip and identity proof is manifestly arbitrary, irrational and thus violates Article 14," it said.
In its decision dismissing the PIL, Upadhyay said the High Court also failed to appreciate that India cannot move forward without clean and transparent governance for which corruption free society is a basic requirement.