The Bombay High Court on Monday issued a notice to the Union of India through the Finance Minister, while hearing a petition claiming that an excess of one trillion sixty-five billion and five hundred million came into the economy after demonetisation.
A division bench of Justice BP Dharmadhikari and Justice Revati Mohite Dere heard the matter and acknowledged the seriousness of the case and then issued a notice to the respondents. It is a matter of national security, Justice Dharmadhikari said.
The petition quoted from the RBI's annual report and stated that between April 1, 2000, and March 31, 2016, currency notes of 500- and 1,000-rupee denominations worth Rs 1,41,13,50,00,00,000 (fourteen trillion, one hundred thirteen billion and five hundred million in currency) were in circulation. However, a total of Rs 1,52,80,00,00,00,000 (fifteen trillion and two hundred eighty billion in currency) of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations was collected in a short period post-demonetisation, which is an excess of Rs 11,66,50,00,00,000 (one trillion, sixty-five billion and five hundred million in rupees).
Petitioner Manoranjan Roy, who previously filed a similar petition in 2015, i.e., before demonetization, which was dismissed as being frivolous, has gathered some important data through RTI queries. According to the said data, from 2000 to 2011, the RBI had received a certain number of currency notes from the three security printing presses in Nashik, Dewas and Mysuru.
From 2000 to March 2016, 10,400 million pieces (currency notes) were received by the RBI. However, as per the RTI query, the total number of pieces destroyed were 11,222 million, 822 million pieces more than total currency received.
The petition further provides details of deposit of old notes in district co-operative banks controlled by NABARD, within a span of four days from November 10 to November 14, 2016, and questions how such huge amounts of these old demonetised notes were deposited.
Finally, directions are sought to constitute an independent inquiry into the matter and appoint "some investigating agency".
The respondents have been directed to file their replies by April 12.