A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking CBI enquiry into the Jammu Regional Branch of the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) decision exchanging defaced Indian currencies worth 30 crore, done by alleged separatist group in 2013, came up for hearing on Tuesday before the Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) S A Bobde.
The plea says, the RBI's act accepting the imperfect bank notes is against its refund rules 2009.
The bench, also comprising justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant, said " the issue is of national interest" and asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to seek instructions from the government and inform the court in two weeks.
Petitioner Satish Bhardwaj, a resident from Amritsar, alleged that a Kashmiri separatist group named "Kashmir Graffiti" had defaced and also stamped anti-India slogans on the Indian currencies and posted them on their social networking sites.
" In August, 2013 a Kashmiri separatist group namely ' Kashmir Graffiti' had stamped Indian currency notes worth Rs 30 crore with sedition and anti-Indian slogans like 'Go India, go back , leave Kashmir among other anti national slogans," as stated in the petition.
Subsequently, such defaced bank notes bank worth Rs 30 crore had been exchanged by the RBI branch of Jammu Region, the petitioner stated in the PIL.
"The act of Jammu Regional Branch office of RBI to exchange the defaced/imperfect Indian currency notes worth Rs 30 crore, that too which was done by a separatist group of Kashmir with a main aim of destabilizing peace and harmony in the region of J&K and to create an environment of tension and terror in the minds of common residents of the region is illegal and worth y of interference of this court."
According to the plea, RBI Act and it's Note Refund rules 2009 does not allow the bank to exchange defaced notes.
Petitioner claimed that he has been making all efforts for an appropriate response from authorities but no result so far.
Even RBI had failed to reply to his queries through RTI and CBI also failed to act upon his representation. Finally, he approached this court.
Petitioner also calls for CBI investigation against RBI for allowing notes to be exchanged.
Issue a writ, order or direction in the nature of mandamus directing Respondent no 1. Union of India and Respond no 2. CBI to conduct a court monitored CBI investigation in the case of exchange of defaced/imperfect currency notes amounting to Rs 30 crore of Kashmir Graffiti by the Jammu Regional Branch of the RBI.