The Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to entertain a PIL for directions to the Centre, RBI, police and the AAP government to make arrangements for prisoners, both convicted and undertrial, to go on parole to their respective banks for exchanging demonetised currency notes. A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal dismissed the petition after the lawyer who moved the plea, failed to answer its query as to the number of parole applications filed for exchange of old notes after the demonetisation move. The Delhi High Court said the reason behind prohibiting prisoners from exchanging old notes will be given later.
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Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, appearing for the Centre, told the court that as per the jail manual any cash recovered from an inmate when he is taken to prison is deposited in a bank and on his release it is returned to him, which now will be done in the new currency notes. Regarding cash at an inmates residence, the ASG said family members of a prisoner can go to the bank and deposit the amount as without KYC (know your customer) information, a person can deposit upto Rs 49,000 at one time.
The petition was filed by a lawyer, Shashwat Bhardwaj, who had contended that in the interests of justice, inmates should be allowed to go on parole for a couple of days to exchange their old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 which were demonetised by the government on November 8 this year. He had also sought directions to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to provide facilities or make arrangements for officials of respective banks, in which inmates have an account, to come to the jail and collect the demonetised currency from the prisoners.