The Gujarat High Court on Monday sought information from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) whether it had powers to ban banking transactions at District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCB) or restrict withdrawals in the wake of demonetisation.
The division bench, headed by Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy, sought further response from the RBI while hearing a set of petitions challenging the legality of demonetisation as well as the ban on DCCBs. The bench sought response from the RBI and the Centre by Tuesday.
These petitions, including two Public Interest Litigations (PILs) moved by Bhavnagar District Cooperative Bank and Gujarat Khedut Hitrakshak Samiti, have prayed for quashing of the notification dated November 8, declaring demonetisation of currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000.
Bhavnagar District Cooperative Bank, which has also sought the permission to allow it the exchange of Rs 113 crore lying with it, has said that the decision has adversely affected the farmers in the region. Its lawyer, Babubhai Mangukia, argued that even if demonetisation is considered a legal step, both RBI as well as Centre have no power to restrain anyone from withdrawing their own money lying in their bank accounts. According to the petition, the bank is loosing the interest of about Rs 76 crore. “All branches of the petitioner are non-functional,” Mangukia said.