A 47-YEAR-OLD man has approached the Bombay High Court after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) refused to exchange his demonetised currency notes worth Rs 1 lakh that had been in the custody of the Mumbai Police.
Sunil Mody, a resident of Matunga, filed a writ petition seeking directions from the court for the RBI to accept the old currency notes in exchange of new notes, stating he couldn’t exchange the scrapped notes before the December 31 deadline as the notes were in police custody till March 22.
According to the petition, Mody was arrested in 2013 over a dispute with his wife and was charged for dowry harassment, criminal intimidation and causing hurt, among other charges. He was chargesheeted and later released on bail.
During the course of the investigation, the police had seized Rs 1 lakh from Mody, which consisted of currency notes of denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. Mody had approached the trial court with an application for the return of his money in order to get it exchanged.
The trial court, earlier this month, directed the Matunga police to return the money. The money was returned on March 22, after which Mody went to the RBI. “The RBI declined to accept the same on the ground that the facility is available only to the non resident Indians,” read the petition.
The petition said that initially, people had been granted time till March 31 to deposit the money, and the December 31 deadline was “abrupt”. “The currency was lying with the Matunga police, therefore it was their duty to take appropriate steps to exchange it,” the petition stated, contending that it was not the petitioner’s fault that the notes were not exchanged.
“A citizen cannot be deprived of his right in respect of the said currency notes in any manner as it was in the custody of the police,” the petition said. Mody, citing it as a special case, has sought directions from the court for RBI to exchange his old notes. Apart from the RBI, he has also made the Finance Ministry and the Matunga police as respondents.
The petition, which was mentioned by Advocate Sushil Upadhyay before a division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai, would be heard on Monday.