The Supreme Court on Thursday said that the Centre should adhere to its notification allowing withdrawal of Rs 24,000 per week from bank accounts after demonetisation of high-value currency notes. “They (government) must adhere to Rs 24,000 notification unless it is modified,” a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur observed after senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for a petitioner who has challenged demonetisation move, said that people don’t have cash due to which they are facing hardships. Sibal said that under the RBI notification, one is allowed to withdraw Rs 24,000 per week and no one could be denied this right.
“The Attorney General is saying that they have a problem of currency and they don’t have enough cash. They should not have given this right if they don’t have the cash,” he told the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud.
Sibal also said district cooperative central banks (DCCBs), which collected Rs 8,000 crore in three days after the November 8 demonetisation notification came into effect, have been denied permission to exchange and deposit old currency notes due to which the business of these banks was suffering.
Countering the submissions, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said that old currency notes worth Rs 8000 crore collected by DCCBs across the country have been allowed to be deposited in the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
“DCCBs have collected Rs 8000 crore in three days. We have allowed them to deposit this amount to the RBI subject to KYC norms and we will issue a notification in this regard within two days,” Rohatgi said.
To this, the bench asked, “They (DCCBs) want their business to continue. The other part is that why they have been discriminated upon as compared to other banks,”
The Attorney General said DCCBs are not governed by the RBI rules and the problem in allowing them to deposit old notes was that “there may be unaccounted money and there was no way to find to out as to who has deposited it.” “People are depositing money in large number. You have to give them the currency. You are staggering the payment. What is the time frame in which you will do it. This is what we want to know from you. We understand your problem of shortage of currency but you ought to have some norms,” the bench told Rohatgi.