The Supreme Court on Friday declined to list a petition by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, during the court’s summer vacation, challenging the Delhi High Court’s May 29 judgment allowing the exchange of Rs 2,000 currency notes without any identification.
A bench comprising Justices Aniruddha Bose and Rajesh Bindal told Upadhyay to mention his petition before the Chief Justice of India after the court reopens in July’s first week. Upadhyay vehemently pressed that all black money will become white money and urged the court to hear the matter.
The bench said the other vacation bench had already said to come after summer vacation and added, “We perused the report of the registrar. In our opinion, the direction of the vacation bench cannot be varied by us…” Upadhyay said in 10 days, Rs 1.8 lakh crore have been exchanged and only Rs 10 crore paid taxes.
The bench said there is no urgency in the listing plea during vacation and pointed out that people pay taxes, “there is income tax…GST etc.” After the bench declined to list the plea during vacation, Upadhyay said this is very unfortunate. The bench told him that this is a court, not a public platform and told him not to make such comments and there has to be some decorum.
On June 1, the Supreme Court declined an urgent hearing on Upadhyay’s plea challenging the Delhi High Court’s May 29 judgment. Then, a bench comprising Justices Sudhanshu Dhulia and K.V. Viswanathan told advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, appearing in person, the court is not taking up these kinds of cases during vacation and “you can always make a mention to the chief (Chief Justice of India)”.
Upadhyay had submitted that all the kidnappers, gangsters, drug smugglers, etc., are exchanging their money and according to media reports in the last week Rs 50,000 crore have been exchanged and urged the court to grant an urgent hearing in the matter. The bench said that he can mention the matter before the chief and added, “We are doing nothing…bring to the notice of the RBI…” Upadhyay pressed that money is being exchanged by mining mafias, and kidnappers, neither there is a requirement of requisition slip and also no identity proof is required.
“This is happening for the first time in the world … I filed a writ in the Delhi High Court and the high court disposed of the matter without issuing notice…this is happening for the first time in the world … entire black money will become white,” Upadhyay had submitted. The bench allowed Upadhyay to mention the matter after the vacation.
The plea, filed by Upadhyay, said: “Petitioner submits that while passing the Judgment, the high court has failed to appreciate that the RBI notification dated 19.5.2023… and the SBI Notification dated 20.5.2023, which permits the exchange of Rs 2,000 banknotes without even obtaining any requisition slip and identity proof, is manifestly arbitrary and irrational and therefore violates Articles 14 (right to equality).”
It submitted that the RBI admits in the notification that the total value of Rs 2000 banknotes in circulation has declined from Rs 6.73 lakh crore to Rs 3.62 lakh crore. “Petitioner submits that this Rs 3.11 lakh crore has reached individuals’ locker and the rest has otherwise been hoarded by the gangsters, kidnappers, contract killers, illegal arms suppliers, money launderers, drug smugglers, hootch peddlers, human traffickers, gold smugglers, black marketeers, spurious medicine manufacturers, tax evaders, cheaters, looters, separatists, terrorists, Maoists, Naxals, mining mafias, land mafias, satta mafias and corrupt government employees, public servants and politicians,” added the plea.