High Pressure on High Court?

As earlier mentioned in this blog, Manoranjan Roy, an RTI activist had obtained figures of how many defective notes and star notes were supplied to the RBI of denomination Rs.500 and Rs. 1000. In two separate RTI queries, Roy had obtained two different sets of answers. Taking this glaring discrepancy into account he had petitioned the Bombay High Court seeking an explanation. We will briefly recapitulate the facts of the petition for those who have not gone through the earlier version of my blog. In a nutshell, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) do not have accurate record of how mnay notes are in circulation and how many printed currency notes are received by RBI from the printing press. The star series notes are permitted to be printed for notes of denomination Rs. 10, Rs. 20 and Rs. 50 which have become defective. The RBI however, has printed star series notes for Rs. 100. The RBI do not have information on what they do if they find defective notes in Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000. As per information supplied by RBI there are no defective notes of denomination Rs. 50. However, star series notes of Rs. 50 are found in circulation. Moreover, in the two separate differently worded queries Roy posed to RBI, he found a total discrepancy in the number of Rs. 1000 notes printed to the tune of Rs. 9.62 crore in the period from 2001 to 2011. The petition was admitted in the high court earlier and the counsel for RBI had sought time to file a reply. Interestingly, there was no reply filed yesterday, the day of the hearing of the petition. Instead Roy was being asked in court in what way you are bothered about the printing of notes in RBI? This amounts to contempt of court. Roy later in the day, held a press conference in which he gave the details of what transpired in the court. He also informed reporters that the next hearing was scheduled for today where he has asked for the case to be transferred to a different division bench of the Bombay High Court. At the time of going to press it was learnt that three other NGOs wanted to join Roy in his petition and taking up the matter seriously in the courts.

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