“Matter Pending Before The Apex Court”: Kerala HC Closes Plea Of NRIs Who Could Not Deposit Demonetized Currency In Time

first_imgNews Updates”Matter Pending Before The Apex Court”: Kerala HC Closes Plea Of NRIs Who Could Not Deposit Demonetized Currency In Time Sparsh Upadhyay21 Feb 2021 8:38 PMShare This – xThe Kerala High Court on Wednesday (17th February) closed a writ petition filed by NRIs who could not deposit demonetized currency in time noting that the matter falls within the scope of a question formulated by the Apex court for a decision by the Larger Bench (and the matter is pending before the Apex Court). The Bench of Justice P. B. Suresh Kumar was hearing the plea of…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Kerala High Court on Wednesday (17th February) closed a writ petition filed by NRIs who could not deposit demonetized currency in time noting that the matter falls within the scope of a question formulated by the Apex court for a decision by the Larger Bench (and the matter is pending before the Apex Court). The Bench of Justice P. B. Suresh Kumar was hearing the plea of petitioners who are non-resident Indians and each of them had with them, currency notes demonetized by the Government of India of value not exceeding Rs.25,000/-. The matter before the Court As they were not in India during the period during which they should have claimed the value of said currency notes, they were later permitted to claim the value of the demonetized currency notes till 30th June 2017 from the designated offices of the Reserve Bank of India at Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Nagpur, and Chennai. The case set out by the petitioners in the writ petition was that the value of the demonetized currencies in their possession being less than Rs.25,000/-, it is not practical to go to the designated offices of the Reserve Bank which are situated far off from the State of Kerala. Petitioners, therefore, sought orders directing the Reserve Bank of India to make alternative arrangements to enable them to claim the value of the demonetized currencies in their possession. As per an interim order passed by the Court, the Petitioners were asked to surrender the demonetized currencies in their possession before the Ernakulam office of the Reserve Bank of India, which they did. The Ernakulam office of the Reserve Bank of India was directed to keep the same subject to further orders. Arguments put forth The Senior Counsel for the Reserve Bank of India pointed out that the Apex court has prohibited/interdicted entertainment of writ petitions of this nature, in terms of the order passed on 16th December 2016 in W.P.(C) No.906 of 2016 and connected cases. On the other hand, the Counsel for the petitioners, pointed out that the order of the Apex Court referred to by the learned Senior Counsel for the Reserve Bank of India is the order in terms of which the Apex Court has made a reference of a few questions relating to the demonetization of the currency notes made by the Government of India to a Larger Bench. It was further contended that the issue arising for consideration in the writ petition did not fall within the scope of the questions formulated by the Apex court in the said batch of cases for decision by the Larger Bench. Court’s Observations At the outset, the Court noted that petitioners argued that the decision of the Reserve Bank of India (in confining the facility extended to non-resident Indians to claim the value of the demonetized currency notes to five designated offices far off from the State) is discriminatory and violative of Article 15 of the Constitution. Further, the Court took into account the questions formulated by the Apex Court for decision by the Larger Bench in terms of the order dated 16th December 2016 (the matter is still pending before the Apex Court). It may be noted that out of 9 issues formulated by the Apex Court (vide its order dated 16th December 2016) to be decided by the Larger Bench, the Kerala High Court focussed on the 5th issues which reads as under: “Whether the implementation of the impugned notification(s) suffers from procedural and/or substantive unreasonableness and thereby violates Articles 14 and 19 and, if so, to what effect?” The Court also opined that the issue arising for consideration in the instant petition would certainly fall within the scope of question 2.5(v). [NOTE: Paragraph 14 of the Apex Court’s order which deals with the interdiction reads thus: “14. We further direct that no other court shall entertain, hear or decide any writ petition/proceedings on the issue or in relation to or arising from the decision of the Government of India to demonetise the old notes of Rs.500 and Rs.1000, as the entire issue in relation thereto is pending consideration before this Court in the present proceedings.”] To this, the Court further noted, “Even if there is any ambiguity on the question as to whether the issue arising for consideration in this matter would fall within the scope of question 2.5(v) formulated by the Apex court for decision by the Larger Bench in terms of the order referred to above, the direction in paragraph 14 of the order of the Apex Court that no court shall entertain, hear or decide any writ petition / proceedings on the issue or in relation to or arising from the decision of the Government of India to demonetise the old notes of Rs.500 and Rs.1000, as the entire issue in relation thereto is pending consideration before that court, removes the said ambiguity, as the petitioners cannot be heard to contend that the issue raised in the writ petition is not one in relation to or arising from the decision of the Government of India to demonetise the old notes of Rs.500 and Rs.1000.” Thus, the writ petition, was closed in the light of the order of the Apex Court’s order, however, the petitioners were given the liberty to move the High Court once the reference in terms of the order referred to above is answered by the Apex Court. Case title – Dr.Sreekumaran Nair v. Union Of India and others [WP(C).No.10768 OF 2017(U)] Click Here To Download JudgmentRead JudgmentNext Storylast_img read more