On 7 December, the Supreme Court directed the Centre to look into public interest litigation (PIL) filed by one Satish Bhardwaj, against the Reserve Bank of India‚Äôs (RBI) decision to exchange Rs 30 crores worth of banknotes, which were defaced by a separatist group of Kashmir.
A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice B R Gavai and Justice Surya Kant asked the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to reply within two weeks as ‚Äúit‚Äôs a matter of national importance.‚ÄĚ
The plea filed by Satish Bhardwaj had called for a CBI investigation against the RBI for allowing the exchange of notes, defaced by a separatist group in Kashmir in 2013. Bhardwaj alleged that he had moved RBI and CBI for action in 2013 itself but did not get any response from either.
‚ÄúThe Petitioner is saying that agencies are not doing anything. The issue may be of national importance. Please have a copy of the petition and look into it,‚ÄĚ told the bench to the Solicitor General.
As per reports, a separatist group named ‚ÄėKashmir Graffiti‚Äô was claimed to have stamped around Rs. 30 crores worth of currency notes with remarks such as ‚ÄėGo India Go Back,‚Äô ‚ÄėLeave Kashmir‚Äô and ‚ÄėQuit Kashmir,‚Äô between May and August of 2013. There was even an alleged YouTube video showing the stamping process.
The plea stated that the exchange of currency notes can only be done as per law and no deliberately stamped currency can be exchanged as per the rules and regulations of RBI. The petitioner further sought a court-monitored CBI investigation in the case.