Bombay HC Questions The Need To Resize Currency, Says Demonetization Exposed The Myth Of Fake Currency
The Bombay High Court said that Demonetization exposed the myth of fake currency in circulation. High Court, on August 1, directed the Reserve Bank Of India to file an affidavit putting out reasons for resizing of notes and coins frequently.
A bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice NM Jamdar heard a PIL filed by National Association for the Blind (NAB) that directed the RBI to include distinctive features in the new currency notes and coins for the visually impaired.
“You keep saying fake currency. What is a fake currency? Demonetization showed us that this whole ‘Pakistan took away Rs 10,000 cr’ was a myth. What is the reason for changing features on the notes? What is the compulsion for changing the size?” CJ Nanrajog said, enquiring from RBI’s Counsel Dhaval Patil about the frequent change in sizes of notes.
The judges also said that the practice of changing the size of currencies won’t reduce or do away with fake currency, pointing at the Demonetization of 2016.
“The dollar continues to be the same, yet you keep redesigning. At least the size should remain the same,” he added.
In a previous hearing, Advocate Uday Warunjikar submitted that the new currency notes and new coins introduced by RBI were not user-friendly for the visually impaired and blind.
The bench said that the RBI must exercise powers in such a way that no one faced any inconvenience and suggested the RBI take advice from various organisations of blind people.
“In the earlier notes and coins, there were marks, even the size of currency notes and coins used to differ with the denomination. This does not apply to the new notes and coins,” he argued.
The Reserve Bank Of India had formed a four-member committee in February to develop a mobile application that could help the visually impaired and blind to identify the notes and coins.
Among the fresh currency notes that are in circulation, denominations of Rs 100 and above already consist “tactical markers and embossments” to help the visually challenged identify the denominations on banknotes and coins.
“But these markers often fade with frequent usage. Therefore the new software would be of significant help for the visually impaired,” Senior Counsel Shyam Mehta submitted before the court in the previous hearing.
The Court has now asked the RBI to file its reply within two weeks and listed the matter for hearing three weeks later.