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Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay Vs. Union of India and Ors. - (High Court of Delhi) (29 May 2023)

Decision taken by the Government in relation to the economic policies is not ordinarily interfered by the Courts unless arbitrary



The instant writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India has been filed by the Petitioner as a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking for a declaration that the RBI Notification dated 19.05.2023 and SBI Notification dated 20.05.2023, which permits exchange of Rs. 2000 denomination banknotes without obtaining any requisition slip and identity proof, is arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

In order to ensure that there is a smooth transition of Rs. 2000 denomination banknotes, which continue to be a legal tender till September, 2023 i.e. for four months, banks have provided facilities for conversion of these banknotes to other denomination banknotes. The present case is not the case of demonetisation but withdrawal of Rs. 2000 denomination banknotes from circulation.

The Government has taken a decision not to insist upon requirement of identity proof for exchange of Rs. 2000 denominations banknotes so that everybody can exchange the same with the other denomination banknotes. Therefore, it cannot be said that the decision of the Government is perverse or arbitrary or it encourages black money, money laundering, profiteering or it abets corruption. It is well settled that decision taken by the Government in relation to the economic policies is not ordinarily interfere with by the Courts unless the decision of the Government is manifestly arbitrary.

In order to facilitate the exchange of Rs. 2000 denomination banknotes with other denomination banknotes, the Government has given a window of four months to the citizens and in order to avoid inconvenience to citizens, the Government is not insisting of providing any kind of identification. As stated earlier, this decision of the Government is purely a policy decision and Courts should not sit as an Appellate Authority over the decision taken by the Government. The present PIL is devoid of merits. PIL dismissed.


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