Can Currency Notes in police custody pre-demonetisation, be replaced with current valid tender? Bom HC decides

Bombay High Court

Bombay High Court: The Division Bench of G.S. Patel and Madhav J. Jamdar, JJ., addressed a matter concerning currency notes pre-demonetisation and their replacement with current valid tender.

The petitioner had filed a criminal revision under Sections 420, 504 and 506 of the Penal Code, 1860. In the said matter, the Judicial Magistrate directed the accused to deposit Rs 1,60,000 with the police station and the same was deposited in cash.

Petitioner and one witness were asked to collect the above-stated amount from the police station and the petitioner was entitled to Rs 60,000 and the witness was entitled to Rs 1 lakh.

Vide Government of India Notification dated 8-1-2016, demonetization of certain currency notes was done.

Petitioner believed that since his cash was with an authority it was protected from demonetization.

Further, it was stated that, when the Petitioner finally went back to the police station for the return of his money, he was handed the old currency notes, all by then demonetized and every note, as the Petitioner puts it in the Petition, “just a piece of paper having a photo of Mahatma Gandhi.”

The solution that the petitioner asked for was a direction to the RBI to replace the old currency notes since they were all along in custody of the police with valid current tender.

High Court while exercising equitable discretionary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India directed the RBI to replace the currency tendered by the petitioner with current valid tender, subject to the petitioner complying with other requirements such as mentioning serial numbers etc. The said particulars are set out in Notification dated 12-5-2017 and in paragraphs 10 and 11 in RBI’s affidavit.[Kishor Ramesh Sohoni v. Union of India, 2022 SCC OnLine Bom 629, decided on 22-2-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

Ms Sadhna Singh, for the Petitioner.

Mr A I Patel, Addl Government Pleader with Mr K S Thorat, AGP for

the Respondent-State.

Ms Aditi Phatak, i/b Bombay Litigation & Corporate Company for

Respondent No 2.

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