In a setback to PM Narendra Modi government over the demonetisation decision, the Madras High Court asked why Devanagari numerals were used on the new Rs 500 and Rs 2000 currency notes along with the regular English numerical. On Monday, the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court posed this question to the Centre after hearing a PIL filed by KPT Ganesan, a resident from Madurai. He has also demanded a reply from the Finance Ministry on the same.
The petitioner argued that only the international form of Indian numerals can be used for official purposes of the Union, citing Article 343. He argued that the usage of ‘Devanagari’ numerals is against the Indian Constitution and, therefore, asked the court to declare the newly-introduced Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes as ‘invalid’ as the Modi government hadn’t passed any law in the Parliament to allow the using of Devanagari script on the new currency notes.
According to Ganesan, the Official Languages Act, 1963 doesn’t allow any provision for the use of Devanagari numerals. He also pointed out that even the President didn’t give the nod for any such usage of Devanagari.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sudden announcement to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in circulation, has driven mixed reactions among the public. Most of the people welcomed the move, whereas it has left many pitching for survival and utter state of confusion, especially the rural poor. The NDA government, however, has insisted that the move is aimed at rooting out the threat of black money, a boasting promise which they made before forming the government two years back.