The Gujarat High Court today issued a notice to the Reserve Bank of India on a petition filed by an accused in a kidnapping case who wants Rs 2.5 lakh, seized by police before demonetisation, back in new currency notes. Justice A J Desai today issued notices to the RBI, Union Finance Ministry and registrar of district and sessions court at Banaskantha after the central bank declined to exchange demonetised currency notes when police approached it following an order of a lower court on March 24. Petitioner Kalpesh Patel was arrested on the charge of kidnapping before demonetisation was announced. Police had seized Rs 2.5 lakh and his motorcycle. Patel then approached the Banaskantha district and sessions court in January with the plea to release his money in new currency notes.
The court, in its order dated March 8, had allowed his petition and asked police to exchange the currency notes with the RBI. Police approached the RBI with the money on March 24, but the latter declined to exchange the notes, saying that a Finance Ministry circular prohibited it at that stage. The RBI said the window was open only for NRIs.
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Patel then approached the lower court again but, as the matter was not urgently heard, he moved the High Court. The HC issued notices to the RBI, Finance Ministry and the registrar of the Banaskantha district sessions court. The matter will come up for hearing again on August 21.