The newly issued Rs 50 currency notes cannot be differentiated from others by visually impaired persons, a PIL today claimed in the Delhi High Court which sought the RBI and the Centre’s stand on the issue. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said the matter needed urgent attention of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the central government as it was of public importance. “The issue is of public importance and relates to the rights of the visually impaired persons. It needs an urgent attention of the RBI and Central government. Let it be considered,” the bench said. It, however, refused to stay the printing and circulation of the new Rs 50 notes which were issued on August 18.
The bench issued notice and directed the Centre and RBI to file their responses in two weeks and listed the matter for further hearing on December 6.
The plea, filed by three advocates and a company secretary, has claimed that the new Rs 50 notes do not bear any identification mark for visually impaired persons to differentiate between denominations. They have sought a direction to the RBI to issue the new Rs 50 notes with identification mark for visually impaired persons which should be then approved by the Centre. The petition by advocate Rohit Dandriyal also sought directions to the authorities to withdraw the Rs 50 notes which do not have any identification marks and stop printing.
It said that according to the RBI, a special feature has been introduced on the left of the watermark window on all notes except the Rs 10 note.
This feature is in different shapes for various denominations. For example, a vertical rectangle denotes a Rs 20 note, a square means Rs 50 (in older notes), triangle and circle for Rs 100, a diamond denoted the Rs 1,000 currency which is not a legal tender now, it said. These designs are etched into the notes, the plea said. It has claimed that by issuing such notes, the respondents (government and RBI) “violated the constitutional right of visually impaired persons, which is confirmed by article 14 of the Constitution India i.e. the state shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India”.