Demonetisation: Supreme Court notice to government on Indian-origin UK woman’s plea

The Supreme Court today sought the government’s response on the plea of a woman, a British passport holder, seeking to exchange old demonetised currency notes, alleging that the RBI notification was discriminatory as it was limited to NRIs only.

RBI, Drmonetisation, Pankaj Bala Verma, Supreme Court, NRI, UK woman
In the plea filed through advocate Pankaj Bala Verma, Pandey said she had arrived in Delhi from the United Kingdom on January 10 with Rs 18,000 worth of demonetised notes.(

The Supreme Court today sought the government’s response on the plea of a woman, a British passport holder, seeking to exchange old demonetised currency notes, alleging that the RBI notification was discriminatory as it was limited to NRIs only. A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud issued notice to the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on the plea filed by Sangeeta Pandey, an overseas citizen of India (OCI) card holder who was turned down by the bank when she went to get Rs 18,000 exchanged.

In the plea filed through advocate Pankaj Bala Verma, Pandey said she had arrived in Delhi from the United Kingdom on January 10 with Rs 18,000 worth of demonetised notes. On the advice of a Customs officer at the international airport here, she went to the RBI to get the currency exchanged but was told that the facility was not extended to OCI card holders and only limited to the NRIs. “Petitioner went to RBI a few times and waited in queue until one day an RBI official made an announcement that the facility to exchange the currency was limited to NRIs only and did not include Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card holders,” the plea said.

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“No satisfactory explanation was given except that the government had decided to take this decision,” it added. The plea sought quashing of the December 31, 2016 notification of the RBI as per which facility of exchange was made available to NRIs, who were not in India till December 30, 2016 post November 8, 2016 demonetisation announcement. As per the RBI direction, NRIs were allowed to exchange currency till June 30.

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