HC dismisses plea to declare ₹2,000 note invalid

Updated - February 26, 2017 09:31 am IST

Published - February 25, 2017 08:04 pm IST - Madurai

The new 2000 rupee notes.

The new 2000 rupee notes.

The Madras High Court Bench here on Friday dismissed a public interest litigation petition filed in November last with a plea to declare the newly introduced ₹ 2,000 currency notes invalid since they contain the numerals in Devanagari script also in addition to the international form of Indian numerals.

A Division Bench of Justices A. Selvam and P. Kalaiyarasan refused to hear the case after they were informed that the Supreme Court was seized of all cases that were filed across the country in connection with demonetisation of the old ₹500 and ₹1,000 currency notes and consequential actions taken by the Centre.

The judges, however, gave liberty to the petitioner, ‘Agri’ K.P.T. Ganesan, former chairman of Tamil Nadu State Agricultural Marketing Board, to approach either the apex court or other appropriate forum to get his grievance redressed on the ground that the law does not permit use of Devanagari form of numerals in currency notes.

The present petition had been filed by relying upon Article 343 of the Constitution which states that only international form of Indian numerals should be used for all official purposes of the State though the President may authorise the use of Devanagari numerals for a period of 15 years from the commencement of the Constitution.

“I state that the Constitution came into force on January 26, 1950... but within 15 years from the date of such commencement, the President did not authorise the use of Devanagiri form of numerals. Even in the Officials Languages Act of 1963, there is no provision for the use of Devanagari numerals,” the petitioner claimed in his affidavit.

Though he had also questioned the authority of the Centre to issue currency notes in the denomination of Rs.2,000 itself; the court had rejected that claim at the admission stage itself, last year, by referring to Section 24 of the Reserve Bank of India Act of 1934 which authorises issue of bank notes of any denomination up to the value of Rs.10,000.

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