A public interest litigation -- probably holding the key to the historic demonetisation of November 8, 2016 -- filed by RTI activist Manoranjan Roy will finally come up for hearing at Bombay High Court here on February 12. The PIL was filed in 2015, on the basis of RTI replies received from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and other institutions, pertaining to large quantities of "missing or excess" Indian currency notes.
Roy said that as per RTI replies, from 2000 to 2011, RBI had received a certain number of currency notes from the three security printing presses in Nashik, Dewas and Mysuru.
Ten Things To know About Discrepancy Between Notes Printed And Received By RBI
1. There was discrepancy between the number of rupee notes printed by the presses and the figure released by the RBI. The figures provided by the printing presses were: Rs. 500 denomination -- 19,45,40,00,000 pieces were sent to RBI, but RBI said it had received only 18,98,46,84,000 pieces: A shortfall of 46,93,16,000 pieces or Rs. 23,465 crore.
2. The printing presses said in the RTI that they had sent Rs 1,000 denomination 4,44,13,00,000 pieces, but the RBI's data for the corresponding number was 4,45,30,00,000 pieces: An excess of 1,17,00,000 pieces or Rs. 1,170 crore.
3. In another RTI data for 2000-2011, from the Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Pvt. Ltd. said it had sent 13,35,60,00,000 pieces of Rs. 500 denomination and 3,35,48,60,000 pieces of Rs. 1,000 denomination, but, mysteriously, the RBI apparently never received these currency notes, nor did it disclose details of the same, said Roy.
4. The RTI activist expressed surprise at the discrepancy of figures released by different agencies. "How such entirely misleading figures were given by three different and highly responsible government institutions, who are the culprits indulging in the misappropriation, where the staggering amounts of currency notes printed are actually going, are some of the questions that arise, and the answers may come out when my petition is finally heard," Roy said.
5. In the petition, Roy had named the Prime Minister, the Finance Minister and the Ministry of Home Affairs, as parties. However, at one of the early hearings, then Additional Solicitor-General of India, Anil Singh, submitted an affidavit to Roy on January 27, 2016, asking him to delete the names of the PM, FM and MHA.
6. Roy's lawyer, Shashikant Chaudhari, said the case went to a bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Prakash Naik on March 29, 2016, with subsequent dates of April 11, 2016, and then listed as a fresh matter on June 17, 2016.
7. Justice V.M. Kanade and Justice Swapna S. Joshi disposed off the petition on August 23, 2016, "without proper scrutiny".
8. On September 22, 2016, Roy filed a Review Petition (No. 5/2016) and the matter remained alive, and now this review plea will come up for hearing next Monday, Chaudhari said.
9. Meanwhile, barely within 75 days of the petition getting disposed off (August 23, 2016), Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation of the Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 denominations, on November 8, 2016, the lawyer said.
10. The government move was made on various grounds like unearthing black money and fighting terrorism, but the entire matter pertaining to misappropriation of large quantities of Indian currency notes, as available under RTI, was sidelined, Roy claimed.