The Hyderabad HC on Monday asked the Centre to explain by Wednesday the reasons behind keeping district cooperative central banks out of the process of exchanging old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes or accepting deposits.
A division bench comprising Acting CJ Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice A. Shankar Narayana was hearing two petitions filed by the Prakasam District Central Cooperative Bank in AP and one M Saya Reddy of Nizamabad, seeking a direction to the Centre to allow DCCBs to accept deposits and allow exchange of currency.
The petitioners told the court that the decision of the Centre had inconvenienced rural people. The bench wanted the RBI and the Centre to explain the rationale in keeping cooperative banks out. The bench also heard two petitions filed by advocate K. Srinivas and city resident S. Venkateswara Rao, challenging the decision of the Centre.
Mr Vedula Venkata Ramana, senior counsel appearing for Mr Venkateswara Rao, contended that neither the Centre nor the PM had the power to take a decision on currency demonetisation without the recommendation of the RBI’s central board. Mr P.V. Krishnaiah appearing for Mr Srinivas, told the court that people were facing severe hardships after the November 8 demonetisation. The bench posted the case to Tuesday to hear the additional solicitor general of India appearing for Centre.
Mysoora’s PIL on cash curbs
Former minister M.V. Mysoora Reddy on Monday moved a PIL before the Hyderabad HC challenging the Centre’s decision restricting withdrawals from bank accounts to Rs 10,000 per day subject to an overall limit of Rs 20,000 a week from the date of demonetisation notification.
He contended that the Centre had no power to restrict cash withdrawals of account holders as it was against Section 26 (1) of The Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, and is an infringement of Article 21 and 300-A of the Constitution. He said that as per Article 300A, “No person can be deprived of his property except by law.”
The Centre's restrictions on withdrawal of money from deposits curbed this right and access funds as per the terms on which the money was deposited with banks. The government is in effect depriving account holders of their property, he said.
Auction of Agri Gold assets
The HC directed the DG of AP CID to issue a notification on December 11, inviting those interested to participate in the auction of 19 properties belonging to Agri Gold located in and around Vijayawada. A division bench comprising Justice V. Ramasubramanian and Justice S.V. Bhatt on Monday, while hearing a PIL by Agri Gold Depositors and Agents Welfare Association, seeking a CBI probe into the scam and repayment to about 32 lakh depositors across seven states, fixed the upset price for the properties meant for auction.
The bench fixed the price after considering the report of the registration department and market values submitted by the officers and the rate offered by some proposed bidders. It stated that interested parties could inspect the properties till December 18 and bidders would have to submit their bids in sealed covers to the High Court before December 26. The bench said that an open auction would be held on December 27 in High Court in the presence of the bidders.