Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has sought a response from the Centre and the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB) on a petition claiming discrepancies in currency notes printed, supplied and destroyed by the RBI annually.
The petition came up for hearing on Monday before a division bench of Justices B P Dharmadhikari and Revati Mohite Dere which directed the finance ministry and the CEIB to file their affidavits in response by April 12.
As per the petition filed by activist Manoranjan Roy, from 2000 to March 2018, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) destroyed soiled currency notes excess to the ones printed annually by four printing presses in the country.
"Over the years, consistently, the number of currency notes destroyed are more than the notes printed by the printing presses. The difference runs to millions of currency notes of all denominations," the petition said.
On comparison between the Right to Information (RTI) replies received from the four printing presses which work under the Union finance ministry and an annual report prepared by the RBI, there seem to be inconsistencies, it claimed.
"The data obtained under RTI shows there is absolutely no congruence between the money received from the printing presses and the RBI's annual report on notes destroyed," Roy's advocate Tanveer Nizam said.
"This issue cannot be ignored and by way of the petition, we have sought a thorough probe to be ordered," Nizam added.
The petition claimed that after the Union government's demonetisation decision in November 2016, the RBI had received Rs 15.28 lakh crore worth notes in the denominations of 500 and 1,000 against the figure of Rs 14.11 lakh crore that was claimed to be in circulation.
"The difference is of over Rs 1.16 lakh crore. The petition is seeking a court-monitored probe into this anomaly," Nizam said.