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PIL not a weapon to challenge financial decisions: RBI to HC

waive off bank transactions charges

New Delhi : Public interest litigation (PIL)cannot be used as a “weapon to challenge financial or economic decisions”, the RBI has told the Delhi High Court opposing aplea against the surcharge on credit and debit card transactions.

The plea has alleged that the surcharge levied by thebanks and the financial institutions on credit and debit cardtransactions was “illegal” and “discriminatory”.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has urged a bench ofChief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal todismiss the PIL. “The decisions are taken by the RBI in exercise of itsadministrative/statutory powers and in public interest.

“The issues in the writ petition pertain purely to theeconomic policy of the state and the challenge to the same atthe instance of a public-spirited person cannot fall withinthe parameters of PIL, as has been laid down by the SupremeCourt from time to time,” the RBI submitted.

The response of the federal bank came on the PIL filed byadvocate Amit Sahni who alleged that though Prime MinisterNarendra Modi’s demonetisation move was beneficial, thedecision to levy surcharge on credit and debit cardtransactions was “highly unfortunate”.

“The issue raised in the present petition almost affectseveryone operating a bank account,” the plea said, adding thatthe “unlawful, unequal and arbitrary treatment is visible inthe payment of petrol charges through credit and debit cards”.

The lawyer said that levying surcharge is not onlyillegal and discriminatory but it also promotes circulation ofblack money. The RBI, however, refuted the petitioner’s contention andsaid that it has neither violated any fundamental right or anylegal right of the petitioner or any citizen of India.

PTI