NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court asked the Centre on Tuesday to look into a PIL seeking CBI probe into the RBI exchanging defaced currency notes worth Rs 30 crore allegedly belonging to a separatist group of Kashmir and said: "the issue may be of national importance".
The top court asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to have a copy of the petition and look into it.
A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant was hearing the PIL filed by one Satish Bhardwaj, who has alleged that in 2013 the Jammu branch of RBI exchanged the currency notes amounting to Rs 30 crore allegedly belonging to a separatist group called 'Kashmir Graffitti'.
As soon as the matter came up for hearing, the bench asked for Attorney General K K Venugopal, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta or any Additional Solicitor General.
When no one appeared, the bench told Bhardwaj that it would take up the matter at the end of the day's work.
Bhardwaj said he had approached the CBI for investigation of the matter but nothing has been done so far.
The matter was taken up again by the bench for hearing during which Mehta appeared.
The bench told Mehta, "He is saying that agencies are not doing anything. The issue may be of national importance. Please have a copy of the petition and look into it."
Bhardwaj, appearing in-person in his plea, said, "It is most humbly submitted that the act of Jammu branch of Reserve Bank of India to exchange the defaced/ imperfect Indian currency notes worth Rs 30 crore that too which was done by a separatist group of Kashmir with a main aim of destabilising peace and harmony in the region of Jammu and Kashmir and to create an environment of tension and terror in the minds of common residents of the region is illegal and worth of interference of this court."
He said a separatist group in Kashmir in its statement on a social networking site Facebook has claimed to have stamped separatist slogans on Indian currency worth Rs 30 crore between May and August, 2013.
Bhardwaj sought court-monitored CBI investigation in the case of exchange of defaced/imperfect currency notes amounting to Rs 30 crore by the Jammu branch of the RBI.
He said in his plea that the exchange of currency notes can only be done as per law and no deliberately stamped currency can be exchanged as per the rules and regulations of RBI.