CHENNAI: Contending that agriculturists, the back-bone of Indian economy, have been left in the lurch, a farmer in Villupuram district has moved Madras High Court for a direction to the Registrar of Co-operative Societies to follow the procedures contemplated under the RBI’s circular to all the Co-operative Societies relating to demonetisation and permit withdrawal of cash and exchange old currency notes into new currency ones.
Justice N Kirubakaran, before whom the petition from K Ramamurthy of Gingee came up for hearing on Monday, posted the matter for further hearing and orders on November 16, after hearing the counsel for the petitioner, Co-Operative Societies Registrar and the RBI.
According to petitioner, a member of the Gingee Primary Agricultural Co-operative Society, more than 26 villages were under the purview of the society, which has 19,000 agriculturists as members. It has been transacting business to the tune of Rs 25 lakh per day and all the farmers were depending on it for payment and withdrawals, to meet their day-to-day expenses.
While so, the RBI on November 8 declared as invalid Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. To enable the public to exchange the existing currency notes, it had framed regulations.
As a member of the society, he approached the co-operative society to withdraw Rs 10,000 from his account. However, the staff refused to give either the withdrawal slip or make the payment stating that the Joint Registrar of Co-operative Societies had issued oral instructions not to disburse or receive any amount until further orders.
When he approached the President of the society, he was told that no new currency notes were available in the society and the Registrar has not taken any steps to do so. It was further revealed that the Joint Registrar of Co-operative societies has given a standing oral instruction on November 10 not to transact any business until further orders.
Therefore, no transaction was taking place in the Gingee Society, putting its members into great hardship.
The Union Government and RBI have made arrangements for disbursement of amounts for urgent needs of the general public but the co-operative society has not made any such arrangement for the agriculturists, petitioner contended.