The Supreme Court Court has stayed an order passed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in which police had been directed to return the seized money to claimants in new currency instead of the old currency in which they were recovered before demonetisation.
Chandigarh Police had earlier filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) against the High Court order in which the police organisations of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh were ordered that “in the event of any order for return of currency or valuable to any person concerned, he will make payment in new currency and not in old currency, which was recovered”.
During the hearing of a case in March, it was brought to the High Court’s notice that the cash lying in the Malkhana of various police stations as case property in different cases was of no value due to demonetisation. Chandigarh Police had informed the Court that it was facing difficulty in the exchange of currency as RBI was not accepting the old notes.
“It will be the responsibility of the states of Punjab, Haryana and UT Chandigarh to ensure that no inconvenience is caused to the public while returning the seized currency as per the order of the court/competent authority. Whatever steps the states of Punjab, Haryana and UT Chandigarh are required to take to protect the interest of the public in this regard, will be their responsibility and not of the public. This order has been passed to safeguard the interest of persons whose money is lying deposited with police or other state agencies,” said the HC.