Kerala’s cooperative banks move SC against note exchange curbs

Kerala’s 14 district cooperative banks have sought the court’s intervention to handle cash on par with state-run banks


The case will be heard next on 2 December. Photo: Mint
The case will be heard next on 2 December. Photo: Mint

New Delhi: District cooperative banks in Kerala moved the Supreme Court on Tuesday against not being allowed to exchange scrapped Rs500 and Rs1,000 currency notes.

The state’s 14 district cooperative banks have sought the court’s intervention to handle cash on par with state-run banks.

“The decision to not allow cooperative banks is discriminatory,” senior advocate V. Giri who appeared for the banks told the court.

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A bench headed by chief justice T.S. Thakur agreed to hear the case along with the other batch of petitions challenging the demonetisation scheme.

On 14 November, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said that district central cooperative banks (DCCB) will not be allowed to provide any exchange facility against Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes in a notification issued on its website.

Mint reported at that time that RBI’s move has hit several people, including farmers, housewives and retired government officers, who depend entirely on cooperative banks.

As per estimates of Kerala, 70% of the agricultural credit in the state is routed through the four-layered structure of the cooperative bank structure.

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Kerala’s cooperative credit societies account for one-third of the commercial bank deposits and more than 50% of the total national cooperatives’ deposits.

The state’s chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the crisis has set in motion “undesirable impacts and long-term damage” in the cooperative banking sector.

The case will be heard next on 2 December.

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