The Gauhati High Court on Monday gave to the Centre and the Assam Government time up to December 2 about informing it regarding the process they would adopt to enable prisoners deposit demonetised currency notes in their bank accounts.
Justice Suman Shyam fixed the matter for further hearing of a petition filed by 11 Guwahati Central Jail prisoners on November 23 seeking appropriate direction to the Centre, Assam government, Reserve Bank of India and the jail authorities to make necessary arrangement for exchanging the currency notes.
The inmates, undergoing rigorous imprisonment for life, in their petition submitted that it became a problem for the prisoners, confined in jail, to deposit cash in hand of more than Rs 50,000 in demonetised currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.
As their family members could deposit Rs 50,000 only in the respective accounts of the jail inmates, the prisoners appealed that they be allowed to visit their respective banks for depositing their cash in hand.
They also appealed that the Court alternatively allow the inmates to go on parole for a few days so that they might visit their respective banks to operate their accounts and deposit their demonetised money.
Advocate Amit Goyal appearing for the inmates said before the High Court that until arrangement for exchange or deposit of the demonetised cash in hand of the prisoners is made, the inmates would suffer from natural justice and biases contradicting the provisions of the Constitution in respect of enforcing their fundamental rights.
Not making arrangement for exchange of demonetised currency of the prisoners amounts to denial of equality before law or the equal protection as given to citizens under Article 14, Goyal said.