CPI leader challenges validity of Devanagiri script in new notes

He said his concern is more about "violation" of the Constitution and its spirit.

Adding to the pile of cases against government’s demonetisation, a Communist Party of India (CPI) leader has approached the Supreme Court to challenge the constitutional validity of introducing Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 notes with Devanagari script in its design, contending the script is in “contravention” of Article 343(1).

The Article 343(1) deals with the Official Language of the Union.

Reportedly, Binoy Viswam ,CPI national executive member Binoy Viswam moved the petition on Saturday under Article 32 and is expected to be heard by the apex court along with other pleas filed against Centre’s demonetisation move on November 25.

“The usage of Devanagari script is in contravention of the Article 343(1). “A bank note is a symbol of a nation’s economy and there were debates in the constituent assembly after which it was decided that the numerals used are to be the international form of numerals and hence, the Article is worded the way it is currently worded,” he said in a statement.

However, Viswam also pointed out that the Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 currency notes have “so many” shortcomings like it loses colour if are exposed to water and is “similar” to currencies of many countries.

He said his concern is more about “violation” of the Constitution and its spirit. The proviso to Article 343 provides that legislation is required to change the position as regards official languages.

However, the Official Languages Act 1960 does not provide for any change in the usage of numerals, he added.