Saturday, February 24, 2024

Delhi High Court issues notice to RBI on Uniform Banking Code for Foreign Exchange Transaction

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The Delhi High Court has issued notice to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on implementation of a Uniform Banking Code for Foreign Exchange Transaction.

The Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma on Monday directed RBI to file its response within six weeks on a petition filed by BJP leader and practising Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, highlighting the existing loopholes and lapses in the system with regard to transfer of foreign funds in Indian Banks. 

The plea warned that the the lapses could be used by separatists, fundamentalists, naxals, maoists, terrorists, traitors and radical organisations operating to destabilise the country. 

Appearing for RBI, Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma submitted that the petition raised a ‘very serious issue’ which required detailed examination and sought six weeks’ time to file response in the matter.

The High Court then fixed March 20 as the next date of hearing in the case.

The petition alleged that money could be transferred into Indian bank accounts from any foreign source by way of Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS), National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and Instant Money Payment System (IMPS), which were tools meant for transfer of funds within the country.

In order to control black money generation and benami transaction, the petition sought direction that only the International Money Transfer (IMT) mode be permitted for transfer of foreign funds into Indian bank accounts, as the same would leave a stamp with regard to the identity of source of funds.  

It said the Centre should take steps to track black money, such as seeking full name, Pan card, Aadhaar card, mobile number and other details of depositor and drawer during foreign exchange transaction. 

It further sought direction to the Centre to make it compulsory to have Electronic Fund Transfer at Point of Sale (EFTPOS) or Mobile Phone Payment System (MPPS) for manufacturers, distributors, retailers and service providers to control black money generation.

As per the plea, the Centre should ensure that Foreign Inward Remittance Certificate (FIRC) be issued and All International and Indian banks send the link through SMS to get FIRC automatically in case Foreign Exchange is being deposited in the account as converted INR.

The petitioner said that these steps would control the menace of bribery, black money, benami transaction, tax evasion, money laundering, profiteering, grain hoarding, food adulteration, human trafficking, drug trafficking, black marketing and fraud.

The steps would further curb dishonest misappropriation of property, criminal breach of trust, dishonestly inducing delivery of property, cheating by impersonation, concealment of property, falsification of accounts, and economic offences including corporate fraud, capital market fraud and forensic fraud and violation of laws relating to accounting, company, taxation and information technology, it added.

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