By Chandrakant Pancholi, Overseas India Press
Let me be brief, please.
- Take the Indian Banks first. Deposited money before November 8 or after that date is not their personal property. Banks are just fiduciaries holding the money and are supposed to return any or all money instantly when depositors demand.
- If Government of India or its administrative branch Reserve Bank of India dictates that depositors can withdraw only a little sum of money and not all the money belonging to depositors, then, ‘it is taking away property without due process of law,’ as the money belongs to the depositors. Order to withdraw only some money and not all if the depositor wishes so, is denial of using part of its property and Government cannot do so without a competent court ordering as such after hearing both parties. Property cannot be taken away without due compensation and that too, only after hearing all parties affected. So, on both counts, suits can be filed asking for : (a) immediate cancellation of the limited withdrawal orders and (b) compensation to each depositor who was thus harassed by the illegal action, money for standing in line for days, pain, suffering and loss of use of money during the period the illegal orders were in force.
- A temporary injection against government’s illegal actions can be asked for, too.
- Democracy is a rule of law and not the personal fiefdom of a Prime Minister or any party. Once they have to pay compensation to each depositor and lift the illegal orders, their sanity is likely to return to normalcy.
(Chandrakant Pancholi, New York, N.Y, is a lawyer and a Journalist, originally from India)