Delhi HC directs RBI to consider ‘unlawful’ levy of surcharge on credit/debit...

Delhi HC directs RBI to consider ‘unlawful’ levy of surcharge on credit/debit cards


Delhi High Court has directed the RBI and Ministry of Finance to frame guidelines with respect to surcharge levied on payments made through credit cards and debit cards. A bench comprising of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal disposed of the writ petition directing as follows:

The writ petition is accordingly disposed of with a direction to the respondents to consider the contents of this writ petition by treating the same as a representation and take an appropriate decision in accordance with law. The decision taken shall be communicated to the petitioner and in case the issue sought to be raised is not fully redressed, the petitioner is at liberty to file a fresh writ petition.

This writ petition filed by Amit Sahani challenged the levying of surcharge on payments through debit or credit cards. The Petition said that a country like India, having a huge cash flow, must encourage and incentivize the use of credit cards and debit cards. The levying of surcharge is completely arbitrary, unlawful and unequal which also promotes money transactions to be carried on in black. The Petition further stated that while no surcharge is levied on transactions in cash, why should it be levied on transactions carried by way of credit or debit cards, hence such levy is not only illegal but also discriminatory. The Petitioner had prayed for framing guidelines so as to prevent the charging of the unlawful and discriminatory surcharge on the transactions through debit cards/credit cards.

The Counsel appearing for RBI stated before the Court that the issue is already being considered by them and that the points raised in the present writ petition will also be considered by them. With this the above direction was issued to the RBI and Ministry of Finance, Union of India, with liberty to file a fresh petition if the issues sought by the petitioner are not fully addressed.

Read the full judgment: The judgment can be read here.

About Sonia Dhamija

Sonia Dhamija is an Advocate practicing in Supreme Court and other courts at Delhi. She completed her B.L.S., LL.B., from Government Law College, Mumbai in 2012.

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