Plea in HC against surcharge on debit, credit cards payments

A plea has been filed in the Delhi High Court against "illegal" surcharge levied on transactions done through debit and credit cards across the country while no such charge is imposed on cash payments.

PTI| Last Updated: Apr 03, 2016, 10:10 AM IST
Plea in HC against surcharge on debit, credit cards payments

New Delhi: A plea has been filed in the Delhi High Court against "illegal" surcharge levied on transactions done through debit and credit cards across the country while no such charge is imposed on cash payments.

Advocate Amit Sahni in his public interest litigation, likely to be heard by a bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini, said the "unlawful, unequal and arbitrary treatment is visible on the payment of petrol charges through credit and debit cards".

The plea said the Ministry of Finance and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) be directed to take "appropriate steps to frame guidelines so as to prevent the charging of unlawful and discriminatory surcharge being levied on the transactions whose payment is made through debit and credit cards, while no such charge is levied when payment is made in cash".

The petitioner said the ministry and RBI are "responsible for making rules/guidelines and for monitoring banks across the country".

He further said levying surcharge is not only illegal and discriminatory but it also promotes the circulation of black money in cash.

"The petitioner has noticed that the illegal, unequal and arbitrary treatment is seen across the country on transactions being done through credit and debit card by levying surcharge at the rate of 2.5 per cent or more, while such surcharge is not levied when the payment of such transaction is done by making cash payment in that regard...," the plea stated.

It further said India is one of the most cash-intensive economies in the world and there is urgent need to incentivise credit or debit card transactions and dis-incentivise cash transactions.