SC refuses any direction on plea to exchange demonetised notes

No Exceptions For Depositing Old Notes: Centre To Chief Justice Of India

No Exceptions For Depositing Old Notes: Centre To Chief Justice Of India

Past year on November 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi scrapped old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes and asked people to deposit the same in banks till December 30, 2016. But an ordinance was brought in that declared possession of old notes illegal, which the government said was done to plug the malpractices and irregularities noticed during the first three weeks after demonetisation.

There were many appeals filed by various citizens in the Supreme Court regarding their inability to deposit old currency notes.

"In other words, what was permitted was exchange and or deposit of specified bank notes during a block period a period up to and including December 30, 2016, either in person or through authorised third person", it said.

Rebuking the Centre for setting up a deadline for depositing demonetised currency, the apex court observed, "One can not make people suffer if they have genuine reasons, should be allowed to deposit old notes".

The Centre was responding to the July 4 directive asking it to consider granting a window to those who have not been able to exchange the scrapped notes for genuine reasons. Even some educational institutions were found to have accepted fees in old currency notes after midnight of November 8.

"The CBI has informed that they have registered 63 cases relating to irregularities committed during the post-demonetization period involving 57 regular cases and 6 preliminary enquiries from November 25, 2016, to April 30, 2017".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on November 8 announced in a surprise television broadcast that banknotes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations would cease to be valid the following day, wiping out an estimated 86% of the cash in circulation.

The government asserted that granting any further grace period for depositing banned currency notes will defeat the objective of demonetisation, which was done as an exercise in eliminating black money.

The SC-bench led by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar said government would be acting in an unjustified manner, it it disallows those who were "genuinely unable to meet the December 30 deadline". People had till December 30, 2016 to deposit their old notes in their accounts.

In a meeting with the parliamentary committee on Wednesday last week, RBI governor Urjit Patel said the number of scrapped notes returned post demonetisation were still being counted.

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