Can't afford another window to deposit banned notes: Centre tells Supreme Court

Ebony Scott
July 17, 2017

The government had given people time till December 30, 2016, to deposit or exchange their Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes at post offices and banks after they were demonetised on November 8, 2016.

It was replying to the Supreme Court's appeal to open a window for genuine people, like the terminally ill and invalids, to name a few, who were unable to deposit their demonetised ₹1,000 and ₹500 notes between November 9 and December 30 past year.

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".

If there is a genuine person, he should have the opportunity if he has failed to deposit for a valid reason.

Compared to the 1978 demonetisation exercise, where citizens were given only six days to deposit their old notes, the 2016 one gave the people "fairly a very long period" to deposit their old notes.

"If opportunity is given it would defeat the goal of demonetisation and elimination of black money", Centre said in its affidavit to the top court, reported NDTV. Even some educational institutions were found to have accepted fees in old currency notes after midnight of November 8.

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Centre refused to allow another opportunity to exchange old high denomination notes worth Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 that were demonetised past year.

The Centre on Monday filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court over the demonetisation row, saying it was not ready to extend the window period for depositing old currency notes. "The cases allegedly involve total amount of Rs 395.19 crore", it said.

The 50-day deadline to deposit the old Rs 500 and 1,000 notes in banks comes to an end on December 30.

The Prime Minister's address to the nation on the evening of November 8 past year on demonetization and subsequent notifications of the federal bank that the devalued currency notes can be exchanged at RBI offices even up to March 31, 2017 were valid assurances which stood breached by the ordinance, the counsel for petitioner Sudha Mishra had said.

Patel, at the meeting, is believed to have said that the RBI hadn't arrived at the final figure just because the counting was still in progress.

These, the government said, forced the government to cancel or restrict exemptions granted. People had till December 30, 2016 to deposit their old notes in their accounts.

Other reports by GizPress

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