Can’t Bar People With Genuine Reasons From Depositing Old Notes: Supreme Court

Published on 12 Jul 2017 by Team

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the government why people who could not exchange demonetised currency notes within the December 30 deadline due to genuine reasons should not be allowed to still deposit them.

The top court has sought responses from the government and the Reserve Bank of India within 15 days.

“If there is a genuine person, he should have the opportunity; if his failing (to deposit old notes) was genuine, his money cannot be taken away,” the two judge bench comprising Chief Justice of India Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud said.

After the Prime Minister invalidated old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 bills on November 8 last year, the government allowed people to either exchange or deposit the withdrawn notes till December 30. Those abroad during the period were given time till March 30 and non-resident Indians could deposit their old notes till June 30 at select RBI branches.

A batch of petitioners moved the apex court claiming that they could not deposit banned notes within the deadline due to “genuine” reasons and now face the risk of prosecution.

At the previous hearing on March 21, the top court had asked the government to consider creating new categories of people who can be allowed to deposit the invalidated notes.

According to petitioners, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while announcing demonetisation, had said those who failed to deposit the notes by December 30 would be given more time. The government’s notification issued on November 8 also promised more time after the deadline.

After the government scrapped old bills, rules regarding their exchange and deposit were changed several times.

On December 31, the RBI designated its five offices – Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, and Nagpur – to exchange banned currency notes beyond the 50-day demonetisation period.

Source: Bloomberquint

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