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05 July 2017, 12:36 | Frank Carlson
Demonetisation: SC asks RBI, govt to give one more chance to deposit old notes
The Supreme Court has asked the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India to see if it is possible to provide a window for genuine cases to deposit their old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 demonetised notes.
Prime Minister Modi had announced on November 8 that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes would no longer be a legal tender.
The court was hearing batch of petitions challenging the scrapping of the March 31 deadline to deposit demonetised notes with RBI. The Supreme Court said that the people who could not deposit the money in the bank due to the correct reasons, the government would not be able to snatch their property like this. Suppose a person was in jail during the period. "We want to know as to why you chose to bar such persons", the SC bench said.
Anticipating the Court's move, Solicitor General of India Ranjit Kumar asked the court not to order opening a common window for exchanging notes, instead, the government will consider examining the all the instances where people have old notes one by one.
"If you are not giving a person, who could not deposit their money for genuine reasons, another chance, then it raises a serious issue".
"If there has to be a window (extension for depositing demonetised notes) then all of you (petitioners and others) have to be considered", the bench had said.
For those who were overseas during this period and non-residents, the government had extended the time for depositing old currency. As per the rule, if the people who couldn't depsit the old notes in banks could still do it till March 31, 2017 at RBI branches.
The apex court has given the Centre two weeks time to respond.
Past year on November 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address on demonetisation had said that those who couldn't deposit or exchange the scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes during the 50-day window would be allowed to do so till March 31, 2017 at specified offices of the RBI.
The apex court said, 'If a person can prove it is their money and he/she had real difficulty in depositing by December 31, they must get a chance to change them'.
The Centre had come out with the Ordinance making possession of a large number of scrapped notes a penal offence attracting a monetary fine.
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