Monday, 25 September, 2017

Can't ban everyone from depositing old notes: SC

Demonetisation SC asks RBI govt to give one more chance to deposit old notes Demonetisation SC asks RBI govt to give one more chance to deposit old notes Image of old Rs 500 notes
Mae Harvey | 05 July, 2017, 00:36

The Supreme Court on Tuesday thrashed the Centre for closing the note exchange window and asked the Center for a response whether the government can open another window to exchange or deposit demonetised notes.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a late night televised programme, on November 6 a year ago, had announced the demonetisation scheme, to deal with blackmoney horders and choke terror financing.

"There can be a situation where a person has lost his/her money for no fault".

"We want to know as to why you chose to bar such persons", it asked. "What if someone is terminally ill and couldn't deposit the money", said a bench of Chief Justice of India Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud.

The court said that if a person could prove that the money was his/hers and there was real difficulty in depositing the money before December 31, then a second chance must be given.

The government has also given a last chance to district cooperative banks, commercial banks and post offices to deposit the invalid Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes with the Reserve Bank by 20 July, provided they were collected within the specified time period.

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The apex court has given the Centre two weeks time to respond.

"One can not make people suffer if they have genuine reasons, they should be allowed to deposit old notes", news agency ANI quoted the bench as saying. They were no longer legal tender and hundreds of millions of Indians queued up at banks to deposit old notes, the first deadline for which was December 30, 2016.

The notes were demonetisied on November 8.

The plea alleged that the prime minister and RBI had assured people at large that demonetised currency notes could be exchanged till December 30, 2016 and then on March 31, 2017 at RBI branches after complying with formalities.

Naturally, it's not possible for those who are old and infirm, those who are away from the country, those who are indisposed, or simply far removed to have received the government communication, to exchange the old notes by the stipulated deadline.

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