Govt defends decision not to extend deadline to exchange old notes

Govt defends decision not to extend deadline  to exchange old notes

The Union government on Friday defended firmly before the Supreme Court its decision not to extend the deadline of December 30, last, for exchange of demonetised currency notes of Rs 500 and 1,000.

“It was necessary to promulgate the Ordinance since it was incumbent upon the Central government to inter-alia have clarity and finality to the liabilities of the Reserve Bank of India as well as the Central government arising from such specified bank notes which had ceased to be legal tender,” the finance ministry said.

The government maintained that the Ordinance, that fixed the December 30 deadline, had an overriding effect on all the previous notifications, including the one that had mentioned that people would be allowed to deposit and exchange old notes until March 31, 2017.

Notably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on November 8 announced that the people would be permitted to exchange old notes until March 31, 2017.

“The central government took a conscious decision that no necessity or any justifiable reason exists, either in law or on facts, to invoke its power under Section 4(1)(ii) of the Ordinance to entitle any person to tender within the grace period the specified bank notes,” the affidavit stated.

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