SC to consider post summer vacations plea for opportunity to deposit old notes

SC to consider post summer vacations plea for opportunity to deposit old notes
The Supreme Court on Tuesday posted a batch of PILs seeking directions to the Union government to allow the petitioners depositing scrapped currency notes of Rs 500 and 1000 for consideration post summer vacations.

A three- judge bench presided over by Chief Justice J S Khehar said, "Our decision in the matter would be whether there can be window or not. If it is opened, everybody would get benefit". Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi submitted the Centre has already filed an affidavit stating that the government is not going to open any window for anyone now to deposit the old notes.

Last week, the government defended firmly before the court its decision not to extend the deadline of December 30, last, for exchange of demonetised currency notes of Rs 500 and 1000.

“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 previous notifications, including the one that had mentioned 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.

The government said the ‘Operation Clean Money’ project has been initiated by the I-T department for people to declare unaccounted cash and deposits post demonetisation, with latest compliance window ending on March 31.

The affidavit was filed in response to the apex court's queries made on March 21 during the course of hearing on a batch of PIL, questioning the government as why the people were not allowed to exchange their old currency notes despite PM's assurance.

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