Law enforcement agencies can hold banned notes

The Centre has amended a rule which did not allow an individual or entity to hold beyond 10 banned Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes except for the Reserve Bank of India, its agencies or other persons authorised by it.

The new amendment permits law enforcement agencies, such as the Central Board of Direct Taxes, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Enforcement Directorate to hold any number of seized currency notes provided there are documents authorising such seizure or confiscation.

A government notification said it has come out with an order called 'Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Removal of Difficulties Order, 2018' using its power under Section 12 of the Act.

Earlier, Under the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Act, 2017, banned currency notes beyond a certain limit could be held only by the Reserve Bank, its agencies, or other person authorised by it, and in pursuance of the court order.

Other than that, an individual was allowed to hold only 10 banned notes. The number was restricted to 25 for study or research purposes and numismatics.

The 2017 act did not make any provision for deposit of seized or confiscated notes by law enforcement agencies.

The Finance Ministry in a notification said that in order to remove "the difficulty", the government considered it necessary to amend a section of the Act through an official order. The amendment has already come into force.

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