SC notice to Centre, RBI over plea on depositing old notes

SC notice to Centre, RBI over plea on depositing old notes

According to media reports, attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, the provision given to common public to exchange Rs500, Rs1000 notes till 31 March (as promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his 8 November speech) became irrelevant after the promulgation of the ordinance on 28 December by the central government.

However, the court observed that the notification banning the notes indeed said, those unable to deposit old notes by 30 December, will be given chance beyond that date.

Chief Justice JS Khehar, however, said that the ordinance or executive order which outlaws the old notes "has overtaken the PM's speech without any notice to the people".

The SC has asked the Centre and the RBI to file their affidavits in two weeks.

During the hearing on Tuesday, Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi said the ordinance issued on December 30, 2016 extending the deadline for deposit of scrapped notes by those who were overseas between November 9 and December 30, is the final word in the matter, superseding the Prime Minister's speech and the notification.

The apex court had on March 6 sought the responses of the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India as to why demonetised notes were not accepted till March 31 as was promised.

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"Then we would likely to hear the matter again on April 11 and try to settle it", the apex court said.

The petitioner has referred to the Specified Bank Notes Cessation of Liabilities Ordinance and said it had breached the assurance.

The Centre had come out with the Ordinance making possession of a large number of scrapped notes a penal offence that will attract monetary fine.

The 50-day deadline to deposit the old Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes in banks comes to an end on December 30.

The move to demonetise notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 was announced overnight on November 8, 2016 after by Prime Minister Modi. Currently, only those who were overseas during this period and unable to avail of this window can deposit old notes.

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