Exchanging Old Notes Still A Possibility

Supreme Court

The Rs 1000 and Rs 500 bank notes that were demonetised by the government in November 2016 constituted 86% of the currency in circulation

The Supreme Court on Tuesday raised objections on Centre banning people with genuine reasons from depositing old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes and said that the RBI and the government should consider giving grace time to those who are honest.

On November 8 a year ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes would be scrapped from the next day.

The court was hearing petitions challenging the government's notification which disallowed people from depositing old notes after a prescribed time.

Reviewing the case, the Supreme Court said, "You can not trash a person's genuine hard-earned money and let it go waste like this". "We want to know as to why you chose to bar such persons", the bench said.

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The solicitor general then sought time to seek instructions for granting an opportunity to persons to deposit their money on a case-by-case basis.

"We are also hearing only genuine cases where we are satisfied deposit can not be done because there is no window", the Chief Justice said.

"You (Centre) cannot be allowed to deprive a person of his money if he couldn't deposit it due to some genuine problems".

The Supreme Court was forceful in its direction to the Centre.

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Now, considering this point, Supreme Court asked Modi govt to give genuine cases "another chance" to deposit old notes today i.e on Jul 4th, 2017.

The government, however, had reversed this decision later allowing the exchange facility after December 30 to only those who were overseas and to security personnel who were posted in remote areas during the period when demonetisation came into effect.

On March 10, it sought replies from the Centre and RBI on the plea against tweaking of rules on exchange of demonetised currency.

While hearing the demonetisation case, the Court has opined that, if there is enough reason for the exchange of old notes, is shall be allowed to the public.

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

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