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

On 7 March, the SC bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul had taken note of the alleged tweaking of rules by the Centre and the RBI on exchanging demonetised currency notes and sought their responses on why old ones were not accepted until 31 March as promised earlier.

The judges pointed out that an extension was granted to NRIs and asked why the government and RBI didn't create "a separate category for those who couldn't deposit demonetised notes by December 30".

Modi had first told the nation that anyone could exchange the demonetised notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 by 31 March. He also said that such persons would get another chance until March 31 after explaining the difficulty, the Supreme Court observed on Tuesday.

During the hearing, the apex court had asked the petitioner to show proof on whether he had gone to banks to deposit the old currency notes or not.

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

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.

Of the Rs 15.4 lakh crore worth of currency that was scrapped, about Rs 14 lakh crore has been deposited in banks or exchanged till December 28.

People, however, will still have time to exchange the currency notes at designated Reserve Bank of India (RBI) counters till 31 March after giving valid reasons for not depositing defunct notes in their accounts by 30 December. The banks started accepting deposits in scrapped notes from 10 November.

  • Leroy Wright