SC refuses any direction on plea to exchange demonetised notes

Faith Castro
July 17, 2017

The Central government on Monday refused to give another opportunity to exchange demonetised currency notes of Rs 500 and 1,000 to those who couldn't do it by the deadline of December 30, 2016, saying this would defeat the very objective of eliminating black money.

In response to this, the government responded that such a chance would open doors for "any number of benami transactions", making it hard for the departments to separate "genuine cash from bogus ones", the report stated.

Earlier on July 4, the apex court rapped the Centre and asked them to give another chance to "genuine people to deposit old notes", to which the Centre was given two weeks to respond. The government said that if such exceptions are allowed, it would defeat the goal of demonetization and will work counter to the ongoing battle against black money.

The apex court had said that people should not lose their own money for no fault of theirs.

They said it an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court by Finance Ministry's Under Secretary T Narasimha.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016 had announced the demonetisation of 500 and 1000 Rs notes with a deadline of December 31 for people to deposit or exchange the old notes. Similarly, the Income Tax department conducted more than 15,000 surveys which resulted in detection of undisclosed income of more than ₹33,000 crore. Earlier in March, when the government passed an ordinance to help people who were overseas, a bench led by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar said: "Prime Minister in his address had said that people with genuine difficulties can deposit the demonetised currency even after December 30, 2016, till March 31, 2017 with the RBI branches".

Patel, at the meeting, is believed to have said that the RBI hadn't arrived at the final figure just because the counting was still in progress.

The Prime Minister's address to the nation on the evening of November 8 a year ago on demonetization and subsequent notifications of the federal bank that the devalued currency notes can be exchanged at RBI offices even up to March 31, 2017 were valid assurances which stood breached by the ordinance, the counsel for petitioner Sudha Mishra had said. People had till December 30, 2016 to deposit their old notes in their accounts.

Doing so would have defeated the very objective of demonetisation, the government said.

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