SC for another chance to deposit banned notes
The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India two weeks to consider the option of granting a window to those who could not deposit their demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes for a compelling reason.
A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, representing the Centre, to take instructions on the issue.
"There can be a situation where a person has lost his/her money for no fault. Suppose a person was in jail during the period... We want to know as to why you chose to bar such persons," the bench said.
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.
The bench was hearing a batch of petitions, including one filed by Sudha Mishra seeking a direction to authorities to allow her to deposit demonetised notes as she could not do so during the period specified by the Centre and the RBI.
The Central government had on November 8 last year announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes would no longer be legal tender from November 9.
The government also assured the people that demonetised currency notes could be exchanged at banks, post offices and RBI branches till December 30, 2016. If people were unable to deposit them by that day, they could do so until March 31, 2017, at RBI branches after complying with certain formalities.
On March 21, the apex court asked the government why it chose not to create a separate category for those who couldn't deposit demonetised notes by December 30, 2016, unlike NRIs and people who were abroad.
The Centre informed the court that it had taken a "conscious decision" not to extend the period beyond December 30 last year for exchanging demonetised currency notes.
It also said it was not legally bound to come out with a fresh notification to grant a grace period or a window for depositing scrapped currency notes.
The apex court had on March 6 sought responses of the Centre and RBI on why demonetised notes were not accepted till March 31 as was promised.