Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

No more chances to exchange demonetized notes: Centre tells Supreme Court

No more chances to exchange demonetized notes: Centre tells Supreme Court

Centre refused to allow another opportunity to exchange old high denomination notes worth Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 that were demonetised previous year.

In its affidavit to the top court, the centre said opening another window to deposit or exchange the old notes would give black money hoarders "sufficient time and opportunity" to come up with reasons for not having done so before the December 30 deadline.

People, however, still had time to exchange the currency notes at designated RBI counters till March 31 after giving valid reasons for not depositing defunct notes in their accounts by December 30.

The PM's announcement in November meant that within a few hours, 86 per cent of the cash in circulation was pulled. Allowing a new opportunity to deposit the banned notes would result in "any number of benami transactions" and make it hard for departments to distinguish "genuine cases from bogus ones", the centre warned.

"... the Central government took a conscious decision that no necessity or any justifiable reason exists either in law or on facts to invoke its power under Section 4 (1) (ii) of the Act 2017, to entitle any person to tender within the grace period i.e., after December 30, 2016 and up to June 30, 2017, specified bank notes except the prescribed category of persons".

The apex court had said that people should not lose their own money for no fault of theirs. He further warned Centre of issuing a court order if a policy is not introduced to provide the window of opportunity to the people. But an ordinance was brought in that declared possession of old notes illegal, which the government said was done to plug the malpractices and irregularities noticed during the first three weeks after demonetisation.

"What if someone is terminally ill and could not deposit the money..." The PM said the short notice was vital to ensure that black money holders were deprived of the opportunity to launder their money.

These, the government said, forced the government to cancel or restrict exemptions granted.

The CJI had suggested that the government should at least have one designated authority which would give every such case of those seeking to return old notes a fresh look. Similarly, the Income Tax department conducted more than 15,000 surveys which resulted in detection of undisclosed income of more than ₹33,000 crore.

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