Good news for demonetisation victims, RBI may reopen doors for genuine people

05 July, 2017, 00:35 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Demonetisation SC asks RBI govt to give one more chance to deposit old notes

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to give citizens with "genuine reasons" another chance to deposit the demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

The BJP-led central government demonetised the high-value denomination of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes on 8th November.

"You can't take away my money if I was terminally ill", the SC bench said, while coming down heavily on the Centre on its arbitrary and rather short-sighted deadline of December 30, 2016 to deposit all the old notes.

Ranjit Kumar sought time to get instructions for granting an opportunity to persons to deposit their money on a case-by-case basis. Since these have now ended, those who could not deposit these notes are holding on to their old currency stick. A bench comprising Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justices DY Chandrachud and SK Kaul said the matters be fixed for hearing after the summer vacation as counsel for the petitioner had sought time to respond to the recent reply of the Centre on the issue. "But you do not want to... we want to know why you want to debar genuine persons... why you want to deprive them of their property?" asked Chief Justice Khehar.

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However, on December 30 past year, the Centre came out with the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liability) Ordinance, 2016, by which the right to deposit demonetised notes with RBI till March 31 was restricted to non-resident Indians. The SC said it was the centre to take a decision and revert in two weeks.

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. They were no longer legal tender and hundreds of millions of Indians queued up at banks to deposit old notes, the first deadline for which was December 30, 2016.

The plea alleged that the prime minister and RBI had assured people at large that demonetised currency notes could be exchanged till December 30, 2016 and then on March 31, 2017 at RBI branches after complying with formalities.

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