The central government told the supreme court, holding old notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 after the deadline of December 31 is “illegal”.
The central government informed the Supreme Court that holding old notes cof Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 after the deadline of December 31 is “illegal.”
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre, made the submission before the bench hearing a batch of petitions challenging the administration’s decision not to accept demonetised notes in RBI up to March 31.
Rohatgi opposed a batch of appeal seeking an order to the administration to allow individuals and firms to deposit their scrapped currency notes without any prejudice.
The counsel appearing for the petitioners commended the court that no action should be taken against them for possessing the banned currency notes.
Posting the matter for March 21, the bench said: “If required, we will extend the date.”
The court was hearing a batch of PILs alleging that persons are not being allowed to deposit the scrapped currency notes till March 31, as promised by the administration.
The petitions suspected that the government was breaching the promises made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8, 2016, while declaring that the high-value currency notes were “legally not valid”.
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“Prime Minister Narendra Modi speech and the subsequent statement on high-value old currency notes had assured that the individuals shall be able to deposit the scrapped notes in special situations till 31 March 2017, but in its Ordinance in December 2016, the administration has failed to mention it,” one of the petitioners told the bench.
A woman said she could not deposit the demonetised notes as she was pregnant at that time and that she intended to do so after giving birth to her child.
She said: “The confusion regarding the scrapped notes and its validity as a legal tender amongst the respondents is a definite example of ‘bad governance’, which is resulting in annoyance of the common people at large.”
She said the government and the Reserve Bank of India took away that opportunity from her by subsequently constraining the grace period until March 31 to only NRIs and Indians who were abroad in November and December.
Several petitions were filed by firms and individuals over the administration going back on its verdict to extend the date of depositing demonetised notes till March 31.