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Supreme Court Takes Cognizance Regarding Time Extension of Depositing 1000 & 500 Rupee Notes - (21 Mar 2017)


The Supreme Court has sought reply from the Central Government on a Public Interest Litigation filed alleging change in government stand of accepting old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes till March end at specified RBI offices. Taking cognizance of the same, the Supreme Court has issued notices to the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India. The Apex Court has observed that Central Government's decision to close March 31 RBI window to deposit old notes smacked of arbitrariness and sought to know why categories other than those travelling abroad were not being allowed to do so. The Court also takes note that during his Speech on 8th November, the Prime Minister had announced about extending the grace period for depositing old 1000 & 500 rupees notes till March 31, 2017 and also an RBI notification, which also talks clearly about extending the time asking to provide a valid reason for missing the December 30, 2016 deadline. All these assurances gave people hope that there would be an extension of time.

However, the Centre Government restricted the grace period till March 31, 2017 only to Indian citizens who were abroad during the period between November 9 and December 30, 2016. The Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Ordinance of 2016 allows Indian citizens abroad and “any other class of persons specified by the Central government” to deposit their old notes beyond the cut-off date of December 31, 2016.

It is Centre’s discretion to offer a grace period for those who were genuinely unable to deposit their old Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes by December 30, 2016. The ordinance promulgated also gives absolute discretion to government to widen the categories of people beyond those who were abroad. Supreme Court asked government as to why there is a change in government stand. The case is now listed in the month of April 2017.


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