Won't accept old notes, center tells Supreme Court

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016 had announced the demonetisation of 500 and 1000 Rs notes

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016 had announced the demonetisation of 500 and 1000 Rs notes

On July 4, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre to give citizens with "genuine reasons" another chance to deposit the demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 bills.

The bank officials tried to deposit the money in the Reserve Bank of India, but it refused to deposit the amount citing the pending cases in the Supreme Court, it said.

The Narendra Modi government today told the Supreme Court that they can not extend the deadline of depositing demonetised currency notes which ended on December 30 past year.

After being recommended by the Supreme Court to provide the people with a "window of opportunity" to deposit their old currency notes, Centre said the move would defeat the objective of the demonetisation drive.

The government said it has taken a "conscious decision" that no necessity or any justifiable reason exists either in law or on facts to invoke its power under The Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Act, 2017 to extend the period for exchanging the scrapped currency.

"Any number of benami transactions and user proxies for the goal of producing and depositing SBNs would then arise which the departments would have great difficulty in deciding any genuine case from the numerous bogus ones", the government said to the SC, which asked the government to open another window for those who had legitimate reasons for not depositing the old notes before the deadline.

They said it an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court by Finance Ministry's Under Secretary T Narasimha.

Centre refused to allow another opportunity to exchange old high denomination notes worth Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 that were demonetised a year ago. Similarly, the Income Tax department conducted more than 15,000 surveys which resulted in detection of undisclosed income of more than ₹33,000 crore.

Patel, at the meeting, is believed to have said that the RBI hadn't arrived at the final figure just because the counting was still in progress.

In a meeting with the parliamentary committee on Wednesday last week, RBI governor Urjit Patel said the number of scrapped notes returned post demonetisation were still being counted.

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.

One of the pleas has also referred to the Specified Bank Notes Cessation of Liabilities Ordinance and said the government had breached the assurance.