Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Can't Ban Everyone From Depositing Old Notes, Says Supreme Court

People with a legitimate reason for not being able to deposit old 500 and 1,000-rupee notes - like those in prison - cannot be denied the right to swap the outlawed currency for new notes, the Supreme Court said today, asking the government to explain how it will help these citizens by the 17th of this month.

In November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the shock announcement that within a few hours, the high-denomination notes would be illegal for transactions. People were given till December 30 to turn in their old notes at post offices and banks.

The deadline for depositing the old notes at the Reserve Bank of India was the end of March. The Chief Justice of India, JS Khehar, said during today's hearing, "If these genuine people are not given a chance, then it is a serious issue."

The Reserve Bank of India has said it can no longer accept the banned notes from individuals because of the centre's decision.

Today's case was filed by a group of citizens who could not meet the December 30 deadline including a woman who said she had just delivered a baby and another who said she was dealing with a death in her family.

Demonetisation yanked 86 per cent of the currency in circulation, leading to a temporary cash crunch especially in rural India. However, the move, described by PM Modi as essential in checking corruption, received wide public support.

Last month, banks and post offices were given a month to deposit the old, big bank notes that they had received with the RBI, provided they had been collected before December 30.

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