New Delhi, July 18: In the latest development, the government on Monday told the Supreme Court that people who are still stuck with old notes because of genuine reasons will not get an opportunity to exchange them. The government said that no fresh window of exchange can be given to that still in possession of old demonetised notes as the very objective of demonetisation and the elimination of black money would however, be defeated.
The Finance Ministry in a fresh affidavit submitted to court informed that the main aim of demonetisation and the elimination of black money would be void if a new window of exchange is opened for a further period. This means that the government will not provide another window for exchange of demonetised currency. The government said that this round of demonetisation as opposed to the earlier round in 1978 had a 51-day window as opposed to a six-day window earlier.
The new affidavit that has been submitted in the Supreme Court said, “… persons in possession of SBNs (specified old notes) would have had sufficient time and opportunity to carefully plan the reasons and excuses for not depositing SBNs within the permitted period that is before December 30, 2016,” the government argued. Any number of benami transactions and user proxies for the purpose of producing and depositing SBNs would then arise and government departments “would have great difficulty in deciding any genuine case from the numerous bogus ones”. “… going by the extent and enormity of the malpractices observed during post-demonetisation period, it is apparent that in case a fresh opportunity is offered for exchange of SBNs, it would lead to rampant illegal trading of these SBNs (that is, the SBNs being traded at discounts) thereby defeating the very purpose of demonetisation”, the affidavit further added.
Chief Justice of India JS Khehar’s had suggested the government to give people, who are still stuck with old notes because of genuine reasons, one more opportunity to exchange them. The new affidavit came in response to Khehar’s suggestion that there should be one designated authority which would give every such case of those seeking to return old notes a fresh look. It was reported by Economic Times that an under-secretary in the Finance Ministry has filed the affidavit.
According to details released by Reserve Bank of India in mid-December, a total of Rs 12.5 crore was deposited in the banks. When the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance was aksed to reveal the amount of demonetised currency till December 30, RBI Governor Urjit Patel informed that the counting was underway. The freshly filed affidavit mentioned that after extensive deliberations, it was decided that any relaxation from what has been already allowed regarding deposit of specified bank notes based on notifications issued as a result of the Ordinance is not warranted in view of the extensive misuse of the provisions.
“… the Central government took a conscious decision that no necessity or any justifiable reason exists either in law or on facts to invoke its power under Section 4 (1) (ii) of the Act 2017, to entitle any person to tender within the grace period i.e., after December 30, 2016 and up to June 30, 2017, specified bank notes except the prescribed category of persons”, the affidavit was quoted by ET.