No grace period to deposit demonetised notes: Centre to Supreme Court

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It was replying to the Supreme Court's appeal to open a window for genuine people, like the terminally ill and invalids, to name a few, who were unable to deposit their demonetised ₹1,000 and ₹500 notes between November 9 and December 30 a year ago.

The Centre today told the Supreme Court that no more grace period will be granted for depositing the scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, saying the very object of demonetization and elimination of black money will be defeated if a fresh window is given. However, the government said that adequate time was provided to exchange or deposit the old currency notes. The Centre had later introduced a new Rs 500 and Rs 2000 note with the aim of fighting corruption and eliminating black money. In the next 50 days, roughly Rs 15 crore was deposited in the banks, the reports added, virtually questioning the rationale behind the demonetisation drive.

"The CBI has informed that they have registered 63 cases relating to irregularities committed during the post-demonetization period involving 57 regular cases and 6 preliminary enquiries from November 25, 2016, to April 30, 2017". According to the NDTV, government told the Supreme Court of India that one such window will defeat the very objective of demonetisation to curb black money from the system. "The cases allegedly involve total amount of Rs 395.19 crore", it said.

The demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in November 2016 had caused a cash crunch in the country as the bills had made up almost 86% of the currency in circulation then.

The 50-day deadline to deposit the old Rs 500 and 1,000 notes in banks comes to an end on December 30. However, the RBI says it has still not determined the exact figure of the returned notes.

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Earlier, the apex court on March 6 had issued notices to the Centre and RBI on the petitions alleging tweaking of rules on exchanging demonetised currency notes.

A few days ago, Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel told a parliamentary panel that lack of machines and infrastructure has resulted in the delay of counting the demonetised currency in the system.

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.

These, the government said, forced the government to cancel or restrict exemptions granted.