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Posted at: Jul 18, 2017, 1:56 AM; last updated: Jul 18, 2017, 12:13 PM (IST)

Centre in SC: Won’t take old notes

Court to take up petitions today for permission to deposit DeMo currency
Centre in SC: Won’t take old notes
File photo for representation only.

Satya Prakash

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 17

The Centre today opposed providing another window of opportunity to people to deposit demonetised notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 beyond the December 30, 2016 deadline, saying it would defeat the very purpose of demonetisation.

In an affidavit filed with the top court, which is to hear petitions seeking a fresh chance to deposit demonetised notes tomorrow, the Ministry of Finance requested it to dismiss all such petitions.

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“The very object of demonetisation and elimination of black money will be defeated if a window is opened for a further period as the persons in possession of the SBNs (specified bank notes) would have had sufficient time and opportunity to carefully plan reasons and excuses for not depositing the SBNs before December 30, 2016," the affidavit read.

“Any number of benami transactions and user proxies for the purpose of producing and depositing SBNs would then arise, and the departments would have great difficulty in deciding any genuine case from the numerous bogus ones,” the affidavit stated.

It pointed out various malpractices post demonetisation, including the use of old SBNs for buying gold.

The affidavit listed specific instances of how money was allegedly laundered and routed through accounts of shell companies and layered through intermediaries’ accounts before being received in accounts of bullion traders. This had forced the government to cancel or restrict certain exemptions, the government told the court, justifying the ordinance.

Noting that those having legitimate reasons for not depositing demonetised notes before the December 2016 deadline should be given a window of opportunity, the Supreme Court had on July 4 asked the Centre and RBI to respond to the petitions on the matter.

“What if someone was terminally-ill and could not deposit the money?” a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar had asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar while hearing the petitions, challenging the December 30 notification disallowing people to deposit demonetised notes.

“If someone has a genuine reason, you (government) cannot deny him the opportunity to deposit the money. You cannot be allowed to deprive a person of his money. Don’t force us to quash your notification,” the Bench had told Ranjit Kumar.

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