The Supreme Court issued a notice to the Centre and the RBI yesterday asking them why citizens were not allowed to deposit their old currency till March 31 as promised by the Prime Minister in his November 8, 2016 address to the nation. The notice was in response to a petition filed about the demonetisation deadline.
On December 30, 2016, the Indian government issued an ordinance which stated that only Non-resident Indians (NRI) and those who were traveling abroad would be exempt from the new deadline of December 31. The move was the most prominent in a series of flip-flops and retractions over the past five months that has left many citizens livid and unhappy with the demonetisation process.
A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar, Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul issued notices to the Centre and RBI, asking them to respond on Friday when the matter will be taken up next. Khehar, Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul issued notices to the Centre and RBI, asking them to respond on Friday when the matter will be taken up next.
“We are not challenging demonetisation,” a lawyer told the court, but argued that the PM in his November 8 speech and the RBI had initially said the deadline to deposit the notes with the RBI would be the end of March.
"The ordinance was issued one day before the deadline to deposit money," said Sudiep Srivastava, the advocate representing his mother Sarla. "That gave my mother hardly enough time to deposit the money on December 31," he added.
"The present incident is a breach of trust committed by the Government of India and its governing arms as they had issued a notification dated November 8, 2016 which had assured the people that if on account of some reasons, any person who is unable to exchange or deposit the bank notes on or before December 30, shall be given an opportunity to do so at specified branches of the RBI. A similar statement was made by the PM... while declaring demonetisation on November 8," the petition said.