No more grace period for exchanging old notes: Govt to SC

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old notes

New Delhi: The Centre Friday informed the Supreme Court that it has taken a “conscious decision” not to extend the period beyond 30 December last year for exchanging the demonetised currency notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 except for non-resident Indians (NRIs) which ended on 31 March.

It further said it was not legally bound to come out with a fresh notification to grant grace period or window for depositing scrapped currency notes.

The government also presented to the court details of raids and recoveries made by law-enforcing agencies during and after the period. In its filings, the government has claimed detection of undisclosed income of over Rs 5,400 crore.

The government statements were filed through an affidavit that said, “It is most humbly submitted that 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 Ordinance to entitle any person to tender within the grace period the specified bank notes.”

The affidavit was filed in response to petitions by private individuals and a firm seeking a window like those given to NRIs and people who were abroad during the period of to deposit the scrapped currency notes with the Reserve Bank of India.

The Centre contended that the pleas in this regard were not maintainable as “no mandamus lies against the government for enforcing a legislative activity” and the petitioners “cannot claim any since there is no estoppel against statute”.

“There is no legal duty cast upon the government to issue any notification extending the grace period. Equally, the petitioner has no legal to claim grace period,” it said.

The Centre made it clear that as per last year’s November 8 notification, the period was from November 9 to December 30 last year within which primarily, the exchange and deposit of specified bank notes were permitted to every person subject to meeting the laid down norms.

With inputs from agencies

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