Will not buckle under pressure to extend banned notes deposit period: Centre

Will contest any legal challenge against ordinance, says Attorney-General; SC lists the case for hearing on March 21

Updated - March 11, 2017 02:17 am IST

Published - March 10, 2017 05:07 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

A view of the Supreme Court of India. File photo

A view of the Supreme Court of India. File photo

The Central government on Friday said it would contest any legal challenge against the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Ordinance and has no intention to buckle under pressure to extend the period of deposit of demonetised notes.

Appearing before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said the possession of Rs. 1000 and old Rs. 500 notes is already a crime.

Mr. Rohatgi was responding to petitions filed by individuals and companies questioning why the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) went back on the promise to extend the date of deposit of demonetised notes to March 31, 2017.

The petition contended that the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Ordinance promulgated on December 13, 2016 penalised those who deposited demonetised money after December 31, 2016.

The petitioners said the Prime Minister's speech on November 8, 2016, announcing the demonetisation, and the subsequent RBI notification on the same night promised that citizens would be able to deposit demonetised notes beyond the cut-off date of December 31, 2016 till March 31, 2017 in case they were caught in a genuine predicament and were unable to do so by December 31.

The petitions highlighted that despite the explicit postulation that the final date of deposit would be extended till March 31, “no individual was allowed to deposit after December 31”.

“I am ready to argue this case even today.. Let us argue on this issue,” Mr. Rohatgi submitted.

However, the court listed the case for hearing on March 21.

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