Govt Refuses Fresh Opportunity to Exchange Demonetised Notes

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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.

One last opportunity to deposit the 500- and 1,000-rupee notes that were banned in November will defeat the whole point of demonetisation as well as the battle against black money, the government told the Supreme Court today. "You can not be allowed to deprive a person of his money", a bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar had told solicitor general Ranjit Kumar. However, the government said that adequate time was provided to exchange or deposit the old currency notes.

The November exercise, meant to purge cash hoarded as black money, triggered unprecedented rush at banks, and the government's rivals accused it of harassing the people by mismanaging the exercise.

Any number of benami transactions and user proxies for the objective of producing and depositing SBNs would then arise which the departments would have great difficulty in deciding any genuine case from the numerous bogus ones.

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The Centre on Monday informed the Supreme Court that it will not offer any more chances to deposit or exchange demonetized notes to those who missed the December 30 deadline. The government said that if such exceptions are allowed, it would defeat the objective of demonetization and will work counter to the ongoing battle against black money. Earlier in March, when the government passed an ordinance to help people who were overseas, a bench led by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar said: "Prime Minister in his address had said that people with genuine difficulties can deposit the demonetised currency even after December 30, 2016, till March 31, 2017 with the RBI branches".

"What if someone is terminally ill and could not deposit the money... You can't take his money away, it is his money". If people were unable to deposit them by that day, they could do so till March 31, 2017 at RBI branches after complying with certain formalities.

The government said that it had come across a huge amount of malpractices in the post-demonetisation period.

Demonetisation: "The government issued new notes to replace the old ones". Similarly, the Income Tax department conducted more than 15,000 surveys which resulted in detection of undisclosed income of more than ₹33,000 crore.

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