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New Exchange Window Would Render Note Ban Pointless, Centre tells SC

Backing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's demonetisation drive, Centre declined opening another window for people to exchange old currency notes.

Updated:July 17, 2017, 10:11 PM IST
New Exchange Window Would Render Note Ban Pointless, Centre tells SC
The Supreme Court had asked the government to consider cases of those with genuine problems. (Photo: PTI)
New Delhi: The Centre on Monday told the Supreme Court it can’t open another window for people to deposit old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes that were put out of circulation in November last year as it would defeat the whole purpose of the demonetisation exercise.

In an affidavit filed before the apex court, the government also said no to examining individual cases where people could not deposit or exchange old notes due to serious problems. The case is likely to come up for hearing again on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, the SC had asked the government to reconsider giving those with a genuine concerns a second opportunity to turn in their old notes, saying the government could not take away someone's money “for no fault of his/her”.

The court had even threatened to quash the order if it was not satisfied by the government’s response. “You can't be allowed to deprive a person of his money if he couldn't deposit it due to genuine problems. There will be a serious problem if you don't look into it. What if someone is terminally ill and couldn't deposit the money? Don't force us to pass a three-line order and quash your December 30 notification,” the court had said.

The government, on the other hand, claims that opening another window to exchange old notes may lead to “many abuses” of the facility. "If a facility for exchanging old currency is opened, high-denomination notes outside the country will come back,” said an official.

The Supreme Court's tough stance ignited the hope among people that a second window to exchange demonetised currency notes could become a reality after several failed to deposit their money due to changes in conditions for depositing the scrapped notes.

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