- PM Modi had said old notes could be turned in till end-March
- Deadline was changed to end-December
- Supreme Court asks centre, RBI to explain revised rules
The decision is based on the Supreme Court, which firmly pointed out today that when Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the shock announcement of demonetisation, he said that people would have till the end of March to give the cancelled notes to banks. The deadline was abruptly brought forward to the end of December.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the judge, "If the PM has made a statement that deposit can be done till March-end but law says one can't do so, the law will prevail." Chief Justice JS Khehar, however, said that the ordinance or executive order which outlaws the old notes "has overtaken the PM's speech without any notice to the people. You can't prejudge people's inability to deposit without giving them an opportunity."
The case will be heard next on April 11. It is based on a cluster of Public Interest Litigations or PILs that challenge the RBI for not accepting any deposits of old notes after December. Among the petitioners is a widow.
The judges pointed out that an extension was granted to NRIs and asked why the government and RBI didn't create "a separate category for those who couldn't deposit demonetised notes by December 30."