Demonetization: SC disposes petitions seeking permission to deposit notes
The SC today disposed of 14 petitions seeking permission to deposit demonetized notes. Petitioners had submitted they couldn't deposit them in banks within the prescribed deadline (December 31, 2016) due to unavoidable reasons.
The court ruled a five-judge Constitution Bench would deal with this issue, along with deciding on the validity of demonetization of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes.
Can petitioners deposit demonetized notes again?
The human cost of demonetization
After the government declared high-value banknotes invalid on November 8, 2016, it urged citizens to deposit their demonetized currency in banks by December 31.
As people rushed to banks, it led to long queues at branches/ATMs across the country.
The situation was worse for senior citizens and people in rural areas.
Earlier, the SC asked Centre to consider a fresh window
In July, in a big relief for many, the SC had asked the Centre to consider options to issue another deadline for people to deposit their now-void notes. Rapping the government, the court had observed, "One cannot make people suffer if they have genuine reasons."
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Centre had refused a fresh window citing 'potential for misuse'
The Centre then ruled out any fresh window for exchange of notes, saying "going by the extent of malpractices observed during the post-demonetization period", such a chance could be misused.
"The very object of demonetization…will be defeated…as persons in possession of scrapped currency would have had sufficient time to plan excuses for not depositing them (earlier)," the finance ministry submitted in an affidavit.
SC now asks petitioners to file interlocutory applications
Petitioners now argued their "hard-earned money was confiscated without due process of law and without granting fair opportunity".
They claimed they weren't challenging the decision's constitutional validity, that they only sought another deposit window.
But the apex court said the Constitution Bench would now deal with individual cases. Petitioners have been asked to file interlocutory applications.
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