Why government will not extend deadline to deposit old currency notes
The Supreme Court had on Tuesday directed the Centre to file an affidavit asking if it would allow deposit of old currency notes till March 31. The Centre, however, made it clear to the SC that the law will prevail over this issue. Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi said that it was decided that demonetised currency could not be deposited after December 30, 2016.
The submissions were made on a petition that sought to know why the government had closed the March 31 window to deposit old currency notes. He said while the prime minister had said in his speech that March 31, 2017 would be the last date and the law stated it as December 20, 2016, then the law would prevail.
"We are not on the prime minister's speech anymore. We are looking at the law now," the AG said while referring to the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of liabilities) Ordinance, 2016.
The AG said that neither the PM not the RBI can now exercise discretion or jurisdiction to entertain the request for extending the deadline as the law is in force now. The court, however, said that the people were in the lurch. "Why did you have this clause," the court asked. The AG said that Parliament had given the government this discretion to use its powers.
The government added that there was no requirement to give a notice before bringing in a new law. "Old currency is as good as a scrap of paper," he said.