How the RBI Dodged RTI Appeals For Minutes Of Meeting On Demonetisation.

After two years of stubborn refusal to part with any details regarding the minutes of its board meeting on demonetisation, the RBI has demonstrated its sheer disdain for the RTI Act. While India’s leaders make a mockery of the constitution and the economy, the Reserve Bank of India made a mockery of the Right to Information Act. Why should the RBI, which is supposed to be an independent financial regulator, suppress its minutes on demonetisation, illegally deny them under the RTI Act and then leak it to the media at a time convenient to them? When a citizen sought the minutes of the RBI meeting on demonetisation, the public information officer (PIO) denied the information citing arbitrary reasons. Even after a journalist accessed the minutes and reported on it in November 2018, the PIO didn’t relent and refused to release the information to the RTI requestor.

The citizen was made to wait until a second appeal was listed before a new central information commissioner in February 2019, where, again, the officials refused to part with the copies of minutes. The PIO pleaded to national security reasons under 8(1)(a) for denial.

The Central Information Commission (CIC) rebuked the RBI, on February 18, for “perfunctory handling” of an RTI application and sought records of its board meetings where the issue of demonetisation was deliberated upon and issued a show-cause notice to its central public information officer (CPIO). Only then did the CPIO of the RBI release the minutes of the meeting after withholding it for two years. Activist Venkatesh Nayak of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) had sought records of all the meetings of the RBI’s central board of directors along with the papers, presentations and other documents placed before it, which resulted in the decision to implement demonetisation on November 8, 2016, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

As usual, the RBI refused to give any information and cited the exemption clause from section 8 (1) (a) of the RTI Act. The section exempts from disclosure any information which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India and the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the state with relation to any foreign state or lead to the incitement of any offence. Nayak then approached the CIC. During the hearing before the CIC in February 2019, the RBI’s representative accepted that the information “prima facie was wrongly denied.” Venkatesh had sought information on two points: First: The copies of the minutes of the meeting of the RBI’s Board of Governors and any recommendation that was submitted regarding the demonetisation exercise to the central government.

The copy was sent after two years, after the CIC pulled it up. Nayak said that the RBI’s board had “essentially only rubber-stamped the government’s initiative.” Nayak’s second point pertains to petitions, recommendations or any communication submitted by any person, entity or organisation to the RBI regarding demonetisation and all the replies that the RBI had sent to such entities in addition to seeking copies of all the file notings and correspondence in this regard. The CPIO quoted Sec 7(9) to deny this information, ignoring that it is not an exception but facilitation to give information. First, they used section 8(1)(a) and then section 7(9) of the RTI Act to deny the information. Hardly any information can be called “sensitive” when the minutes of the demonetisation meeting is concerned. The investigation In an investigative report the Indian

Express, after accessing the minutes of the RBI board meeting, which was held hurriedly at 5:30 pm on November 8, 2016, stated that minutes revealed that the board had warned the government of its adverse effects in the short term. The report by Ritu Sarin also said that the board did not agree with the government’s justification that demonetisation would extinguish black money and counterfeit notes. The prime minister had repeatedly cited these two grounds as the key objectives of demonetisation in various meetings and in his address to the nation.

Another media report from the National Herald stated that the timing of the report, barely 10 days before the RBI Board met again to discuss the government’s proposal that called on the RBI to dip into its reserves and transfer an amount, speculated to be in the range of one to three lakh crore of rupees, to the government for public spending before the election, is significant. The National Herald asked, “Is the ‘leak’ of the two-year-old minutes of the meeting meant to reassure people that the central banker remains prudent and would once again place on record its reservations and allow the Government to bite the bullet? Or is it meant as a message to the government that more ‘leaks’ of the government’s intent, proposals etc. could be embarrassing in an election year?” This report further said that “the disclosure of the two-year-old minutes of the board meeting, something that the RBI had steadfastly refused to share till now, is clearly designed to salvage the reputation of the central banker and the RBI governor Urjit Patel, who had been accused of meekly succumbing to the government.”

The minutes also reveal that the RBI was aware of the adverse impact the move would have on growth, GDP, the medicare sector, tourism and the informal economy. It also reveals that the RBI Board had warned the government, in writing, which no one cared to consider. RBI cautions against the negative impact on GDP The minutes of the 561st meeting of the RBI’s central board, which was convened hurriedly in New Delhi at 5.30 pm on 8 November 2016, revealed that the central bank’s directors described the move as “commendable” but also warned that demonetisation “will have a short-term negative effect on the GDP for the current year.” Analysing these minutes, the Indian Express reported that, in less than four hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation on November 8, 2016, the central board of the RBI gave its approval to the scheme but also rejected, in writing, two of the key justifications for the move — elimination of black money and counterfeit notes. These minutes were signed by the then RBI governor Urjit Patel on December 15, 2016, five weeks after the meeting was held.

The RBI board also recorded six objections, which were described as “significant observations”. The RBI directors, after receiving a proposal draft of the scheme from the Ministry of Finance on November 7, 2016, argued that the government’s reasoning, that the withdrawal of HD (high denomination) currency notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 would help in curbing black money and restrict circulation of counterfeit cash, did not really hold up. Most of the black money is in real estate Referring to the pretext that demonetisation would curb the flow of black money, the minutes recorded the facts and figures given in the government’s white paper on black money and noted, “Most of the black money is held not in the form of cash but in the form of real sector assets such as gold or real-estate and… this move would not have a material impact on those assets.” Regarding fake currency, the ministry informed the board that counterfeiting is on the rise in denominations of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500, and the total quantity of fake currency is estimated to be around Rs 400 crore.

The RBI Board further explained that “while any incidence of counterfeiting is a concern, Rs 400 crore as a percentage of the total quantum of currency in circulation in the country is not very significant”. Among the other objections, the board recorded that the growth of the Indian economy and its linkage to the high amount of HD currency in circulation, as pointed out in the government’s proposal, was flawed since the rate of inflation had not been taken into consideration. The minutes also pointed out that “the growth rate of economy mentioned is the real rate while the growth in currency in circulation is nominal. Adjusted for inflation, the difference may not be so stark. Hence, this argument does not adequately support the recommendation…” and warned of a negative impact, saying “the withdrawal of HD currency notes would have a negative impact on two sectors in particular: medical and tourism.”

It suggested that private medical stores should also be included in the exemption list. Describing the problems that incoming tourists would encounter, the RBI directors pointed out that, “arriving domestic long distance travelers who may be only carrying high denomination notes will be taken by surprise at railway stations/airports for payment to taxi drivers and porter charges and hence put to hardship. It would also have an adverse effect on tourists.” The RBI governor, however, saw a positive feature. He said: “the proposed step also presents a big opportunity to take the process of financial inclusion and incentivising use of electronic modes of payment forward as people can see the benefits of bank accounts and electronic means of payment over the use of cash…” Finally, the RBI agreed with the withdrawal of banknotes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500, with some assurances.

“The board was assured that the government would take mitigating measures to contain the use of cash… the board considered the memorandum and after detailed deliberations concluded that in the larger public interest, the balance of advantage would lie in the withdrawal of legal tender status of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes currently in circulation…” Black money reports not for the public The Union finance minister recently stated in parliament that black money study reports may be made available to MPs who sit on the Department-related Parliamentary Committee on Finance but they would not be placed in the public domain. The government ignored the proviso underlying Section 8(1) of the RTI Act that information which cannot be denied to the parliament or state legislatures cannot be denied to a citizen. Who will be liable for the lives of more than a hundred citizens that were lost in queues outside banks to exchange their hard-earned money? M. Sridhar Acharyulu is a former Central Information Commissioner and a professor of media law at Bennett University. This article was first published here

 

Will take appropriate supervisory action in PNB case : RBI

The Reserve Bank today said it has already undertaken an assessment of control systems at scam-hit Punjab National Bank and will take “appropriate supervisory action”.

The country’s second largest state-run lender has been rocked by a Rs 11,400-crore fraud allegedly involving billionaire diamantaire Nirav Modi.

In a statement, the central bank said it has already undertaken a supervisory assessment of control systems in Punjab National Bank (PNB).

“The fraud in PNB is a case of operational risk arising on account of delinquent behaviour by one or more employees of the bank and failure of internal controls.

“RBI has already undertaken a supervisory assessment of control systems in PNB and will take appropriate supervisory action,” it said.

The RBI also denied media reports that it had directed PNB to meet its commitments under the letters of undertaking (LoUs) to other banks.

State-owned PNB detected a USD 1.77 billion scam where billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi allegedly acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking (LoUs) from a branch in Mumbai to secure overseas credit from other Indian lenders.

Visually impaired facing problems with new currency: Delhi HC

Visually impaired facing problems with new currency: Delhi HC
Visually impaired facing problems with new currency: Delhi HC

Visually impaired persons are facing difficulty in using the newly introduced currency notes and coins, the Delhi High Court observed today and issued notice to the government and the RBI.

The court said the matter was of “very grave public interest” and should be addressed seriously.

A number of visually impaired people in the country were “facing problem with these new notes. In our interaction with such people, they told us that they are facing huge difficulty due to the change of size of notes also,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said.

The court made the observation and issued notice to the Reserve Bank of India and Centre on a plea seeking to change the new currency notes and make them easily identifiable and differentiable for visually impaired people.

The court listed the matter for December 6.

During the hearing, central government standing counsel Sanjeev Narula, who also appeared for RBI, said this plea could be treated as a representation and be disposed of by the court.

The court, however, said the petition cannot be disposed of at this stage and asked the government and RBI if it was looking at this issue.

A petition filed by NGO, All India Confederation of Blind, said visually impaired people were facing hardship in identification, usage and transaction of the new currency notes of Rs 2000, Rs 500, Rs 200 and Rs 50 denominations.

Maintaining that the size of old and new notes were different, the petitioner also sought replacement of coins of Rs 10, Rs 5, Rs 2 and Rs 1 saying these were of a similar structure.

It said that the new notes were issued without complying to the accessibility standards for persons with disabilities and even the tactile marks on some notes were hardly identified by anyone as these would also disappear with the use of currency.

It sought direction to the authorities to withdraw or replace the new currency notes in a phased and time-bound manner by issuing another set of notes which could be easily identified by the visually impaired.

The plea said that due to this problem, the visually impaired persons were unable to conduct their daily financial work independently and had to depend on others for identifying these notes and coins.

( Source – PTI )

Visually impaired cannot recognise new Rs 50 note: PIL in HC

Visually impaired cannot recognise new Rs 50 note: PIL in HC
Visually impaired cannot recognise new Rs 50 note: PIL in HC

The newly issued Rs 50 currency notes cannot be differentiated from others by visually impaired persons, a PIL today claimed in the Delhi High Court which sought the RBI and the Centre’s stand on the issue.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said the matter needed urgent attention of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the central government as it was of public importance.

“The issue is of public importance and relates to the rights of the visually impaired persons. It needs an urgent attention of the RBI and Central government. Let it be considered,” the bench said.

It, however, refused to stay the printing and circulation of the new Rs 50 notes which were issued on August 18.

The bench issued notice and directed the Centre and RBI to file their responses in two weeks and listed the matter for further hearing on December 6.

The plea, filed by three advocates and a company secretary, has claimed that the new Rs 50 notes do not bear any identification mark for visually impaired persons to differentiate between denominations.

They have sought a direction to the RBI to issue the new Rs 50 notes with identification mark for visually impaired persons which should be then approved by the Centre.

The petition by advocate Rohit Dandriyal also sought directions to the authorities to withdraw the Rs 50 notes which do not have any identification marks and stop printing.

It said that according to the RBI, a special feature has been introduced on the left of the watermark window on all notes except the Rs 10 note.

This feature is in different shapes for various denominations. For example, a vertical rectangle denotes a Rs 20 note, a square means Rs 50 (in older notes), triangle and circle for Rs 100, a diamond denoted the Rs 1,000 currency which is not a legal tender now, it said.

These designs are etched into the notes, the plea said.

It has claimed that by issuing such notes, the respondents (government and RBI) “violated the constitutional right of visually impaired persons, which is confirmed by article 14 of the Constitution India i.e. the state shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India”.

( Source – PTI )

Gujarat HC raps RBI for giving directions to NCLT

Gujarat HC raps RBI for giving directions to NCLT
Gujarat HC raps RBI for giving directions to NCLT

The Gujarat High Court today rebuked the Reserve Bank of India for asking the National Company Law Tribunal in its June 13 directive to give priority to the insolvency proceedings against companies with huge debts.

It also questioned the functioning of the central bank.

The bench of Justice S G Shah came down heavily on the RBI for stating in its press release dated June 13, 2017 that the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) proceedings against companies with outstanding dues of more than Rs 5,000 crore “will be accorded priority by NCLT.”

Essar Steel had moved the high court challenging the RBI order to banks.

The court also questioned the “functioning” of the RBI for its decision to issue the press release in which it had directed banks to initiate insolvency proceedings against defaulting companies.

“The RBI has to be careful while issuing press releases, it must be in consonance with the Constitutional mandates, based upon sound principles of law, but in any case should not be in the form of advise, guidelines or directions to judicial or quasi-judicial authorities in any manner what so ever,” the court said in its order.

Further reacting to the central bank’s submission that it has no document on record based on which the decision to issue press release was taken, the court said, “This goes to show the manner in which the RBI is functioning, in as much as there is a press release even without a decision at certain level that press release is to be published and what should be included in such press release.”

“This is also an equally serious issue. It has been conveyed to the respondents that on such disclosure that there is no other document, pursuant to such disclosure, now, they would be debarred from relying upon any such document, if any,” it added.

The court interpreted RBI’s statement in its press release that “such cases (for insolvency proceedings) will be accorded priority by the NCLT” that the tribunal “has to give priority to cases filed by the directives of RBI against the cases, which are filed by other creditors or petitioners before the NCLT.”

The RBI even tendered an apology to the court saying that the statement was made due to “poor drafting” of the press release, and even issued corrigendum on July 8, to delete the line.

Through in a press release dated June 13, the RBI had directed banks to launch IBC proceedings against companies with outstanding dues of more than Rs 5,000 crore, and for other NPAs, banks should finalise resolution plans in the next six months.

During its submissions, the central bank had apologised from the court for issuing that statement in the press.

Essar Steel had moved the high court seeking the court’s direction to quash the RBI’s direction to the banks to initiate insolvency proceedings against it.

( Source – PTI )

SC asks Govt to consider giving window to deposit old notes

SC asks Govt to consider giving window to deposit old notes
SC asks Govt to consider giving window to deposit old notes

Rekindling hopes, the Supreme Court today asked the government and the RBI to consider granting a window to those who have not been able to exchange scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes for genuine reasons, saying people should not lose their own money for no fault of theirs.

“You (Centre) cannot be allowed to deprive a person of his money if he couldn’t deposit due to some genuine problems.

Consider giving a window to a genuine problem. What if someone is terminally ill and couldn’t deposit the money,” a bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud asked.

The bench ignited the hope among such people for opening up of such a window to exchange demonetised currency for those who could not do so by December 30, 2016 or by March 31 due to changes in conditions for depositing the scrapped notes in the banks.

“There can be a situation where a person has lost his/her money for no fault. Suppose a person was in jail during the period… We want to know as to why you chose to bar such persons,” the court said.

Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Centre, initially said the policy was not individual-centric and later sought time to take instruction on the issue as to whether an opportunity, on a case-to-case basis, can be given to those who could not deposit the money due to valid reasons.

During a brief hearing, the bench said if there is a person who has “valid reasons” for not depositing the notes, then he should be given an opportunity to explain as to why he failed to deposit the money and “he must be given a window”.

It then gave illustrations like that of a person who could be ill or in jail during the period when the window was provided to exchange scrapped notes and asked the government whether such people can be forced to lose their money without any fault of their own.

“You cannot take the money away” if a person says that it was his failing that he could not deposit the money and justify that “under no circumstance could he have deposited them”, the apex court said.

The bench was hearing a batch of petitions, including one filed by Sudha Mishra seeking a direction to authorities to allow her to deposit demonetised notes as she could not do so during the period specified by the Centre and the RBI.

The Centre has already filed an affidavit saying that the government was not going to open any window now to deposit the old notes.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on November 8 last year announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes would no longer be a legal tender from the next day.

The government had assured the people that demonetised currency notes could be exchanged at banks, post offices and RBI branches till December 30, 2016. 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.

Earlier, the apex court on March 6 had issued notices to the Centre and RBI on the petitions alleging tweaking of rules on exchanging demonetised currency notes.

The Prime Minister’s address to the nation on the evening of November 8 last year on demonetisation and subsequent notifications of the federal bank that the devalued currency notes can be exchanged at RBI offices even up to March 31, 2017 were valid assurances which stood breached by the ordinance, the counsel for petitioner Sudha Mishra had said.

One of the pleas has also referred to the Specified Bank Notes Cessation of Liabilities Ordinance and said the government had breached the assurance.

However, the Ordinance, issued on December 30 last, had specified that only those who were abroad or armed forces personnel posted in remote areas or others who could give valid reasons for not being able to deposit the cancelled notes at banks, could deposit the demonetised currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes till March 31.

The deadline for the general public to deposit the scrapped currency in bank or post office accounts expired on December 30, 2016.

( Source – PTI )

SC gives Centre, RBI time to devise plan for depositing demonetised currency

SC gives Centre, RBI time to devise plan for depositing demonetised currency
SC gives Centre, RBI time to devise plan for depositing demonetised currency

The Supreme Court today granted the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India two weeks to consider the option of granting a window to those who could not deposit their demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes for a compelling reason.

A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, representing the Centre, to take instructions on the issue.

“There can be a situation where a person has lost his/her money for no fault. Suppose a person was in jail during the period… We want to know as to why you chose to bar such persons,” the bench said.

The solicitor general then sought time to seek instructions for granting an opportunity to persons to deposit their money on a case-by-case basis.

The bench was hearing a batch of petitions, including one filed by Sudha Mishra seeking a direction to authorities to allow her to deposit demonetised notes as she could not do so during the period specified by the Centre and the RBI.

The Central government had on November 8 last year announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes would no longer be legal tender from November 9.

The government also assured the people that demonetised currency notes could be exchanged at banks, post offices and RBI branches till December 30, 2016. 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.

On March 21, the apex court asked the government why it chose not to create a separate category for those who couldn’t deposit demonetised notes by December 30, 2016 unlike NRIs and people who were abroad.

The Centre informed the court that it had taken a “conscious decision” not to extend the period beyond December 30 last year for exchanging demonetised currency notes.

It also said it was not legally bound to come out with a fresh notification to grant a grace period or a window for depositing scrapped currency notes.

The apex court had on March 6 sought responses of the Centre and RBI on why demonetised notes were not accepted till March 31 as was promised.

On March 10, it sought replies from the Centre and RBI on the plea against tweaking of rules on exchange of demonetised currency.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation on the evening of November 8 last year on demonetisation and the subsequent notification of the federal bank that banned notes can be exchanged at RBI offices even up to March 31, 2017 were valid assurances which stood breached by the ordinance, counsel for the petitioner, Sudha Mishra, had said.

The plea alleged that the prime minister and RBI had assured people at large that demonetised currency notes could be exchanged till December 30, 2016 and then on March 31, 2017 at RBI branches after complying with formalities.

The petitioner referred to the Specified Bank Notes Cessation of Liabilities Ordinance and said it had breached the assurance.

The Ordinance said only those who were abroad, armed forces’ personnel posted in remote areas or others who could give valid reasons for not being able to deposit the cancelled notes at banks could deposit demonetised notes till March 31 this year after the deadline expired on December 30, 2016.

The Centre had come out with the Ordinance making possession of a large number of scrapped notes a penal offence attracting a monetary fine.

( Source – PTI )

No deadline for introduction of Sharia banking in India: RBI

No deadline has been set for introduction of Sharia or interest-free banking in India, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said.

Islamic or Sharia banking is a finance system based on the principles of not charging interest, which is prohibited under Islam.

The RBI had earlier proposed opening of “Islamic window” in conventional banks for gradual introduction of Sharia- compliant banking.

Responding to an RTI application, the RBI said it has not taken any step to introduce Islamic window in banks for gradual introduction of Sharia-compliant interest-free banking in India.

“RBI has not set any deadline for introduction of interest-free banking,” the central bank said in response to the RTI query filed by PTI.

However, on the instruction of the central government, an Inter-Departmental Group (IDG) set up in RBI has examined the legal, technical and regulatory issues for introducing interest-free banking in India and has submitted its report to the government, it said.

The RBI had in February last year sent a copy of the IDG to the Finance Ministry.

“In our considered opinion, given the complexities of Islamic finance and various regulatory and supervisory challenges involved in the matter and also due to the fact that Indian banks have no experience in this field, Islamic banking may be introduced in India in a gradual manner,” the central bank had told the Ministry in a letter.

In late 2008, a committee on Financial Sector Reforms, headed by former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan, had stressed on the need for a closer look at the issue of interest-free banking in the country.

“Certain faiths prohibit the use of financial instruments that pay interest. The non-availability of interest-free banking products results in some Indians, including those in the economically disadvantaged strata of society, not being able to access banking products and services due to reasons of faith,” the committee had said.

Source : PTI

‘Intention was to make you alive to the situation’

'Intention was to make you alive to the situation'
‘Intention was to make you alive to the situation’

The Supreme Court today said its order seeking prompt replies from the Centre and the RBI on a plea against alleged tweaking of rules on exchange of demonetised currency was intended to make them “alive to the situation”.

The apex court, which had issued notices to the Centre and the federal bank on March 6, was responding to a plea that a very short time period had been given to them to respond to the petition.

“We did not intend to do anything. The intention was to make you alive to the situation,” a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said and granted time till March 21.

However, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared after commencement of the hearing, said the government and the the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) do not wish to file the reply and he was willing to argue the matter today itself.

“The only thing he (petitioner) is saying is that there was a window which was there in the first decision. He is saying the window was now closed in the Ordinance,” the bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul, told Rohatgi.

The bench asked the Attorney General to peruse its earlier order and said the issue is very clear as there is “no left, no right and no centre. Everything is in black and white”.

Earlier, the apex court had sought the responses of the Centre and the RBI as to why demonetised notes were not accepted till March 31 as was promised.

The Prime Minister’s address to the nation on the evening of November 8 last year on demonetisation and subsequent notification of the federal bank that devalued currency notes can be exchanged at RBI offices even up to March 31, 2017 were valid assurances which stood breached by the ordinance, the counsel for petitioner, Sudha Mishra, had said.

The plea has alleged that the Prime Minister and the RBI had assured the people at large that demonetised currency notes can be exchanged at banks, post offices and RBI branches till December 30, 2016 and if people are unable to deposit them by that day then they can do so till March 31, 2017 at RBI branches after complying with some formalities.

( Source – PTI )

SC seeks reply of Centre,RBI on plea over depositing old notes

SC seeks reply of Centre,RBI on plea over depositing old notes
SC seeks reply of Centre,RBI on plea over depositing old notes

The Supreme Court today sought response from the Centre and the RBI on a plea alleging that people were not being allowed to deposit demonetised currency notes till March 31 as promised.

“Issue notice returnable by Friday,” a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said and asked petitioner Sharad Mishra to serve the copy of its notice to the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India during the course of the day.

The plea referred to the speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8, 2016 and subsequent notification of RBI spelling out that people may deposit demonetised currency notes even after December 31, 2016 at specific RBI branches up to March 31, 2017 after complying with certain procedural requirements.

The bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul considered the argument that the RBI’s last ordinance, which permits only those persons who were outside India during the stipulated period to deposit the demonetised currency notes till March 31, is a breach of assurances given by the Prime Minister and the RBI.

( Source – PTI )