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The Supreme Court on Tuesday (July 4) observed that the RBI should allow any person with a good enough reason to deposit his or her old currency notes and exchange them for new ones, even if the official date for such an exchange is over.

Hearing an appeal by Sudha Mishra, the apex court bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud observed that if a person has been bed ridden due to serious illness through the entire process of demonetisation and after having recovered the person wants to exchange old currency notes, then that person has a genuine ground.

Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, arguing for the Union of India and the Ministry of Finance’s Department of Economic Affairs, said the government provided time to deposit the money till March 2017 for those who had not deposited their money by the December deadline.

To that the court questioned why the RBI says that he or she cannot deposit money despite having genuine grounds. The court observed that RBI has powers under Section 4(2) to allow any person who satisfies the reason for not depositing his money during the said period to deposit the same.

The court also said that there should be a window for such genuine persons. It pointed out that the government cannot disallow such persons’ hard earned money to become invalid.

The Solicitor General sought two weeks time to respond on the issue. This time was granted by the court.

India Legal Bureau

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