Sachin Sawant a congress worker, has filed PIL in the Bombay High Court seeking quashing of the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Ordinance, 2016 which was promulgated on December 31, 2016.
Under the said ordinance, exchange or deposit of demonetized currency for those citizens who are not residents would be available till June 30, 2017 in order to “allow them adequate time to plan a visit as per their convenience.” Also, this facility has been granted to all Indian citizens who were outside India from 9th November, 2016 to 30th December, 2016 to tender these Specific Bank Notes at the specified Issue Offices of RBI until 31st March, 2017.
This ordinance meant that for a citizen who was present in the country when the announcement regarding demonetization was made by Prime Minister Modi himself on November 8, the cut-off date for exchanging, depositing demonetized currency or SBNs was December 31, 2016.
Sawant alleges that the Prime Minister and respondents in his PIL, ie RBI, Union of India through its Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Law and Justice committed “a breach of trust on the people of this country.” He states that the ordinance is inconsistent with the November 8 address of the Prime Minister and subsequent notification which “had assured the people that if on account of some reason, they were unable to deposit their old 500 or 1,000 rupee notes by December 30, 2016, an opportunity would be available to them to go to the specified offices of the Reserve Bank of India up to March 31, 2017 and deposit the notes after submitting a declaration form.”
Referring to a story by the Indian Express, the petitioner states that “common people protested outside the Reserve Bank of India office at Fort on January 4, 2017 after RBI refused to exchange and accept demonetized currency notes of Rs.1000 and Rs.500, citing a December 30th Ordinance which ended the RBI’s liability on these notes.”
Although this PIL is yet to be mentioned, petitioner’s advocate Amit Sarode said that he will mention it before the HC in a few days.
Read the petition here.
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