Acting on a plea, the Supreme Court today asked the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) why the people are not being allowed to deposit their banned Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes in banks till March 31, as promised by the government when the decision to demonetise them was announced.
Deciding to hear on March 10 a batch of petitions challenging Prime Minister Narendra Modi's demonetisation move announced on November 8 last year, the apex court issued a notice to the Centre and the RBI over a plea that challenged the penalty on deposit of old notes in banks.
The government had set December 30, 2016 as the deadline for depositing banned notes in banks. The RBI later said people can deposit old notes at their offices till March 31, but they must give a valid reason for missing the December 30 deadline.
A number of petitions filed by the Opposition and others have challenged demonetisation of 86 per cent of the bank notes in circulation in India. There were 17,165 million pieces of Rs 500 notes and 6,858 million pieces of Rs 1,000 notes in circulation on November 8, 2016.
The total amount of high denomination currency circulating in the system on that day was Rs 15.44 lakh crore - Rs 8.58 lakh crore in Rs 500 notes and Rs 6.86 lakh crore in Rs 1,000.