The Cabinet today cleared promulgation of an ordinance to penalise persons holding demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes after 31 March, when the deadline to deposit these notes at the RBI window ends.
As per the ordinance named the Specified Bank Notes Cessation of Liabilities Ordinance, holding these notes after 31 March deadline would be a criminal offence.
According to government sources cited by CNBC-TV18, those who hold old notes after 31 March is likely to face 4-year jail term and also those who transact in old notes is likely to face a penalty of Rs 5,000.
The ordinance will extinguish the liability of the government and RBI towards the promise to pay the bearer of these notes their value because of a statutory requirement.
In 1978 a similar ordinance was issued to end the government’s liability after Rs 1,000, Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 notes were demonetised by the Janata Party government under Morarji Desai.
A PTI report citing sources in the government said the ordinance is being brought as it was found to be necessary to prevent future litigations against the government for junking Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
Seeking to prevent harassment and any ambiguity, a proviso would be added to ensure that certain category of people can still deposit the old notes in RBI branches between 31 December and 31 March next, said the report.
The government had, while announcing the demonetisation of the old currency on 8 November, allowed holders to either exchange them or deposit in bank and post office accounts.
While the facility to exchange the old notes has since been withdrawn, depositors have time till Friday to deposit the holding in their accounts.
First Published On : Dec 28, 2016 13:04 IST
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