NEW DELHI: Centre on Friday assured the Supreme Court that no criminal action will be taken against those who have approached the court for possessing demonetised notes beyond December 31, 2016.
The bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra was told that protection will only be granted to those petitioners who had approached the court urging for an extension of the deadline to deposit demonetised notes in their possession.
Attorney General K K Venugopal also clarified that petitioners can only claim the amount they have stated in their petitions and not the other amount they may possess.
Advocate Pranav Sachdeva told the bench that deadline should be extended for those petitioners who have approached the court but the bench said “the demonetisation law is still constitutionally valid.”
But lawyer argued, “The Prime Minister had promised an extension of the deadline for deposit of demonetised notes. We want to give back to the RBI.”
The bench however asked the petitioners to approach the Constitution bench and interlocutory pleas and disposed of individual petitions filed by 14 persons seeking permission to deposit currency notes on the ground that they could not deposit the notes with banks due to some unavoidable and compelling reasons.
The court had on December 16, last year referred to a Constitution Bench, the issue of validity of government’s decision to demonetise currency notes of `1,000 and `500.
Centre told the apex court that it had taken a decision to not give any grace period for citizens to deposit their demonetised notes after the cut-off date of December 30, 2016 as doing so would have defeated the very purpose of demonetisation.
The Centre has already filed an affidavit saying that the government was not going to open any window now to deposit the old notes.