The Supreme Court on Tuesday firmly reminded the top legal counsel of the Centre’s Narendra Modi government that the prime minister in his speech on 8 November had set the deadline of 31 March for exchanging old notes.
The Chief Justice of India, Justice JS Khehar told the central government to respond within two weeks whether those who failed to deposit their old notes before 31 December could be allowed to do so now.
Modi had first told the nation that anyone could exchange the demonetised notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 by 31 March. However, his government had then performed a series of spectacular U-turns including bringing the deadline forward to 31 December.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, according to NDTV, told the judge, “If the PM has made a statement that deposit can be done till March-end but law says one can’t do so, the law will prevail.”
To which Justice JS Khehar, said that the ordinance or executive order which outlaws the old notes ‘has overtaken the PM’s speech without any notice to the people.’
He told Rohatgi, “You can’t prejudge people’s inability to deposit without giving them an opportunity.”
The case will be heard next on 11 April.