Ordinance cleared: 4 yr jail, fine for keeping old notes

RSTV Bureau

The Cabinet approved promulgation of an ordinance to impose a penalty, including a jail term, for possession of the scrapped 500 and 1,000 rupee notes beyond a cut-off.

With two days to go for December 30 deadline to deposit demonetised notes of Rs 500/1000, the Centre brought an ordinance to impose penalties for keeping old notes beyond a certain limit.

New Delhi: People stand in queues to withdraw cash from an ATM in New Delhi, December 9, 2016. Photo - PTI

New Delhi: People stand in queues to withdraw cash from an ATM in New Delhi, December 9, 2016.
Photo – PTI

The Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi also approved an ordinance to amend the RBI Act to extinguish the liability of the government and the central bank on the demonetised high-denomination notes to prevent future litigations.

Official sources said the ordinance has been cleared, but did not say if the penal provisions would apply for holding the junked currency after the 50-day window to deposit them in banks ends as of December 30 or after March 31, till which time deposit of old currency notes at specified branches of the Reserve Bank after submitting a declaration form is open.

The penalty for holding old currency in excess of 10 notes may include financial fines and a jail term of up to 4 years in certain cases.

While announcing the demonetisation of the old currency on November 8, the government had 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While the facility to exchange the old notes has since been withdrawn, depositors have time till Friday to deposit the holding in their accounts.