Free Press Journal

No jail term in ordinance on old notes, only penalty: Official sources


New Delhi: There will be no jail term for holding demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, according to the ordinance that was approved by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday, official sources said.

However, a penalty of upto Rs 50,000 would be imposed on those who hold more than ten of the banned notes.

At the same time, the provision of depositing old high denomination currency with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would continue till March 31, 2017.

Even as the sources said the ordinance would come into effect from December 31, it was not clear when the penalty clause would be applicable, keeping in mind the deposit window available with the RBI.

Also Read: Ordinance will make possession of old Rs 500, 1000 notes criminal offence

Earlier reports had said the ordinance called for a jail term for violators who possessed old notes beyond March 31.

The ordinance — called “The Specified Bank Notes Cessation of Liabilities Ordinance” — is still awaiting the presidential nod after which the exact details would be made public, sources said.

The deadline for deposits of the banned currency notes in commercial banks ends on Friday (December 30).

The person seeking to deposit old notes with the RBI after December 30 will have to give an explanation as to why he or she could not deposit them earlier. A government source told IANS that the discretion to accept the explanation would remain with the central bank.

The ordinance, approved during the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeks to amend the Reserve Bank of India Act, aimed at extinguishing the liability of the government towards bearers of such notes.

The ordinance also seeks to ensure that no one pays workers or others in old notes after the deadline.