The government on Wednesday reportedly cleared an ordinance, which stipulates that if a person is found possessing old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes after 31 March 2017, he or she could face up to a 4 year jail term.
The decision follows the government’s 8 November decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, which made up for 86% of the total currency in circulation, in a bid to crack down on black money.
Although exact details on the ordinance are still awaited, news reports say that after the 30 December deadline for tendering in old notes ends, people will still have till 31 March to deposit the same with designated Reserve Bank of India (RBI) branches. However, reports say that those doing so will also have to submit an affidavit, declaring the origin of the money and other details.
But is there a limit on how many old currency notes one can legally possess beyond 30 December?
If news reports are to be believed, people are allowed to hold no more than 10 pieces of both denominations. Penalties up to five times the amount of old currency in possession are reportedly in the offing.
Are there any other provisions to the Specified Bank Notes Cessation of Liabilities Ordinance?
Yes, this ordinance effectively ends the RBI’s liability to “pay the bearer” of any such note in possession. This is a legal requirement, as by law the RBI is liable to honour the promise made to a bearer.
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