Modi government’s new rule: Holding more than 10 old notes may land you in jail after March 31

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New Delhi | Updated: December 29, 2016 5:52 PM

The Union Cabinet today approved an ordinance that would end the government's and the RBI's liability on demonetised notes after March 31, 2017

demonetisation ordinance, cabinet meeting, modi cabinet, demonetisation, note ban ordinance, rbi liability, modi government, narendra modi, cabine decision, note liability, demonetisation ordinance, The Specified Bank Notes Cessation of Liabilities Ordinance'Demonetisation ordinance: From March 31, 2017 onwards, it will be illegal to keep old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes. (PTI)

If you are still holding banned Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes, then deposit them in banks as soon as possible. For the Narendra Modi government has cleared a new rule that may land you in jail if you are found having more than 10 banned notes after March 31, 2014.

The Union Cabinet today approved an ordinance that would end the government’s and the RBI’s liability on demonetised notes after the end of the March 31, 2017 deadline, according to reports. After December 30, the banned notes could be deposited only through RBI-specified windows until March 31. ANI quoted sources as saying that name of the ordinance is ‘The Specified Bank Notes Cessation of Liabilities Ordinance’.

PTI reported that the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi also approved an ordinance to penalise people found holding banned notes after March  31, 2017. The penalty for holding old currency in excess of 10 notes may include financial fines and a jail term of up to four years in certain cases.

The government wanted to end the liability of the government and RBI on banned notes post March 2017 to avoid legal complications in future. However, it is not yet clear if the penal provisions would apply for people found holding the banned notes after the 50-day window to deposit them in banks ends on 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.

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The Ordinance also has a provision that would allow a certain group of people to deposit banned notes at RBI branches between December 31 and March 31. Reports said such groups of people may include those belonging to armed forces, Indians living abroad and ordinary citizens who can prove that the money is part of their legitimate income and they could not deposit it in banks due to some reasons.

A similar ordinance was issued in 1978 to end the government’s liability after Rs 1,000, Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 notes were demonetised by the then Janata Party government led by Prime Minister Morarji Desai.

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In a bid to curb the menace of black money, corruption and terrorism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the government’s decision to demonetise old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes on November 8.

The government had also provided 50-days time to people to exchange their old notes. The decision, however, came as a shock to many and affected livelihoods of scores of people. The government says that problems of people would start ending after the 50 days.

Update on December 29, 2016

The government on Thursday clarified there would not be any jail term for holding banned Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes. However, a fine up to Rs 10,000 may be imposed on the guilty.

(With agency inputs)

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