The demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in November 2016 had caused a cash crunch in the country as the bills had made up almost 86% of the currency in circulation then.
Government further told the apex court that the time-period provided between November 10 to December 30 was sufficient for the people to exchange, or deposit their old currencies in the banks. People had till December 30, 2016 to deposit their old notes in their accounts.
The Supreme Court referred to people, like those in prisons, can not be stopped from exchanging the old notes. It added that opening another window for exchanging Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes will result in "any number of benami transactions and make it hard to identify genuine cases from the bogus ones".
The top court asked the federal government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), whether a window can be provided to the people who could not deposit their old Rs. 500 and 1,000 currency notes. "You can't take away my money if I was terminally ill", the Supreme Court bench said while slamming the government over its December 30 deadline to deposit old notes in banks. He further warned Centre of issuing a court order if a policy is not introduced to provide the window of opportunity to the people.
According to the petitioners, the Prime Minister had in his speech on November 8, 2016 assured that old currency would be accepted at select RBI outlets till March 31, 2017.
The government asserted that granting any further grace period for depositing banned currency notes will defeat the goal of demonetisation, which was done as an exercise in eliminating black money.
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There was unusual spurt of cash sales - without PAN in most cases - immediately after the announcement.
The affidavit cited specific instances of how money was allegedly laundered and routed through accounts of shell companies and was layered through "intermediary" accounts before being received in accounts of bullion traders.
Doing so would have defeated the very goal of demonetisation, the government said.
The CJI had suggested that the government should at least have one designated authority which would give every such case of those seeking to return old notes a fresh look.
The undisclosed income detected in the above actions was of more than Rs 5,400 crore, the government said.