The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that any extension of time for depositing demonetised currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 would be available to all and not be individual-centric.
Hearing a batch of petitions against the government decision not to extend the deadline, a bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul told the petitioners that if there would be a window for exchanging the scrapped currency notes, then it would be available to all of them.
The court said this even as the Central government maintained that it has taken a conscious decision not to extend the deadline except in the case of NRIs and security personnel posted in far-flung areas.
Addressing the court, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said that the government has given the reasons for arriving at the decision not to extend December 30 deadline till March 31 except in some cases.
However he said that if the court decides to grant a window, then it would be available to all.
The apex court, in the last hearing of the matter on March 21, had asked the government why it did not exercise the legal option of letting people deposit the demonetised currency beyond December 30.
In response, the government said that it was not legally bound to extend the deadline or open a window for exchanging the defunct currency notes. The court adjourned the hearing of the matter and said that it would be taken up for hearing when court opens after its summer vacations.