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Are you having 'old notes'? Be ready for jail
On 28th December, 2016, Modi Government has come out with yet another restriction on 'cash holding' in India. The Modi Cabinet has put into effect an ordinance in this connection. Accordingly, all those people holding the demonetised currency past March 31, 2017 will be facing a penalty and a possible jail term.

Interestingly, the latest ordinance aptly called 'The Specified Bank Notes Cessation of Liabilities Ordinance' may make holding the demonetised currency - in excess of 10 notes past the March 31 deadline - a criminal offence.

Accordingly, any such holding of old notes (of 500/1000) by anybody in India will invite not only a financial fine but also a jail term of up to four years.

As we all know, the government has set December 30, 2016 as the deadline for depositing the demonetised currency in banks.

In this context, Modi Cabinet has once again confirmed that the last date for deposit of old currency in banks would be 30th December. There will not be any extension of time-period for this deposit.

After December 30, the old notes can be deposited only at select offices of the RBI. It is an eleventh hour chance for all those who are still holding such notes. These holders will be able to deposit the old notes at the RBI up to March 31, 2017. However, an explanation (as to why these people failed to deposit the old notes before December 30) must be given.

In this ever-changing scenario of legal restrictions and rules, my sincere advice is crystal clear. Do you have any old currencies in your hands? If yes, you have only two limited choices, viz., either to go to the RBI with an excuse to deposit or be prepared to go to the nearby jail with punishment with or without bail.

(Mr V S Vadivel, FCA ACS, is an eminent Chartered Accountant, notable author, socio-economic thinker and unique academician from India)

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