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Possession of demonetized Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes beyond March 31, 2017 is Illegal

People can deposit old notes in banks up to December 30 and with the Reserve Bank of India up to March 31 next year

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old notes to become illeagal by 2017
Indian Currency. Pixabay

New Delhi, December 28, 2016:  The cabinet on Wednesday approved an ordinance which makes possession of demonetized Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes beyond March 31, 2017 illegal, providing for a jail term for violators.

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The opposition, however, questioned the logic behind the ordinance and termed the government policy as “rudderless and confused”. It also accused the government of repeatedly bypassing the Parliament over demonetisation and otrher issues.

People can deposit old notes in banks up to December 30 and with the Reserve Bank of India up to March 31 next year.

Official sources said the ordinance — called “The Specified Bank Notes Cessation of liabilities Ordinance” — will be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee, currently in Hyderabad, for approval before notification.

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The ordinance, approved during the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeks to amend the Reserve Bank of India Act, aimed at extinguishing the liability of the government towards bearers of such notes.

Sources declined comment on whether the ordinance also sought a jail term for violators. “The ordinance primarily seeks to shield the government against future litigations that may follow for not honoring the promise to pay,” a senior official said.

However, the ordinance makes it clear that collection of old notes up to ten in number will not invite prosecution.

Reacting to the developments, a senior Congress leader told IANS: “Is it proper to pass an ordinance on a matter which is sub judiceIJ I think this is a cover up operation to legalize the demonetization order because even its veracity is under judicial scanner.

He also questioned the logic behind bringing an ordinance barely a month before the next Parliament session.

Trinamool Congress (TMC) Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy called the NDA dispensation as “government of ordinances”.

“The government has gone berserk. They are bringing one notification after another. They are suffering from utter confusion…there is no cohesion between the government and the RBI,” Roy told IANS.

Janata Dal United (JDU) leader K.C. Tyagi called the government policy on demonetisation as “rudderless”.

“On one hand the Prime Minister has said that after March 31 next year, the old currency notes would be ‘kagaz ke tukre’ (worthless pieces of paper). Now where on earth is it illegal to possess worthless paper,” Tyagi asked.

“Ever since November 8 they have brought 61 notifications. This shows their bewilderment and lack of policy direction,” Tyagi told IANS.

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said the government has chosen this back door ordinance method to bring in the law.

“We are against this ordinance raj,” he said.

–IANS

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Government Seeks Reply From TikTok, Asks to Answer Queries or Face Ban

In April this year, the Madras High Court had passed an interim order banning TikTok citing inappropriate and pornographic content. The ban was subsequently lifted

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tik tok
TikTok is fast catching up: it has been downloaded more than 240 million times in India so far, according to app analytics firm Sensor Tower. VOA

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) has sought response from controversial social media apps TikTok and Helo on a set of questions, ranging from whether the apps are considering storing data within India and what measures they were taking to prevent users below age 18 from getting exposed to potentially dangerous content.

The social media platforms have time till July 22 to reply to the questions or face ban in the country, according to sources.

The notice was sent to the operators of the apps on Wednesday after Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) economic wing Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) sent a letter to the Prime Minister, alleging that these social media platforms were being used for anti-national activities.

The IT Ministry asked what data from users in India are being collected by these platforms.

It also sought clarifications on allegations that the Helo app had paid a huge sum for putting 11,000 morphed political ads on other social media platforms.

One particular focus of the questions were around the security of users below age 18. Specifically, it asked what was the rationale behind the minimum age limit (13) to use TikTok in India when “a person below 18 is considered as child in the country”.

TikTok
The logo of the TikTok application is seen on a screen in this picture illustration taken Feb. 21, 2019. VOA

TikTok introduced “age gate” to restrict children from using the app. The ministry asked whether this age gate mechanism restricts users below age 18.

In a statement shared with IANS, TikTok said it welcomes the “opportunity to fully collaborate with the government to meet and exceed our obligations”.

“India is one of our strongest markets and we are happy to be part of the mainframe of Digital India in 15 Indian languages,” TikTok said in a statement.

“In line with our commitment to India, we are investing $1 billion in India over the next three years, with a strategic focus on developing technology infrastructure, establishing local partnerships and supporting initiatives such as the Skill India Program which we are proud to be assisting with already,” said the short-video-sharing app owned by Chinese start-up ByteDance.

Also Read: Samsung Refreshes its Galaxy A Series in India

The operators of TikTok earlier this year agreed to pay $5.7 million to settle the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) allegations that the company illegally collected personal information from children.

In April this year, the Madras High Court had passed an interim order banning TikTok citing inappropriate and pornographic content. The ban was subsequently lifted. (IANS)