The Supreme Court wants the government to give citizens a final chance to exchange old bills. Photo: iStock

India’s Supreme Court on Tuesday admonished the government and asked it to give people a final chance to exchange old notes that were demonetized last year, according to media reports.

When Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes were demonetized by the government in November 2016, people were given until December 31 to deposit or exchange them, after which they became worthless.

ANI reported that the Supreme Court gave the government two weeks to announce a decision on whether it would give those who were unable to deposit or exchange demonetized notes by the deadline one final opportunity to do so.

The Supreme Court stated:  “You cannot trash a person’s genuine hard-earned money and let it go to waste like this… you had promised them a window, now you can’t go back on your word to those who had genuine difficulty.”

It added: “If a person can prove it is his money and he/she had real difficulty in depositing by December 31, he must get a chance to change them,” the court said.

After receiving the judicial direction, Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar sought a compromise, asking the court to not order the government to open a general window for everyone. However, he said the government “is agreeable to examine case by case” instances of citizens not having had the chance to deposit their old notes.

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