Demonetisation: Can the state legally deprive people of their own money?

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With the end of the year closing in, people without bank accounts stand to lose their cash if they are unable to open accounts by the end of this month. When the Centre announced the demonetisation of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes last month, it brought the monetary fate of people without bank accounts into question. At the end of the year, all the old notes will stand cancelled as the RBI’s liabilities, and so, people still in possession of these notes will be deprived of their money’s worth. And in a country where only a little over half the population have bank accounts, this poses a real risk; and therefore, demands immediate scrutiny from a legal perspective.
 
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