A woman and three men found in possession of around Rs 4.8 lakh counterfeit currency notes in August 2009 were sentenced to three years in jail by a local court on Tuesday. They were circulating the notes in Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
The court of additional district and session judge SS Sahni also imposed a fine of Rs. 5,000 each on the four convicts - Amritsar resident Savinder Kaur; Ferozpur resident Raj Kumar Gill; Ravi Chaudhary alias Nona of Tarn Taran; and Yudhvir Singh alias Yodha - and observed, "The offences of counterfeiting currency notes for using them as genuine, trafficking in them and possessing them are offences of grave nature and cannot be lightly viewed."
The order further read, "Such offences vitiate the economy of the country and are a matter of serious concern. They are rarely detected, and all that is ultimately proved is perhaps the tip of an iceberg."
The police had booked the four under section 489B of the IPC (using as genuine, forged or counterfeit currency notes), which carries punishment up to life imprisonment, and 489C of IPC (possession of forged or counterfeit currency notes), with a maximum of seven years' jail term. Besides, they were also booked under sections of forgery, cheating and theft of vehicles.
The UT police filed the chargesheet on September 25, 2009, after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) confirmed that the seized currency notes were fake. The Intelligence Bureau (IB) and National Investigating Agency (NIA) also helped the UT police.
The UT police had busted the racket on June 25, 2009 with the arrest of Raj Kumar Gill who had purchased fake currency from Jodh Singh. The police arrested Gill in Sector 38 with a stolen Audi car worth Rs 80 lakh. Upon his confession, the police recovered a Tata Safari from Sector 48 in which fake currency of Rs 38,000 was found.
Gill said Jodh got fake currency from Pakistan and further supplied to various gangs in the region. The rate was Rs 20,000 genuine for Rs 30,000 fake. He further said that Jodh Singh had two kinds of fake currency - the local printed notes, which they call "non-branded", while the other is called branded currency from Pakistan. His confession further led to the arrest of kingpin Yudhvir and Ravi Kumar. Yudhvir revealed that Savinder Kaur was coming to Chandigarh to sell the counterfeit currency of to Rs 4.8 lakh on August 2, 2009, and Savinder was thus arrested.
Savinder said she bought fake currency of Rs 1 lakh for Rs 40,000 from smugglers in Pakistan. She had been visiting Pakistan on several occasions in the past as part of religious groups and would bring counterfeit currency from there. Originally from Srinagar, Savinder was staying in Amritsar for almost 18 years.