Worried about the continuous infiltration of fake Indian currency notes, the Union government has decided to deal with cases of counterfeit notes under the COFEPOSA (Conservation of Foreign Exchange & Prevention of Smuggling Activities) Act.
The anti-smuggling Act would be imposed along with the existing sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), under the Union finance ministry, has sent a circular to home departments of all states to book those found carrying or dealing with fake currency notes under COFEPOSA.
The decision to book offenders under COFEPOSA would also mean that the government suspects that all fake currency notes in India are smuggled from across the borders.
Punishment under COFEPOSA and section 489 of the IPC is the same — anything between two and 10 years in jail. But getting bail if booked under COFEPOSA has so far been very difficult.
The forthcoming legal arrangement implies that offences for manufacture, circulation or possession of fake currency would be treated as smuggling activities.
“If COFEPOSA is imposed, it will be easier for us to carry out custody trial of these people,” said an investigating officer not willing to be named.
In Patna, top police officers have chalked out a strategy to check the circulation of fake notes, following the alarming seizure of huge quantities of counterfeits from Nepal into India.
As part of the strategy, the police headquarters has decided to activate the fake currency cell of the CID.
“The CID’s fake currency cell is being equipped to deal with the problem,” said Additional Director General of Police Neelmani.