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RBI Governor?s signature not enough?

india Updated: Jul 21, 2006 13:25 IST
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THE CURRENCY note of Rs 500 bears the signature of the Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) but that, it seems, is not sufficient for a section of officials at the Madhya Pradesh State Electricity Board (MPSEB).

At several MPSEB billing centres in the State capital, the consumers who pay Rs 500 notes are being asked to sign on the currency note itself.

And that’s not about a solitary suspicious-looking note but most of the consumers with Rs 500 notes are asked to bring the change in the form of Rs 100 notes: the plea is that the Rs 500 note could be fake.

“I went to deposit the bill at the counter near TM Convent School on Sultania Road but the person at the counter refused to accept the note initially and after much argument he asked me to sign it”, said Rajat, who came to deposit his brother’s bill. “Everything is right with the note but still they avoid the Rs 500 note as if all of them are fake”.

In fact, most of the complaints come from old City where consumers allege harassment at billing centres in various forms. “I was asked to dish out another currency on the plea that the note looked too thin”, said another consumer at the billing centre at Imami Gate.

“I was asked to write my name and the serial number of the notes on the backside of the bill and that too twice”, he further said not wishing to disclose his name as he feared that there could be vengeful action in the form of inflated bills if his name appeared as complainant.

When this correspondent asked the person at the widow, the latter said it was order from the higher authorities though he didn’t name the officer.

Talking to the Hindustan Times, Superintending Engineer (SE) M K Gupta said that he would look into the complaint. Gupta said perhaps the personnel

at the billing centre were being extra-cautious but they should just check the currency note. “There are no orders to get signature on the currency note”, he further said.   Police officials say that nobody could be compelled to sign anywhere as per law.

“If they are getting so careful then they can devise a mechanism to feed the number of the currency note that looks suspicious rather than forcing someone to sign on Indian currency”, says a police officer.