Police have recovered money and jewellery stolen from Dinesh Chandra Gupta’s Iradatnagar residence nearly two years ago, but worry remains writ large on his face.
Why? The sum of Rs 1.22 lakh he received after a court order on February 7 happens to be in old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes – demonetised through a government directive on November 8, 2016.
The 55-year-old father of two daughters is still awaiting replies to letters written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, finance minister Arun Jaitley and the Reserve Bank of India. Time is of the essence, considering that Gupta’s elder daughter is slated to tie the knot around Diwali this year.
The incident occurred when Gupta and his family rushed to Agra from Iradatnagar on December 28, 2015, after being informed that his sister – Sunita – had lost her life in a road accident. Another shock awaited them when they returned the next day. Burglars had broken into the house while they were away, and made off with cash and jewellery.
“They stole over a lakh rupees in cash, besides gold and silver jewellery. An FIR was lodged at the Iradatnagar police station, and they wound up the case within a month. However, the money and valuables remained in police custody due to certain legal issues,” Gupta told HT on Wednesday.
“I filed an application at an Agra court on December 18, 2016, after the government announced its demonetisation decision. On February 7 this year, I was handed over Rs 1.22 lakh in old notes of Rs 500 and 1,000,” he said.
Following this, Gupta approached the Canara Bank branch at Iradatnagar, where he holds an account. “But as the deadline for exchanging or depositing old currency notes had already elapsed on December 30, 2016, they asked me to approach the Reserve Bank of India.”
An official maintained that banks were powerless to help Gupta in such circumstances. “After the deadline elapsed, only people who were away from India could deposit old notes – and that too at the Reserve Bank of India. None of the others were allowed to do so,” he said.
The police also shrugged their shoulders. “This can only be resolved only by the Reserve Bank,” said a senior police officer on the condition of anonymity.