Circulation or possession of fake currency notes cannot be termed as terrorist activity under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, the Bombay high court (HC) ruled on Monday, while granting bail to a man accused of possessing fake currency notes worth Rs. 2 lakh.
“Prima facie, the accused cannot be charged under the Act. I don’t think evoking the Act is proper in such cases,” justice AM Thipsay said, adding that it can be evoked only if the fake currency is used to facilitate terror activities.
The accused, Ravi Dhiren Ghosh, was arrested on May 14, 2009, along with five others, for alleged possession of fake currency notes.
He had approached the high court seeking bail stating that even after three years of custody, the trial has not begun.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the matter, had charged all the accused under various sections of the Act and the Indian Penal Code.
Special prosecutor for the agency, Rohini Salian, said that the fake notes seized from the accused were printed in Pakistan with a view to threaten India’s economy and so, circulation of fake currency by the accused amounted to a terrorist activity.
“So what if the notes were printed in that country [Pakistan]? The consequences of circulating fake notes might be serious, but, it does not fall under the purview or definition of terrorism,” the judge said.
He also expressed concern over the delay in trials because of non-availability of special courts. “It is not fair to keep a person in jail for three years just because a special court is not available,” the judge said.