After nearly five months of being charged, arrested and having spent two days in police custody, only to be discharged later of allegations of possessing fake currency notes that were actually genuine, two personnel of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) have now moved court with a defamation suit against several top officials.
Chief judicial magistrate Rajnish Kumar Sharma, taking cognisance of the suit seeking compensation of Rs. 15 lakh each, filed by ITBP head constable Nain Singh and company hawaldar major (CHM) Amar Singh, has issued notices for December 18 to the named officials. Those in dock are UT home secretary Anil Kumar, inspector general of police (IGP) RP Upadhyaya, , senior superintendent of police (SSP) Naunihal Singh, station house officer Jaspal Singh, investigating officer sub-inspector Randhir Singh, and State Bank of India (SBI)'s branch manager of the air force station, Ekta Mahajan, who had filed the complaint.
The Chandigarh police led by SHO Jaspal of Sector 31 had on May 17 arrested the two ITBP personnel, claiming to have busted a 'fake currency racket' and recovered 'fake' notes worth Rs. 91,000. The arrests were made following a complaint by SBI branch manager Mahajan.
It is worth noting though that CHM Amar Singh had procedurally withdrawn salaries of 70 ITBP personnel, a total of Rs. 11 lakh, from Jalandhar on May 16. Those personnel were here at the Ramgarh centre of the ITBP for a training course. Of these men, 23 personnel had given Rs. 3 Lakh to Amar and Nain Singh to deposit it in their accounts at the SBI branch at the Chandigarh air force station branch.
The branch manager found 91 currency notes of 1,000 each to be fake, and called the police who arrested the two men. The police even procured four-day remand for further interrogation, but when the notes were got checked by the Reserve Bank of India two days later, it was found that "all the suspected forged notes.. [are] genuine". Based on the report, judicial magistrate Aashish Saldi, on May 20, discharged both personnel.
They have now said the UT police did nothing to investigate. They said that the truth had come out only after intervention of ITBP officials, who sought the help of the RBI.