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Bombay high court quashes FIR against Mumbai woman who deposited fake notes

The lawyer of the accused referred to a report from the Currency Notes Press thta stated notes were high-quality counterfeits, which a layperson would not be able to identify

mumbai Updated: Oct 09, 2018 00:06 IST
KAY Dodhiya
KAY Dodhiya
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Bombay High Court,Fake notes
The court accepted quashed the FIR on the grounds that merely having possession of the notes could not be considered a crime.(Ht FILE)

The Bombay high court on Saturday had quashed an FIR and trial against a 25-year-old woman from Vikhroli who was charged with depositing five counterfeit currency notes in her bank after demonetisation was announced in November 2016. The lawyer of the accused referred to a report by the general manager of the Currency Notes Press (CNP) at Nashik who verified the notes and stated that the notes were high-quality counterfeits and a lay person would not be able to identify the same. The court accepted the arguments and quashed the FIR on the grounds that merely having possession of the notes could not be considered a crime.

A division bench of justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre was hearing the criminal writ petition filed by the 25-year-old through advocate Jatin Shah who claimed that after demonetisation was announced, the former had deposited her savings of ₹92,000, which consisted of ₹1,000 and ₹500 demonetised notes, in a bank in three phases between November and December 2016. While there was no problem with the notes during the first two phases, the third time when she had deposited ₹40,500, the counterfeit money detector machine used by the bank’s cashier found that three ₹1,000 and two ₹500 notes were counterfeits. As per the rules, a case was registered against her in the Parksite Police station at Vikhroli.

Shah informed the court that the investigating officer sought an opinion from the general manager of the CNP about the suspected forged currency notes. The general manager’s report stated, “All the referred suspected notes of ₹500 and ₹1,000 denomination are high quality counterfeit notes as they have imitations of security features as specified in the third schedule of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act of 2012.” In light of the report, Shah said that his client could not have distinguished the fake and as the chargesheet does not incriminate her of having knowledge of the counterfeits the FIR should be quashed.

In the absence of any opposition from the additional public prosecutor RR Shaikhand and as the trial would result in an acquittal in the absence of any evidence against the woman, justice Dangre held that the court was using its powers to quash and set aside the FIR and proceedings against the petitioner.

First Published: Oct 09, 2018 00:06 IST