Have you like me, ever played monopoly with those Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan face-carrying Rs. 100 and Rs. 500 notes? No? Well, don’t worry. Now, you can. Or rather, something very close to it.
Recent news coverage has reported that a Subash Nagar ATM in New Delhi has been dispensing fake currencies. These Rs. 500 denomination notes, apparently share the same colour, size and paper quality as a legal tender.
However, instead of the Reserve Bank of India, the aforementioned counterfeit currency had been issued by the Children’s Bank of India and bore the watermark of a ‘Churan Label.’ The notes also promised to pay the ‘bearer’ to the value of five hundred coupons. Yes, you read that right. Not rupees. Monopoly enough?
A formal complaint has been registered with the branch manager of the concerned bank by those who had received these notes. The bank has also promised to initiate action and possibly, blacklist the third party agency which is responsible for depositing cash at ATMs.
no, the bank is not responsible.
At all. For the fake cash. Dispensed from its ATM. On its premises. No responsibility. At all. Wonder how that works.
What to do if you find yourself getting any of these fake notes?
Well, here’s what you can do and what you should do.
Here’s what you can do:
Take yourself to Disneyland, go to the Children’s Bank and put these notes in an FD and collect it with interest a few years later. If on the other hand, you’re too miserly to take yourself to Disneyland, or if the IndiGo guys don’t accept your new Rs. 500 note, do what I did. Sweet-talk younger siblings and gift them these Rs. 500 notes in fancy envelopes for their birthdays.
Now, here’s what you should do.
- If you get fake currency of any value from an ATM, raise a complaint immediately. Not later, not tomorrow. Do this by first, raising the fake notes in front of the ATM CCTV and second, by complaining to the ATM Guard and any bank employee in-charge. Further, make sure you keep the receipt of the ATM transaction with you.
2. After a complaint is raised, the counterfeit notes are examined by the bank and if satisfied, the bank will issue an acknowledgment slip and impound those notes, following which the bank will file an FIR at the nearest police station.
What does that mean for a regular Arun/Shyam/Narendra/Jayantilal who has the misfortune of withdrawing such fake currency?
Para 2 of the RBI’s Master Circular on Detection and Impounding of Counterfeit Notes 2012-13 suggested that (i) ‘ ……. Banknotes when tendered over the counters may be checked for arithmetical accuracy and other deficiencies like whether there are mutilated notes, and appropriate credit passed on to the account or value in exchange given.’
The larger inference from the RBI guidelines was that the banks were responsible for any fake currency recovered from their ATMs and that they had to compensate anyone who can prove they got fake notes from one of their ATMs.
Alas, those guidelines aren’t in force right now.
Para 2 of the RBI’s Master Circular on Detection and Impounding of Counterfeit Notes 2015-16 while overruling its 2012-13 version suggests that ‘No credit to customer’s account is to be given for counterfeit notes, if any, detected in the tender received over the counter or at the back-office / currency chest.’
Summed up, banks don’t have to compensate anyone who approaches them with a complaint of fake notes. Even if it has been proven that such fake notes were dispensed through one of their ATMs. Liability? None at all. They don’t apply to banks.
Why should the common man approach the police or the bank if he won’t be compensated for fake notes he has had the misfortune to withdraw? There is no reason to do so.
At the end of it all, the common man is left poorer by Rs. 500 or Rs. 1000 or whatever the ‘value’ of the fake notes is and left with notes which have no practical use (Heck, they aren’t even GPS-enabled as Zee News claimed).
All that is left to do then, is what I do. Put them in envelopes and gift them to your young, dumb siblings.
Image Sources: Google Images