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Probe alleged defacing of banknotes by separatists: SC to Centre

New Delhi

07-January-2020

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to examine a petition seeking a CBI investigation into the alleged exchange of Rs 30 crore currency notes, defaced by Kashmiri separatist group with anti-India slogans, by the Jammu regional branch of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The petition, filed by Satish Bharadwaj from Punjab, said: "In August 2013, a Kashmiri separatist group namely Kashmir Graffiti had stamped Indian currency worth Rs 30 crore with seditions and anti-India slogans like Go India Go Back, Leave Kashmir, Quit Kashmir among other anti-national slogans."

The petitioner contended that as per the statement posted by Kashmir Graffiti on Facebook, the group has stamped currency worth Rs 30 crore between May 2013 and August 2013, and that this information had been reported widely in major national newspapers.

The petition was moved before a bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justices B.R. Gavai and Surya Kant.

The petitioner pleaded in the court that the Kashmiri separatist group aimed to become active in Kashmir by adopting a new method of voicing its demands by stamping separatists slogans on Indian currency notes.

"He is saying the agencies have not done anything...It is a matter of national importance...take a copy of the petition and look into it", said the Chief Justice to the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

The court has posted the matter for further hearing after two weeks.

The petition contends the issue was brought to the notice of the RBI through an RTI application, but the central bank is yet to take any decisive action in the matter.

Bharadwaj informed the court that he had approached both the CBI and the RBI, but his pleas had failed to generate any response.

The petition also claims that this act by Kashmir separatists aims to destabilize peace and harmony in the region, and create an environment of tension and terror in the region.

"The act of exchanging defaced Indian currency notes worth Rs 30 crore, as done by the Jammu regional branch of Reserve Bank of India, has not only degraded the reputation and authority of the RBI, but also the reputation and authority of the Government of India", said the petition.

Bharadwaj emphasised that no deliberately stamped currency can be exchanged as per RBI rules and regulations.IANS