Has your currency note been “TORN OFF” or marked as ” FORGED NOTE ” by your bank when you went to deposit it ?
Read on to know your rights :
1) On 7th December 2016, I went to deposit old currency notes into my bank.
2) I was in the line, a person ahead in the line was told that one note of rs. 1000/- that he was carrying was “fake” and the cashier then immediately tore off the note , stamped it as forged note and handed it to the depositor stating that he cannot return the note back to him.
3) my turn came… Out of the about 100 notes that I was depositing in my acct, one note passed through the machine and altered a beep sound . The cashier immediately tore the note stating it is fake ….I immediately interrupted him and asked him to give me an acknowledgement confirming that this bank has destroyed the note claiming it to be fake as I would be lodging this note with RBI to verify if it was genuine or fake. THE CASHIER WAS DUMBSTRUCK and said there is no such practice of giving anything in writing for the same. I would lodge the “suspected ” fake note with the appropriate authority I.e RBI and if it was determined to be genuine the bank would need to reimburse the loss caused to me. Needless to state he refused to give any acknowledgment but panicked and started speaking rubbish .
5) I asked him the following questions due to which he panicked :
a) Has RBI authorized the bank to destroy the note if they “suspect ” it to be fake? ( the bank manger said he does not know and will have to find out )
b) what is the expertise of the person sitting at the counter to distinguish between a genuine or fake note and conclude that the note is fake and has to be torn / destroyed ? ( the cashier said he has been a cashier since years now and can touch a note to differentiate )
c) what if the note considered as fake by this person was actually genuine ? What are the steps involved to confirm if the note is fake ? ( the manager said he will have to find out )
d) what are the directives issued by RBI regarding dealing with a situation like this when the bank merely ” suspects ” the note to be fake ? ( the manager said he will need to check )
6) so basically the bank had no clue what RBI has directed for such situations but have happily been tearing off / marking as forged and returning the notes back to customers . further , I was also threatened that the bank would call the police and file a FIR as I was in possession of a fake note . ( this is usually the threat they give anyone who protests but it didn’t work with me) I was assured that I will be given an acknowledgement in sometime .
7) while i was waiting for the acknowledgement I quickly researched the internet for such RBI guidelines …and voila … Read below to find out what the RBI says and what banks have been doing :
a) if the bank “suspects” a note to be fake via machine check , they are supposed to impound the note for “further manual verification ” to be done by the back office of treasury chest of the bank.
b) the depositor is to be given full credit of the deposit ( as innocent public should not suffer if he unknowingly comes in possession of a fake note)
c) the banks deadliest weapon – police complaint : if there number of “suspected ” fake notes is less than 4 in a single transaction then the bank cannot file a police complaint . if 5 or more notes then bank has to file the police complaint
d) banks have to file a report at month end with RBI for all fake notes and RBI will reimburse the bank 25% of the value of fake notes .
e) UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES … I repeat ..under no circumstances should the bank destroy the note or return it back to the depositor ..bank will be penalized if they do so !
Now the bank is in serious trouble for having continuously destroyed hundreds of notes since demonetization …the cashier himself claimed to me that everyday they get 50 “fake” notes and they have been tearing it and giving it back to the depositor . The high handed attitude of the bank has cost innocent public huge personal loss with no fault of theirs .
The basic question is …what if your note was genuine ? Who is the cashier sitting at the counter to ascertain that the note is fake and hence he is the authority to destroy it ?
I am going to pursue this matter with RBI against the bank , hence in case you have also faced a similar situation please write to RBI Customer Service Department so that you can also claim your loss. Share this message with your friends and family as they would have surely faced similar situation and would have incurred a loss for no fault .