A 36-year-old woman from Bhiwandi, who was found guilty of possessing counterfeit Indian currency notes, has been sentenced to four-year rigorous imprisonment by a district court here.
Thane District Judge A S Bhaisrae awarded the sentence to Shehnajbano Kamruddin Khan, a resident of Gaibinagar, recently. The court, however, acquitted another accused Mohammad Islam Anwar Hussain Ansari (25) for want of evidence against him giving him the benefit of doubt.
The Judge also slapped a fine of Rs 1,000 on Shehnajbano, besides awarding an additional three-month sentence after she was found guilty for offences punishable under sections 489 (B) and 489 (C) of the IPC.
The prosecution told the court that it was on October 15, 2013 that she went to the branch of Bombay Mercantile Bank to deposit Rs 50,000 comprising notes of Rs 100 and Rs 500 denominations.
The cashier on the counter who accepted the currency notes, suspected them to be fake and hence sought the assistance of his manager for a check following which it was found that all the 54 notes that she carried were fake.
Then the matter was reported to Kumbharwada police who based on a complaint by the bank arrested the woman, the court was told.
In her defence the accused told the court that she was illiterate and had given the currency for depositing in the bank and after an hour the police came and arrested her.
The fake notes were sent to the currency press at Nashik which in its report confirmed that these were counterfeits.
The judge in his order also noted that the accused was having accounts with different banks and hence it can be concluded that she was having banking knowledge.
“There is no material on record to show that at any point of time, prior to this incident, the accused had deposited such a huge amount in bank. She might have mixed the counterfeit notes in genuine notes and had tried to deposit the same in the bank. Therefore, it can safely be said that she was having knowledge that those 54 notes of Rs 500/Rs 100 were fake.
The series of notes and note numbers were also found to be different. Therefore, it can be inferred that the accused had intention to pass off the fake notes as genuine,” the order said.
Using counterfeit notes in the market, rather in the present case, in the bank, is nothing but to disturb the economy of the nation, the judge noted.
Therefore, the accused is not entitled for any leniency.
Not only that, she is not entitled to benefit of Probation of Offender’s Act, under the Bombay Probation of Offender’s Act, 1958, the order said.