A sessions court last Wednesday sentenced a 32-year-old to five years imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on him for possessing 30 counterfeit currency notes of denomination Rs. 500.
The court said that the offense is punishable up to seven years and considered that the number of notes he was found in possession of was 30 in number while deciding his sentence.
The youth Tarifullah Mohaldar, a native of West Bengal, who also had a temporary residence under a bridge at Kings Circle, had absconded during trial. Of the six accused in the 2012 case, four had absconded during trial. Mohaldar had come to be arrested in 2017 and since then, was in judicial custody. Two of their co-accused who had stood trial had been convicted in 2015.
Additional Sessions Judge AM Khan acquitted Mohaldar of the offense of conspiracy in counterfeiting or performing counterfeiting as well as that of conspiracy to traffic fake currency. He was found guilty of conspiring and possessing the currency. “There is absolutely no evidence on record against the accused or co-accused of counterfeiting currency notes or performing any part of the process of counterfeiting,” said the court.
It also noted that a police officer who deposed admitted during cross-examination that he had not seen Mohaldar receiving, giving the notes to anybody or using them.
It however said that the notes were kept in a bundle in his front pank pocket and these were not found mixed with other currency notes. It thus concluded that such a large number of counterfeit notes being found shows that the accused had knowledge of them being forged and that it was a conscious possession.
As per the case registered by the crime branch, on 7 February, 2012, upon a tip off the police had checked three persons who assembled near Bandra railway stand at 9.30 am. From these youths, they seized Rs. 3 lakh of currency which was later confirmed to be counterfeit. One of these men informed the police that their accomplices will be coming from Malda, West Bengal and distributing the currency at less than their denomination worth at Bandra, Kings Circle and Mumbra. Then a trap was laid and the present accused along with two others were arrested.