A sessions court recently sentenced eight men in their late-twenties to early forties to ten-years rigorous imprisonment in a case of sale and trafficking of fake currency and observed while deciding their punishment that the acts virtually amount to waging a financial war against the country.
The court said, “...taking into account the pros and cons of the matter, this court cannot lose sight of the fact that the offence of trafficking in forged or counterfeit currency notes is an offence that poses challenge to the economy of the country.” Additional Sessions Judge Dinesh E. Kothalikar said in his judgment that the offences cannot be viewed lightly and that courts are supposed to be sensitive in dealing with such offences.
“The rapid changing technology in the process of counterfeiting, sale or trafficking transactions, which virtually amount to waging a financial war against the country cannot be lost sight of..” it said.
The accused persons had sought leniency on the grounds that they have children or elderly parents dependent on them and that they had been in custody for seven years pending trial. The court said in its view, it would not be just to show undue sympathy to them and that these are not just grounds to show leniency.
In June 2014, the ATS had, upon specific information, laid a trap and arrested Malik Shaikh from opposite Hotel Asma Court, Station Road, Bandra after he was found in possession of 200 fake notes of Rs. 500 denomination. Thereafter, during investigation eight other accused were arrested. Total fake currency of over Rs. 7 lakh in Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 denomination were seized from them.
Fake currency had come to be seized from the residence of co-accused from Wadala, shop of another in Ghatkopar, four others from GTB Nagar and the residence of another co-accused from Thane.