One year after demonetisation, CBI files first charge sheet in note swap case

One year after demonetisation, CBI files first charge sheet in note swap case

One year after the Centre announced demonetisation, the Central Bureau of Investigation's Anti-corruption Bureau wing (CBI- ACB wing Bengaluru) filed its first charge sheet in an illegal note exchange case.

The charge sheet is against  G Raviraj, a former cashier of the currency management branch, State Bank of Mysore on Avenue Road. Raviraj committed suicide when the CBI launched a preliminary investigation against him in December 2016.

The CBI had registered five FIRs in connection with the illegal exchange of new currency with the demonetised currency. The remaining four cases, including the case against a suspended chief project officer of the State Highway Development Project, S C Jayachandra, are still under investigation, CBI sources said.

In its first charge sheet, the CBI has only named Raviraj, while it has recommended departmental enquiry against the other accused. During the exchange of demonetised notes with the new currencies, CBI had received a tip-off that the demonetised notes were being illegally exchanged at the State Bank of Mysore's (SBM) Kollegal branch in Chamarajanagar district. The CBI had registered an FIR against Parashiva Murthy, head cashier of the bank, and others for allowing the exchange of demonetised notes in violation of RBI rules. It was stated in the FIR that SBM's Kollegal branch had a currency chest and it supplied notes to nearby branches.

On November 8, an official from the Reserve Bank of India had gone to Kollegal to refill currency when the demonetisation was announced at night. The officials helped people exchange old notes without following RBI guidelines. CBI had arrested Parashiva Murthy and a private person for helping several individuals to exchange demonetised notes.

A preliminary enquiry was being carried out against Raviraj for misappropriation of Rs 20 lakh in Rs 2,000 new notes' denomination. As he was in charge of the currency management branch, Raviraj used to oversee the transfer of cash to other branches. Officials found that he had not deposited the actual amount to a branch and instead used it to help certain individuals exchange the old currency. "Since he has ended his life, the case will be closed once the court takes cognizance of the charge sheet,'' an official said.

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