MUMBAI: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked banks to continue preserving the CCTV recordings of operations at their branches and currency chests for the period from November 8, 2016, to December 30, 2016, in view of the pending investigations and legal proceedings in matters related to illegal accumulation of new currency notes.
On December 13, 2016, the central bank had first asked the banks to preserve the recordings to facilitate coordinated and effective action by the enforcement agencies.
In a notification on Tuesday, the RBI said: "In continuation to the above, keeping in view the investigations pending with law enforcement agencies, proceedings pending at various courts, you are advised to preserve the CCTV recordings of operations at bank branches and currency chests for the period from November 08, 2016, to December 30, 2016, in a proper way, till further orders."
On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made the surprise announcement of demonetising the then circulating Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, thereby rendering them invalid from midnight.
Citizens were given around 50 days to exchange the notes for the new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes.
The Prime Minister and the government had then said that the move was primarily aimed at wiping out black money.
Commenting on the RBI's extension of the directive, KS Legal & Associates Managing Partner Sonam Chandwani said: "Post the infamous demonetisation, several cases of new currency notes hoarding by unscrupulous elements at various bank branches across the country have been reported. In light of this, RBI, vide its recent circular, ordered for preservation of CCTV recordings to spot such currency hoarders."
"This move facilitates coordinated and effective action by law enforcement agencies while dealing with cases of illegal accumulation of new currency notes and also help in identifying people abetting circulation of counterfeit notes," she said. (IANS)