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14 Dec 2016

Cops sit on old cash

TT, Jalpaiguri, Dec. 13: Four police stations in Jalpaiguri district are sitting on several lakhs of old currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, seized in various cases of alleged crime, as they do not know what to do with the money.
"We have around Rs 12 lakh in old notes left with us. The money was accumulated during seizures made in connection with several cases. Now that the Centre has demonetised the notes, we don't really know what to do with the money," an official posted at the Kotwali police station in Jalpaiguri, said today.
The problem, he said, is being faced by many police stations in the state.
According to sources at Jalpaiguri district police, there is total cash of around Rs 26 lakh at Mainaguri police station of which Rs 23 lakh is in old notes. "This is money seized when we nabbed some criminals who had looted a bank," an officer said.
Also, in Kotwali police station, around Rs 3.50 lakh is there in the old Rs 500 notes and Rs 8.50 lakh in Rs 1,000 notes. In a similar manner, old currency notes amounting to Rs 3 lakh and Rs 1 lakh are in stock at Rajganj and Dhupguri police stations.
Also, in Malbazar, Metelli and Nagrakata police stations, around Rs 66,000, Rs 47,000 and Rs 1.86 lakh are kept in old notes.
"In total, we believe, the total amount of seized cash that is in these two old notes and the amount all the police stations of Jalpaiguri district would be over Rs 60 lakh. There is a general directive issued by the Reserve Bank of India that all such old notes should be deposited in banks by December 30 but no specific instruction has reached us so far," a senior police officer said.
As officials from different police stations of Jalpaiguri district have mentioned the issue before district police officials, they have been asked to approach the local courts as well as prepare a report containing details of such cash.
"We have been asked to prepare a report with details of the cash and the particular case in connection with which the money was seized. We will then send the report to the office of the superintendent of police," an official of Rajganj police station said.
"On the other hand, we have been also told to mention the issue before a court where such cases are pending, submit a copy of the report and seek necessary directions as what we should do with the money," the official added.
A senior retired police officer said there were probable alternatives like depositing the money in official bank accounts of the district police or depositing it in the government treasury of the district concerned.
"But there is a problem. If any police official wants to deposit such cash in the government treasury, the head under which it would be deposited is not clear. In other cases, for example, if money is to be deposited for auction of any item, it is deposited in one account. Also, if somebody pays a fine for violation of traffic rules, there is another specific account for it," he said. "Also, for making any such deposit, a prior permission from the court is essential."

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