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Issue of Rs. 500 banknotes inset letter ‘E’ in Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series

Reserve Bank of India 

Press Releases 

Date : Nov 08, 2016

Issue of Rs. 500 banknotes inset letter ‘E’ in Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series

The Reserve Bank of India will shortly issue Rs. 500 denomination banknotes in Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series with inset letter ‘E’ in both the number panels, bearing the signature of Dr. Urjit R. Patel Governor, Reserve Bank of India, the year of printing ‘2016’ and Swachh Bharat Logo printed on the reverse of the Banknote.

New Picture

The new Rs. 500 banknotes are different from the earlier specified bank note (SBN) series in colour, size, theme, location of security features and design elements; the principal features are –

  • The size is 66mm x150mm
  • The colour is stone grey
  • Red Fort-an image of Indian heritage site with Indian flag on the reverse

The banknote also has features (intaglio printing of Mahatma Gandhi portrait, Ashoka Pillar emblem, bleed lines, circle with Rs. 500 in the right, and the identification mark) which enable the visually impaired person to identify the denomination.

Alpana Killawala

Principal Adviser 

Press Release : 2016-2017/1146

New Picture (1)

New norms to deal with cheque bounce cases

The government has notified the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2015 which allows filing cheque bounce cases in a court at a place where the cheque was presented for clearance and not the place of issue. The Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2015 was passed by Parliament in the recently concluded Winter Session. “The provisions of the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Act, 2015 shall be deemed to have come into force on the 15th Day of June, 2015, the day on which the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015 was promulgated to further amend the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881,” the Finance Ministry said.

There are an estimated 18 lakh cheque bounce cases across the country, of which about 38,000 are pending in High Courts. Some litigants have to travel to different places from where the cheques were issued and not honoured.

The law provides that cases of bouncing of cheques can be filed only in a court in whose jurisdiction the bank branch of the payee (person who receives the cheque) lies. It will also result in fast prosecution of offenders.

The legislation also mandates centralisation of cases against the same drawer.

The Act has also repealed an ordinance which was re-promulgated earlier. The President had promulgated the ordinance twice — in June and September last year. “The Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Act, 2015 is focused on clarifying the jurisdiction related issues for filing cases for offence committed under section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881,” the statement said.

The clarification of jurisdictional issues may be desirable from the equity point of view as this would be in the interests of the complainant and would also ensure a fair trial.

Source: The Times of India

RBI prescribes measures for banks to prevent cheque frauds

In view of the rise in the number of cheque related fraud cases, the Reserve Bank of India has asked banks to put in place preventive measures including sending an SMS alert to payer/drawer when cheques are received in clearing.

Further, to prevent cases of suspicious or large value cheques (in relation to an account’s normal level of operations), the central bank has advised banks to alert customers by a phone call and get the confirmation from the payer/drawer.

The RBI has told banks to ensure the use of 100 per cent CTS (cheque truncation system) – 2010 compliant cheques.

Under the CTS environment, electronic image of the cheque is transmitted to the drawee branch through the clearing house, along with relevant information such as data on the MICR (magnetic ink character recognition) band, date of presentation, and presenting bank. Cheque truncation obviates the need to move the physical instruments across branches.

According to a RBI notification on preventive measures for cheque related fraud cases, banks are required to strengthen the infrastructure at the cheque handling Service Branches and bestow special attention on the quality of equipment and personnel posted for CTS based clearing, so that it is not merely a mechanical process.

Banks have to ensure that the beneficiary is KYC (know-your-customer) compliant so that the bank has recourse to him/her as long as he/she remains a customer of the bank.

The RBI said banks should put in place a mechanism whereby all cheques beyond a threshold of say, Rs. 2 lakh are examined under UV lamp. Checking should be done at multiple levels, of cheques above a threshold of say, Rs. 5 lakh.

The threshold limits mentioned above can be reduced or increased at a later stage with the approval of the Board depending on the volume of cheques handled by the bank or its risk appetite.

Banks are required to closely monitor credits and debits in newly opened transaction accounts based on risk categorization.

In its notification, the RBI said “the rise in the number of cheque related fraud cases is a matter of serious concern. It is evident that many of such frauds could have been avoided had due diligence been observed at the time of handling and/or processing the cheques and monitoring newly opened accounts.”

Therefore, banks have been advised to review and strengthen the controls in the cheque presenting/passing and account monitoring processes and to ensure that all procedural guidelines including preventive measures are followed meticulously by the dealing staff/officials.

Referring to some cases where even though the original cheques were in the custody of the customer, cheques with the same series had been presented and encashed by fraudsters, the RBI said banks should take appropriate precautionary measures.

The precautionary measures have to ensure that the confidential information — customer name/account number/signature, cheque serial numbers and other related information are neither compromised nor misused either from the bank or from the vendors’ (printers, couriers etc.) side.

The RBI also said due care and secure handling is also to be exercised in the movement of cheques from the time they are tendered over the counters or dropped in the collection boxes by customers.

Source: Business Line

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