Mumbai, March 2: The Reserve Bank of India has clarified that currency notes which have messages scribbled on it are legal tender. The notes however, cease to be legal tender if message scribbled on it is political in nature. RBI keeps sending instructions often that people should accept currency notes with scribblings, but at the same time they also ask people not to staple the notes, write on them or fold them.
In 2014 the RBI had issued a circular which asked people to stop heeding to rumours and use note which have been scribbled on. The RBI had introduced the clean note policy in 1999 and since then there are stories doing round that soiled and mutilated notes will not be accepted by banks. The RBI had in 2002 issued a circular which asked banks not to staple notes so as to increase their life.
The last circular on this had come from the central bank in 2016 wherein it was stated that bank branches that refuse to exchange soiled notes from people will have to pay a penalty of Rs 10,000. The restriction for exchanging soiled notes is that if one exchanges more than 20 notes or notes worth Rs 5,000 in a day, then banks will levy service charge.
The 2016 circular of the RBI aimed to clean the note policy and ensure that all bank branches provide better customer service to the people.