Mere Use Of Any Forged Or Counterfeit Currency Notes Or Bank Notes Not An Offence under Sec.48B IPC : Bombay HC

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The Bombay High Court has quashed criminal prosecution under section 489B Indian Penal Code  against a woman from whom some counterfeit currency notes were found in the cash she had brought for depositing in the bank after demonetisation, Three notes of the denomination of Rs 1,000 and two notes of the denomination of Rs 500 i.e., the total amount of Rs 4,000 were found to be counterfeit and the bank had lodged the complaint and Sanskriti Jayantilal Salia was charged for offence under 489B IPC. 

The judgment was rendered by a Bench of Bombay High Court Justices Bharati H Dangre and Ranjit More in a petition filed by one Sanskriti Jayantilal Salia (petitioner) seeking quashing of chargesheet against her for offences under Section489B. 

The bench said: “Perusal of the said Section would reveal that mens rea is an essential ingredient of the said Section and use of the term “knowing or having reason to believe the same to be forged or counterfeit” is the sine qua non for inviting penalty under the said provision. When mens rea is conspicuously absent, mere use of any forged or counterfeit currency notes or bank notes cannot attract the provisions of Section 489(B). The essential ingredient of the said offence being that the person, who receives the notes has reason to believe that the said notes are forged or counterfeit. The burden to prove beyond all reasonable doubt, that the accused had knowledge or reason to believe that the currency notes which were put to use/ possessed by him were counterfeit or fake currency note is on the prosecution.”

Source: Barandbench, LiveLaw 

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