New Delhi: An State Bank of India (SBI) ATM here dispensed fake Rs 2,000 notes -- with "Entertainment Bank of India" printed in place of Reserve Bank of India and other glaring discrepancies. Police said on Wednesday they have identified the culprits, while the SBI said it suspected the involvement of some miscreants with mischievous intent in the incident.
The incident was reported in south Delhi where a State Bank of India ATM dispensed the fake notes on February 6.
According to reports, a man who withdrew Rs. 8,000 cash from the SBI ATM in south Delhi was shocked to see, at a closer glance, that all four 2,000-rupee notes had been issued by the "Entertainment Bank Of India".
As Rohit Kumar played Spot The Difference, right there at the ATM of the government-run State Bank of India, at least nine more deviations emerged in the cleverly-produced fakes.
In place of the official mark, a little box said "Churan Lable (label)". The Reserve Bank of India was the "Entertainment Bank of India" and the note promised two thousand "coupens" instead of rupees to the "barer". Central government became "bachchon ki sarkar (children's government). The notes also had "PK" on them in place of the RBI stamp.
The SBI, however, said the chances of fake notes from its ATM are very remote.
"SBI has in place, at all its Currency Chests a very robust system for monitoring the quality of notes. All notes received by the Bank and to be dispensed by the Bank, either through its ATMs or its branches, are processed through the latest state-of-the-art 'Note Sorting Machines'... Thus, no fake note is likely to be dispensed through Bank's ATMs at any time," the SBI said in a statement.
The incident triggered sharp criticism of the government and its November 8 demonetisation decision, ostensibly aimed at to curb counterfeit currency notes in India.
Congress termed it an "epic disaster of the banking system", saying this destroys its credibility and also reflects operational failure of demonetisation.
"The current example is a manifestion of the monumental operational failure that demonetisation has been in this country. Not only are we finding counterfeit currency notes being exported to India from Pakistan, but also finding from domestic ATMs fake currency notes being given to the customers," said Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal too slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the fake currency.
"A Prime Minister who can't even print notes properly; how can he run the country? He has reduced the whole nation into a laughing stock," the Aam Aadmi Party leader tweeted.