A post is being shared on social media claiming that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued new guidelines to banks to treat new bank notes with writings on them as invalid. This post claims that any writings on currency notes will make the note invalid and will no more be considered legal tender. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.
Claim: RBI issued new guidelines to banks to treat scribbled notes as invalid.
Fact: RBI did not issue any such new guidelines stating scribbled bank notes as invalid. RBI on their website clearly stated that all bank notes with writings or colour stains on them will continue to be legal tender, provided they are decipherable. Lately, the Press Information Bureau (PIB) through a tweet clarified the same saying that bank notes with scribblings on them will still continue to be legal tender. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.
When searched to check whether RBI has issued any such news guidelines announcing scribbled notes as invalid, we could not find any such new guidelines on the RBI website. RBI in their ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ section mentioned about the scribbled notes and said, “All Bank notes including Mahatma Gandhi (New) series notes with writing or colour stains on them continue to be legal tender, provided they are decipherable. Such notes can be deposited or exchanged in any bank branch.”
However, RBI in another statement informed people that bank notes which carry any extrinsic words or visible representations intended to convey or capable of conveying any message of a political or religious character or furthering the interest of any person or entity will be rejected as per the Reserve Bank of India (Note Refund) Rules, 2009 [As amended by Reserve Bank of India (Note Refund) Amendment Rules, 2018.
The ‘Clean Note Policy’ of RBI states, “The members of public were urged not to write on the currency notes and banks were instructed to provide unrestricted facility for exchange of soiled and mutilated notes. As per the Reserve Bank instructions, currency chest branches of the banks must offer, even to non-customers, good quality notes and coins in exchange for soiled and mutilated notes.” Lately, RBI did not make any amendments to its Clean Note Policy.
On 08 January 2023, the Press Information Bureau (PIB) tweeted clarifying that RBI had not issued any new guidelines announcing scribbled notes as invalid. The RBI has on multiple occasions issued clarifications on these rumours of banks not accepting currency notes with anything written on them, and confirmed these rumours as fake.
Earlier, when similar posts were being shared on social media claiming that RBI has incurred a loss of Rs. 2000 crores because of replacing scribbled notes with new notes, FACTLY published a fact-check article debunking that claim.
To sum it up, RBI did not issue any new guidelines to banks to treat scribbled notes as invalid.