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110 demonetised notes found in Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesh hundi
Ten months may have passed since the Modi Government demonetised the currency notes of Rs 1,000 and 500, but the banned notes are still tumbling out of the people’s closets. This time around, as many as 110 notes of the denomination of Rs 1000 — worth Rs 1,10,000 — were a part of the cash offerings made by devotees in the donation boxes during the recent Ganpati festivities organised by Mumbai’s famous Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesh Mandal.
The discovery came during the counting of currency notes dropped by the devotees in the donation boxes kept at the Ganesh pandal of the Lalbaugcha Raja (King of Lalbaug) erected in the Masala Lane of Lalbaug in south-central Mumbai.“Of the total offerings worth Rs 5.8 crore made during this year’s Ganesh festivities between August 25 and September, we found to our utter surprise that there were as many as 110 demonetised notes of the denomination of Rs 1000 — totalling Rs 1,10,000— in the donation boxes,” the Mandal’s treasurer Mahesh Jadhav said here on Saturday.
Jadhav said that the issue of the offerings of the demonetised notes worth Rs 1,10,000 made by the devotees would be discussed at the Mandal's Managing Committee meeting to be held shortly. “We intend to check with the Reserve Bank Of India, if it still accepts these cancelled currencies. If they do not, we will seek their advice as what to do with the banned notes,” he said.Apart from Rs 5.8 crore cash, the devotees have dropped 5.5 kilograms of gold and 70 kilograms of silver in the donation boxes of Lalbaugcha Raja Mandal this year.
This year’s cash donations were less than the cash offerings of nearly Rs 8 crore made by devotees last year. The trustees attributed the drop in donations to the deluge that Mumbai witnessed on August 29, when devotees chose to stay indoors or were stranded at many places across the metropolis. The trustees pegged the turn-out of devotees at the famed Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesh Mandal this year at a staggering 1.1 crore. Prominent among those visited Lalbaugcha Raja Mandal and offered prayers to industrialist Mukesh, his wife and other family members and veteran Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan and his family.
The dilemma over the demonetised notes worth Rs 1.1 lakh found in the donation boxes faced by the Lalbaugcha Raja Mandal should be seen in the context of the fact that on Tuesday last, the Supreme Court had pulled up the Centre for not accepting the demonetised notes and gave two weeks to the Narendra Modi dispensation to respond in whether citizens will get another chance to deposit demonetised notes.
The SC directive to the Centre came after the Government agreed to examine “the genuineness of each case” involving people still having demonetised notes.
"You cannot trash a person's genuine hard-earned money and let it go waste like this... you had promised them a window, now you can't go back on your word to those who had genuine difficulty," the apex court said, while seeking a response from the Centre.
It may be recalled that on November 8, 2016, the Centre demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes and set December 31 as deadline to return old currency notes.On its part, the Supreme court observed: “If a person can prove it is his money and he/she had real difficulty in depositing by December 31, he must get a chance to change them".
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