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MUMBAI : The RBI on Tuesday asked banks to preserve the CCTV recordings of their branches and currency chests from November 8, 2016, to December 30, 2016, till further orders with a view to assisting the enforcement agencies to take actions against persons involved in illegal activities during the demonetisation period.

The government had demonetised the then in circulation high value currency notes of 500 and 1,000 on November 8, 2016, with an aim to check blackmoney and curb terror funding. As part of the exercise, the government gave the opportunity to the people to exchange junked currency notes (referred as Specified Bank Notes) or deposit them in their bank accounts. New currency notes of 500 and 2,000 denominations were also issued after withdrawal of SBNs.

Huge crowds were witnessed at bank branches across the country for exchanging or depositing the demonetised currency. On the basis of various inputs, the investigative agencies also started probing matters relating to illegal accumulation of new currency notes. In order to facilitate such investigations, the RBI has asked the banks not to destroy the CCTV recordings of the period of demonetisation till further orders. "...keeping in view the investigations pending with law enforcement agencies, proceedings pending at various courts, you are advised to preserve the CCTV recordings of operations at bank branches and currency chests for the period from November 08, 2016 to December 30, 2016 in a proper way, till further orders," the RBI said in a circular to banks.

The present order is a continuation of an earlier advisory issued to the lenders in December 2016 to preserve the CCTV footage of operations at bank branches and currency chests. Of the 15.41 lakh crore worth 500 and 1,000 notes in circulation on November 8, 2016, when the note ban was announced, notes worth 15.31 lakh crore have been returned.

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