It is not unusual to see colour-stained notes after Holi. Not just colour, you may have come across scribbled notes, notes with dirt settled on them, limpness, corner folds, tears, holes, stains, graffiti, crumples, de-colouration, folds and repair. There are talks of such notes being invalid for legal tender. Many believe in such rumours and do not use the note or exchange it for a lower value currency. At times, bank officials too, refuse to accept such notes, validating the rumour. However, as per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), if a note is genuine and its features are not fully obliterated, banks have to accept such notes.
RBI assures useability
As part of the clean note policy, the apex bank has asked all other banks to not staple bank notes, to tender soiled notes to the RBI in unstapled condition, to use bands instead of staple pins, to issue only clean notes, to open select currency chest branches on Sundays to provide exchange facility to public all over the country, to provide unrestricted facility for exchange of soiled and mutilated notes to the public. However, citizens must not tamper with a note owing to RBI’S assurance. The RBI said it will not accept certain scribbling on the note, for instance, all bank notes with religious or political slogans are banned.
How to exchange
Soiled notes can be exchanged at any public sector bank counter, any currency chest branch of a private sector bank or any issue office of the RBI, without filling any form. Notes which are in pieces or of have essential portions such as name of issuing authority, guarantee, promise clause, sign, emblem or portrait of Mahatma Gandhi and water mark missing, can also be exchanged. The refund value of such notes is paid as per RBI (Note Refund) Rules. Notes which are excessively soiled, brittle, burnt, and cannot withstand normal handling, can be exchanged only at RBI’S issue office.