Security breach in currency printing: Internal inquiry indicts top officials, govt yet to take action
New Delhi: On one hand, Narendra Modi government is investigating espionage in various ministries; on the other side it is yet to take action on a grave security breach in the printing of currency notes.
According to a report published in Time of India, an internal inquiry into a serious security breach at Madhya Pradesh's Hoshangabad mint in the manufacture of bank note papers using defective security thread with Arabic inscriptions in 2012 has termed the lapse so serious that it could impact national security, exposing the country to allegations of counterfeiting its own currency.
An internal inquiry report by a former CBI director recently indicted top officials of the Security Printing & Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL), a government company, for lapses that led to bank notes using an imported security thread with Arabic inscriptions in 2012 in its Hoshangabad-based mill.
The report highlights how despite such a clear breach in security of Indian bank notes, senior officials of SPMCIL and the finance ministry sat on it for months together even as they went into damage control mode.
The matter has also come under the scanner of the Delhi high court which earlier this month admitted a PIL and issued a notice to the Centre, SPMCIL and its director M S Rana.
The PIL questions Rana's eligibility for the position of CMD, claiming he was appointed without the requisite clearance from the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). The court has also issued notice to CVC, seeking answers to the allegations.
The then UPA government hurriedly ordered an inquiry, fourteen months later when a local newspaper in Madhya Pradesh brought out the facts.
The initial inquiry said that the government could have faced a major embarrassment for circulating bank notes with Arabic security threads. The government may have to explain its stand on the matter before Delhi HC in March, the next date of hearing on the PIL filed by one Ramakant Dixit.