The CBI announced on Wednesday – the first anniversary of demonetisation – that it had lodged 84 cases relating to exchange of old high-valued currency in various departments like banks, post offices, railways and insurance companies amounting a total of Rs 395.19 crore. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered 77 FIRs and arrested 47 persons, including 21 government servants, during its investigation of these corruption cases while probing seven cases by filing preliminary enquiry, said CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal. “We acted on more than 500 references received from general public and other agencies. We conducted joint surprise checks on banks and others. During investigation, 47 persons were held out of 307 accused (including public servants) found to be involved in these cases,” he said.

Dayal said it found the involvement of 183 public servants and 124 private persons during the investigation of these cases so far. “Involvement of more public servants is expected.” He said chargesheets have been filed in 12 cases and regular departmental action has also been recommended in a few cases. “The amount involved in these cases is around Rs 395.19 crore. Demonetised and new currency worth crores and large number of incriminating documents have also been recovered.” Dayal said the fraudulent exchange of old currency notes took place mainly at commercial and cooperative banks against which the CBI has registered 59 cases. The CBI registered 18 cases linked with post offices, five with Railways, and one with the insurance department.

The benefit of the demonetisation was that “corrupt practices were checked”, he said, adding that the agency is giving top priority to such cases aimed at completing the investigation in a particular time frame. “CBI Director (Alok Verma) has given top priority to the investigation of the demonetisation cases. He has directed the teams investigating the cases to complete the investigation in a fixed time frame and ensure those found guilty brought to book. Demonetisation has significantly added the CBI it its anti-corruption by taking action against public servants and individuals hoarding cash.”

Several agencies like Income Tax, Enforcement Directorate and the CBI have seized demonetised currency with face value in crores in the last one year and arrested several persons attempting to exchange their ill-gotten money or those helping them for the purpose after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8, 2016 declared Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes as “invalid tender”. After one year of the demonetisation, the government is celebrating it as “anti-black money day” while opposition performing protest against the move calling it as “black day”.