Though unconfirmed and unverified reports of misprinted notes had been buzzing online this past week, reports based on at least three case studies have confirmed that different variants of the new Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Rs 500 notes have been found.
While the news of misprinted notes was earlier dismissed as shabby photocopies of the new currency notes in an attempt to taint the PM's image and his efforts, the latest discovery does not automatically validate or verify all the previous claims that have been doing the rounds online.
In the first case, Abshar a resident of Delhi, told TOI: "There is a more than visible shadow of Gandhi's face, besides alignment issues with the national emblem on the note and even serial numbers."
Another individual from Gurugram– Rehan Shah discovered that the size of the borders of the notes were unalike. Another Mumbai resident was surprised to find out that the two notes he received were of different shades of colour.
However, if in fact you happen to be an unfortunate soul who stood in a long queue to only be handed a half-printed note like the aforementioned cases, don't be aghast because the RBI has said in a statement that the "misprinted" notes can be returned and exchanged with them in case they are refused during a transaction.
"It is likely that notes with printing defect has got released due to the current rush. However, people can freely accept such a note in transaction or return it to RBI," Alpana Killawala, RBI spokesperson was quoted saying to saying Times of India.
The aim of demonetizing the currency was explained to be inspired by the agenda of curbing the parallel or shadow economy by removing counterfeit currency in a 27-page affidavit submitted to the Supreme court by the centre on Thursday.
But even then the RBI has not yet commented on how these variants can pile on the common man's misery as this is only expected to usher in more confusion and may even threaten the stated aim and agenda of demonetization– to remove counterfeit currency used to promote terrorism.
"As it is, people find it difficult to understand all features of an official note and fail to check for everything before they accept one. Now, if there are too many versions of the official note, slipping in another would be easier than otherwise," a senior IPS officer warned.