Ex-husband behind bars as alimony in withdrawn currency notes declined

Kolkata, Nov 15 (IANS) A court here on Tuesday sentenced a man to a month after his divorced wife refused to accept withdrawn notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denominations as alimony.

Bijoy Sil, a resident of Muchipara area in north Kolkata, was arrested a week ago for allegedly not paying the alimony to his ex-wife over the last few years.

Sil was produced to the Family Court here on Tuesday for the hearing in the case.

When Additional Judge Shyamal Kumar Biswas asked Sil to pay the due alimony of Rs 2.25 lakh, his family members handed over the total amount in denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 curency notes, which have ceased to be legal tender from November 9.

However, the ex-wife refused to accept the spiked notes.

Sil’s counsel Pratap Chandra Dey contended that the Reserve Bank of India has decreed that the notes could be deposited in banks by December 30.

But the judge did not accept the plea and sent Sil to jail for a month.

“He has been arrested. The court told him since he has not been able to pay the money in new notes, we are sending you to jail for a month,” said a relative of Sil.

“They said they will give old notes. But the old Rs 50 and Rs 1000 currency notes are now defunct. So we could not accept them. So the court sent him to custody,” said the woman’s counsel.

Dey said they would move to higher judiciary to challenge the court’s verdict.

“We will move an appeal at the Calcutta High Court as soon as possible. Why should a person have to languish in jail because he could not give new notes?” he said.