Based on RBI guidelines, the Kerala Finance department passed an order on Monday that currency note garlands cannot be used to honour political or religious leaders as any currency bears the stamp of a nation's supreme authority.
In September 2013, the Reserve Bank of India had released a statement stating that making garlands of currency notes, a practice followed in Indian marriages and political rallies deface the banknotes and shorten their life. “Currency notes should be treated with respect, as they are a symbol of the Sovereignty of a nation. The public should not hence misuse them. This would help in increasing their lifespan," goes the RBI statement. The current practice of making garlands out of currency notes just serves to get them damaged and they cannot be used for any further functional purpose.
Speaking on the issue, Thiruvananthapuram Commissioner of Police Shri H Venkatesh clarified that as of now, there was no law in place to deal with this practice but the police would deal with it on a case-to-case basis: "The practice of honouring public figures with note-garlands are more prevalent in North India than down South. We have never had till date to deal with any such complaint. But in case we do, we will definitely do the follow-up and spread awareness regarding such a directive. Maybe then we could look at it from a legal angle too as to what can be done to prevent such misuse of currency."