Seven years jail for melting, destroying coins

March 25th, 2011 - 5:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, March 25 (IANS) The Lok Sabha Friday passed the bill making melting or destruction of currency coins punishable by a maximum jail term of seven years.

The Coinage Bill, first introduced in the house in December 2009, was given the nod without a discussion after Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee moved it.

The laws amalgamated under this comprehensive legislation are the Indian Coinage Act of 1906, the Small Coins (Offences) Act of 1971; the Metal Token Act of 1889 and the Bronze Coin (Legal Tender) Act of 1918.

The parliamentary standing committee of the finance ministry sought a jail term of 10 years for those destroying coins. But the union cabinet settled for seven years imprisonment.

The bill broadened the definition of “coin” to include one rupee currency notes which are virtually out of circulation.

As coins made of silver, nickel, copper and bronze are no longer in circulation, the legislation proposed to bring under its cover the use of any other material besides metals or mixed metals, informed sources said.

According to the Reserve Bank of India, coins with denomination of 25 paise and below will cease to be legal tender from June 30. Now, coins of 50 paise, Re.1, Rs.2, Rs.5 and Rs.10 are in circulation.

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