New Delhi, Sep 19 (Calcutta Tube) A parliamentary panel has recommended 10 years of jail for melting or destroying coins — the same sentence as for counterfeiting them or currency notes.
The panel, headed by former finance minister Yashwant Sinha, has asked the government to consider incorporating ten-year jail term in the Coinage Bill, 2009, that the panel finished examining recently.
A provision of 10-years jail term in the new Coinage Bill, 2009, for melting or destructing of coins will be at par with the punishment provided in the Indian Penal Code for counterfeiting coins or currency notes, said the parliamentary committee on finance ministry in its report tabled in parliament Aug 31.
‘The maximum punishment of seven years in jail for melting or destructing of coins, as proposed in the Bill is less than the maximum punishment of imprisonment of ten years under the relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860,’ the committee said.
‘In view of the seriousness of the offences, the committee feels that the punishment for melting or making or destructing coins should be increased to ten years as applicable under the Indian Penal Code,’ it added.
The panel recommended 10-year jail despite the union finance ministry contending that the melting or destroying coins merely creates their shortage in the market.
‘There is, however, no motive to defraud anyone or to destabilise the economy as in the case of counterfeiting, and hence there is a case for maintaining a distinction in the punishment for melting or destruction of coins to seven years,’ the ministry told the panel.
But the panel termed ‘unauthorised melting of coins for purposes such as making artificial jewellery etc., and resulting in shortage of coins’ as ‘an issue of serious concern’ and insisted upon the enhancing the jail sentence to 10 years.