Report No. 42
12.11. Punishment to be modified.-
As for punishment, we feel that a scale of punishment somewhere in between the comparatively light punishment prescribed for non-Indian coins and the more severe one provided for in the case of Indian coins, would be suitable. In this context, one must also keep in mind the diminishing importance of coins in the monetary system as compared with currency notes and the resulting lack of incentive to counterfeit coins.
12.12. Simplification of provisions.-
Further, we feel that the scheme of sections 489A to 489D dealing with offences relating to currency notes should be followed here also, as the former is much simpler and the provisions better drafted.
12.13. Section 230.-
Section 230 defines 'coin' and 'Indian coin'. In view of our proposal1 to do away with the distinction between Indian coins and foreign coins, this section may be revised as follows.-
"235. Coin defined.-Coin is metal used for the time being as money, and stamped and issued by the authority of the Government of India, or of the Government of a country outside India, in order to be so used.
Explanation.- Metal which has been stamped and issued by the authority of the Government of India in order to be used as money shall continue to be coin for the purposes of this Chapter, notwithstanding that it may have ceased to be used as money."
The illustrations to section 230 are unnecessary. Some of them deal with coins which are now obsolete, and none of them throws any special light on the definition. We, therefore, recommend the deletion of all illustrations to the section.
1. See para. 12.10, above.
12.14. Sections 231 and 23.-combined and amended.-
Sections 231 and 232 deal with the offence of counterfeiting 'coins' and 'Indian coins' respectively. They should be combined into one section. The punishment provided for in section 231 appears sufficient. In view of the definition1 of "counterfeit", the Explanation to section 231 is not of any practical use and may safely be omitted.
1. Section 28.
12.15. Sections 233, 234 and 23.-combined and revised.-
Section 233 deals with the offence of making or selling instruments for counterfeiting 'coins', and section 234 deals with the same offence in relation to Indian coins. These sections may be combined. Further, section 235 which deals with the offence of possessing such instruments may also, following the scheme of the provisions dealing with the counterfeiting of currency notes1, be incorporated in the same section.
1. Section 489D (renumbered 233 above).
12.16. Section 236 to be omitted.-
Section 236, which deals with the abetment of the counterfeiting of coins performed outside India, should be omitted, as section 108A covers the situation contemplated in this section.
12.17. Sections 237 and 23.-combined and amended.-
Sections 237 and 238 dealing with import and export of counterfeit coins may be combined into one section, with provision for imprisonment upto seven years.
12.18. Sections 239, 240 and 241-combined and revised.-
Sections 239 and 240 deal with the offence of 'delivery' of counterfeit coin. Section 241 deals with the 'delivery' of counterfeit coins which the offender did not know to have been counterfeited at the time they came into his possession. These may be combined into one section, with one punishment of seven years' imprisonment. The wording of the sections should also be changed, to bring them in conformity with section 489B1 which deals with a similar offence relating to counterfeit currency notes.
1. Renumbered 231; see para. 12.7, above.
12.19. Sections 242 and 24.-combined and revised.-
Sections 242 and 243 dealing with possession of counterfeit coins may be combined into one section, with provision for imprisonment upto five years. The present sections describe the mens rea as "fraudulently or with intent to defraud". We propose to follow the language of the corresponding section1 relating to currency notes, as it is more precise than the present wording.
1. Section 489C (renumbered 232).
12.20. Sections 244 and 245.-
Section 244 relates to employees in mints and section 245 deals with taking out coining instruments from mints. These sections do not require any change.