Short title and duration. — (1) This Act may be called The Small Coins (Offences) Act 1971.
- Definitions. —In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, —
(a) “mint” means a mint of the Government of India.
(b) “small coin” means any coin of the value of less than one rupee, which is legal tender under the Indian Coinage Act, 1906.
- Prohibition on melting or destruction of small coins. —(1) No person shall —
(a) melt or destroy any small coin, or
(b) have in his possession, custody or control —
(i) any melted coin, whether in the molten state or in a solid state, or
(ii) any small coin in a destroyed or mutilated state, or
(iii) small coins substantially in excess of his reasonable requirements in such circumstances as to indicate that he is having the possession, custody or control of such small coins for the purpose of melting or destroying such small coins.
Explanation. — For the purpose of determining the reasonable requirements of small coins of a person, due regard shall be had to —
(i) his total daily requirements of small coins.
(ii) the nature of his business, occupation or profession,
(iii) the mode of his acquisition of small coins, and
(iv) the manner in which, and the place at which, such small coins are being possessed, held or controlled by him.
(2) Whoever is found to be in the possession of any metal, which contains alloys in the same proportions in which they have been used in the manufacture of any small coin, shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, to have contravened the provisions of sub-section (1).
(3) Nothing contained in sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall apply to the mint.
- Penalty for contravention of Section 3. —Whoever contravenes any provision of sub-section (1) of Section 3 without any reasonable excuse, the burden or proving of which shall lie on such person, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term of not less than three months but not more than five years.
- Offences by companies. —(1) Where an offence against this Act has been committed by a company, every person who, at the time the offence was committed, was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of its business, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly:
Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any person liable to punishment, if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he had exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where any offence under this Act has been committed by a company and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to, any neglect on the part of any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
Explanation. — For the purposes of this section, —
(a) “company” means any body corporate and includes a firm, society or other association of individuals; and
(b) “director“, —
(i) in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm,
(ii) in relation to a society or other association of individuals, means the person who is entrusted, under the rules of the society or other association, with the management of the affairs of the society or other association, as the case may be.
- Offences to be cognizable, bailable and not compoundable. —Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, offences against this Act shall be cognizable and bailable but shall not be compundable.
- Offences may be tried summarily. —Notwithstanding anything contained in Section 260 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, offences against this Act may be tried summarily by a Presidency Magistrate or a Magistrate of the first class.
- Forfeiture. —Any small coin or metal in relation to which any offence against this Act has been committed shall be forfeited to Government.
- Provisions of Act 20 of 1958 not to apply to offences under this Act. —Nothing in the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958 shall apply to any offence against this Act.
- Repeal. —The Small Coins (Offences) Ordinance, 1971, is hereby repealed.