• Antique coins

Hi,
I was having some antique coins which my brother has stolen and now not returning back. I am afraid that keeping antique coins is crime and if I send any notice to him I may face problems.
Please suggest how to recover. should I proceed to court.
Asked 4 years ago in Criminal Law
Religion: Hindu

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12 Answers

1. Why do you think keeping antique coins is a crime?

2. There are so many people and traders who have such antique coins

3. Lodge a police complaint immediately

Yusuf Rampurawala
Advocate, Mumbai
6880 Answers
79 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1) it is not crime to keep antique coins in your residence

3) if your brother has stolen your coins file Police complaint against him under section 406 of IPC for criminal breach of trust

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
87917 Answers
6207 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

You know the law that keeping antique coins without permission from the concerned authorities is illegal and a crime, then how can you take legal action on this against your brother.

As per the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972, any manuscript, coin, sculpture, painting etc which dates back to 100 years and above is an antique.

This act mandates you to have permission for keeping any antique with yourself from the Government of India. Although this act do not talks about selling or imitation of antique but in general it is not allowed as per criminal laws of India.

It is not illegal to sell coins at your desired price as per IndianCoinage Act, for 1 rupee and above one can sell it at any price, for others there is a restriction, unless one is hoarding lakhs of coins and inflating prices, The following are the words from The Indian Coinage Act:

Coin, when a legal tender:

13. (1) The coins issued under the authority of section 6 shall be a legal tender in payment or on account,-

(a) [in the case of a coin of any denomination not lower than one rupee],for any sum;

(b) in the case of a half-rupee coin, for any sum not exceeding ten rupees;

( c) in the case of any other coin, for any sum not exceeding one rupee:

Provided that the coin has not been defaced and has not lost weight so as to be less than such weight as may be prescribed in its case.

Now you decide that how are you going to recover the same, you cannot even give a police complaint on this.

T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
78070 Answers
1543 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Sir under the Antiquities art and Treasure act the registration of antiquies is compulsary if they are 100 years old possession of antiquies is not illegal and effect of non registration is punishable so donot worry even if the antiquies age you are not aware of you can escape the registration liability as it is not that harsh punishment and you can please before either you were not aware of age of coins or further can take any other defence when it come upon on case of non registration.

S.R. Kiran vs. Central Bureau of Investigation, Bangalore [1999 Cri LJ 3079 (Kar)], the Hon'ble Court considered the applicability of the penal provisions under section 25(2) of the Act. In this case, the articles in possession of the petitioner were 100 years old and the petitioner had not obtained the registration certificate under the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972. The Hon'ble Court observed that the articles were antiquities requiring registration and non-registration thereof was an offence under the Act. However, in view of the fact that the petitioner was not aware of the fact that the articles were 100 years old and he had not misused the articles for any purpose, the Hon'ble Court gave the petitioner an opportunity to make the necessary application to the competent authority, and ordered the authorities to return his antiquities if the petitioner satisfied the requirements of law.

So you can recovery same by filling a police complaint from your brother and then present them for registration.

Shubham Jhajharia
Advocate, Ahmedabad
25516 Answers
179 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Hi,

The dealing in regard to antique coins can be done as per The Antiquities And Art Treasures Act,1972 and if you are the authorised owner of the coins, you may ask for that from your brother and file the case in court.

Ganesh Singh
Advocate, New Delhi
6646 Answers
16 Consultations

4.5 on 5.0

You were supposes to have the permission from the Govt. of India to retain these coins.

Having said that, you may still your brother a legal notice calling upon him to return these to you.

There's no big harm in approaching the Police as well. Thus, your may trying taking their help as well.

Vibhanshu Srivastava
Advocate, New Delhi
9426 Answers
245 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Dear Sir.

Be Aware Of Your Obligations!

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Law Relating To "Antiquities" In India

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Have you inherited, collected or are in possession of any books, statues, coins, manuscripts, sculptures etc.? Because if you have, then there are some compliance obligations upon you under law before you can 'lawfully' own the same and/or deal with them.

Antiquities (identified as 'antiques' in common parlance) in India are governed by The Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972 (hereinafter referred to as the "Act") read with The Antiquities and Art Treasures Rules, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as the "Rules") which falls within the purview of the Archaeological Survey of India ("ASI"), Ministry of Culture.

The Act was brought into force with effect from 5th April, 1976 in order to regulate the export trade in antiquities and art treasures, and to provide for the prevention of smuggling of, and fraudulent dealings in, antiquities, to provide for the compulsory acquisition of antiquities and art treasures for preservation in public places and to provide for certain other matters connected therewith or incidental or ancillary thereto.

Is what you own, possess, or have inherited an Antiquity or not?

In order to ascertain whether any books, statues, coins, manuscripts, sculptures, painting, epigraph, manuscript, record, any article/ object/thing detached from a building/ cave, or of historical interest, or illustrative of science, art, crafts, literature, religion, customs, morals or politics in bygone ages, etc. collected/possessed/ inherited by you is an 'antiquity' under the Act, it is important to understand what exactly falls within the definition of an 'antiquity'. The term 'antiquity' has been defined under the Act as under:

2. (1) (a) "antiquity" includes

(I) (i) any coin, sculpture, painting epigraph or other work of art or craftsmanship;

(ii) any article, object or thing detached from a building or cave;

(iii) any article, object or thing illustrative of science, art, crafts, literature, religion, customs, morals or politics in bygone ages;

(iv) any article, object or thing of historical interest;

(v) any article, object or thing declared by the Central Government, by notification in the Official Gazette, to be an antiquity for the purposes of this Act,

which has been in existence for not less than one hundred years; and

(II) any manuscript, record or other document which is of scientific, historical, literary or aesthetic value and which has been in existence for not less than seventy-five years;"

On perusal of the definition of the term 'antiquity' above, it is evident that in order to ascertain whether an article, object, thing, manuscript, record or other document etc. is an antiquity or not, the basic benchmark is to first see the age of such article, object etc.

I am certain that most of us would not be able to tell the age of an article unless we have any documentary proof. In most of the cases one would guess the age based on hearsay without being certain. However, we all know the general rule that hearsay evidence is notadmissible under law (except to the extent permissible by the Indian Evidence Act, 1872).

So what can one do in a case where there is a confusion about the age of the article?

The solution to that is two-fold, first you can either refer the article for scrutiny by an expert in the field of antiquities and obtain a certificate from him regarding the same, or it can be referred to the Director-General, ASI, or to an officer not below the rank of a Director in ASI authorised by the Director General, ASI to ascertain if the article is actually an antique/ antiquity or not and the decision of the Director-General, ASI or such officer, as the case may be, on such question shall be final.1

So, once it is established that the article that you have is not an antiquity, there is really nothing to do or worry about. But just in case the article possessed by you is an 'antiquity' under the Act, then depending upon the age of the Article -i.e whether it is 75 years old or 100 years old you will need to comply with certain formalities like getting the said Article registered with the government authorities.

Registration- Why? With whom? How?

Not all articles, manuscripts, records, sculptures, coins etc. possessed/ collected/ inherited by you which fall within the definition of the term 'antiquity', are required to be registered under the Act.

Depending upon the necessity for conserving certain objects of art, need to preserve such objects within India for better appreciation of the cultural heritage of India etc., the Central Government, from time to time, in its notification in the Official Gazette specifies those antiquities which are mandatorily required to be registered under the Act.

Section 14 of the Act requires every person who owns, controls or is in possession of any antiquity specified by the Central Government in its notification, to register such antiquity before the registering officer and obtain a certificate in token of such registration within the following timelines:

in the case of a person who owns, controls or possesses such antiquity on the date of issue of such notification, within three months of such date; and

in the case of any other person, within fifteen days of the date on which he comes into ownership, control or possession of such antiquity.2

Therefore, you may not be owning an antiquity covered under section 14 of the Act; however even if such antiquity is under your control or even possession, you are required to register such antiquity under the Act.

In view of the above section 14, the Ministry of Education and Social Welfare vide Notification No. S.0. 448(E), dated 2.7.1976 as amended by S.0. 397(E), dated 15.5.1980, has specified the antiquities which are required to be registered under the Act.

As per the said notification, only the following antiquities which have been in existence for not less than one hundred years are required to be registered:

Sculptures in stone, terracotta, metals, ivory and bone;

Paintings (including miniatures and tanks) in all media, that is to say, paper, wood, cloth, silk and the like;

Manuscripts, where such manuscripts contain paintings, illustrations or illuminations;

Sculptured figures in wood (both in relief and round).

In other words, a sculpture/manuscript/ article/ object/ thing etc. may be an 'antiquity' under the Act; however mandatory registration is required only for those sculptures, paintings, manuscripts etc. which are mentioned in the aforesaid notification and have been in existence for one hundred years or more. In case the said antiquity has been in existence for less than one hundred years there is no requirement for registration. However, as soon as the said item becomes one hundred years old registration must be got done.

Therefore, in case the antiquity in your possession/control/ ownership requires compulsory registration under the Act, and has not been so registered by you, you may be liable for punishment with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine or with both and the antiquity in respect of which the offence has been committed is liable to confiscation.3

In the case of S.R. Kiran vs. Central Bureau of Investigation, Bangalore [1999 Cri LJ 3079 (Kar)], the Hon'ble Court considered the applicability of the penal provisions under section 25(2) of the Act. In this case, the articles in possession of the petitioner were 100 years old and the petitioner had not obtained the registration certificate under the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972. The Hon'ble Court observed that the articles were antiquities requiring registration and non-registration thereof was an offence under the Act. However, in view of the fact that the petitioner was not aware of the fact that the articles were 100 years old and he had not misused the articles for any purpose, the Hon'ble Court gave the petitioner an opportunity to make the necessary application to the competent authority, and ordered the authorities to return his antiquities if the petitioner satisfied the requirements of law.

Although the Court in the above case granted the benefit of the doubt to the Petitioner, however one must remember that ignorance of law is no excuse and anyone in possession of antiquity falling under section 14 above must inform the authorities and get it registered.

So the next question that arises here is with whom the registration has to be done and the procedure to get the antiquity registered.

Application Procedure- Every application for a certificate of registration under the Act is required to be made in Form VII to the registering officer having jurisdiction over the area in which the applicant resides, and the following information is required to be submitted by the person owning/ controlling/ possessing the antiquities:

Name of applicant

Address of applicant

Identification and description of object with three copies of photographs in post card or quarter size

Material

Size

Approximate date and source of acquisition

Where the applicant has come into ownership, control or possession of any antiquity which is already registered under the Act, registration number of such antiquity and the name of the registering officer, who had registered it.

Date of acquisition

Mode of acquisition

Price paid, if any

Present location and condition of preservation and security

Although the registering authority is bound to register the antiques once they are convinced; however in case the registration is denied, the Act provides for filing an appeal under section 21 of the Act read with rule 14 of the Rules against the decision of the registering officer.

Transfer- Permissible but after registration formalities are completed

Having validly secured the ownership of your antiquities, you may transfer ownership of the same, provided the transfer formalities as provided under section 17 of the Act are complied with.

As per section 17 of the Act read with rule 13 of the Rules, whenever any person transfers the ownership, control or possession of any antiquity which is mandatorily required to be registered under the Act, the fact of such transfer shall be required to be intimated in Form IX by the transferor to the registering officer having jurisdiction over the area where the transferor resides and also to the registering officer having jurisdiction over the area where the transferee resides.

Can you export the "antiquity" that has been registered?

No, that is not possible. In this regard it is pertinent to note that no private person is allowed under the Act to export antiquities. It is only lawful for the Central Government or any authority or agency authorized by the Central Government in this behalf, to export antiquities.4 If any person exports or attempts to export any antiquity in contravention of the aforesaid provision of the Act, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to three years and with a fine.5

To conclude, if you possess articles that come within the ambit of the law as stated above, follow the law and enjoy your possessions. Thus, it is better to BE AWARE!

Footnotes

1. Section 24 of The Antiquities And Art Treasures Act,1972

2. Section 14 of the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972

3. Section 25(2) of The Antiquities And Art Treasures Act,1972

4. Section 3 of The Antiquities And Art Treasures Act,1972

5. Section 25(1) of The Antiquities And Art Treasures Act,1972

Kishan Dutt Kalaskar
Advocate, Bangalore
6050 Answers
381 Consultations

4.8 on 5.0

1) You can directly ask to retain your antique coins back to you.

2) Actually you csn file case against him and later on you have to registered old coins with registrar.

Ganesh Kadam
Advocate, Pune
12335 Answers
191 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

Hello,

If you were keeping the same for collection then the same is not a crime and you can send a Notice for the same.

Regards

Anilesh Tewari
Advocate, New Delhi
17940 Answers
377 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Dear Client,

No Criminal act attract, carrying antiques coins acquired through legal mode or inherited.

All u need to check if they really comes under definition of antiques than must obtained the registration certificate under the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972 failure to do so than penal offense extend to six months or with fine or with both and the antiquity in respect of which the offence has been committed shall be liable to confiscation.,

Yogendra Singh Rajawat
Advocate, Jaipur
21481 Answers
31 Consultations

4.4 on 5.0

No there is no crime to keep antiques coins in India. You need to take permission but as per the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972' deals with Antiques.

2. As per this act any manuscript, coin, sculpture, painting etc which dates back to 100 years and above is an antique.

3. This act mandates you to have permission for keeping any antique with yourself from the Government of India.

You can lodge a Complaint for the same if you desire.

Prashant Nayak
Advocate, Mumbai
27247 Answers
88 Consultations

4.4 on 5.0

Dear querist

this a theft case, if you want to prosecute him then file a criminal complaint against him before police and after registration of FIR the police may recover the same from him and by the court, you may get the same on supardari.

Feel Free to Call

Nadeem Qureshi
Advocate, New Delhi
6220 Answers
302 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

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