(Querist) 22 September 2017
This query is : Open
I experienced a strange situation recently in a south Indian state. When I offered Rs 4.50 to a shopkeeper for buying a newspaper, he refused the money, which is the actual price of the newspaper, and asked me to pay Rs 5 or leave. Mercifully only one man of the town does this but my newspaper is available only with him.
While I tried to reason with him, he maintains that nobody wants a 50 paise coin. It is not correct because buses, shops etc accept coins of Rs 10, Rs 5 and lower denominations up to 50 paise. Banks too accept coins here.
I know that since RBI has not withdrawn it, the coin is still a valid tender. The RBI says action will be taken against anybody who refuses legal tender. Many sites and pundits say refusal to accept legal tender is illegal. But nobody, even the RBI, has clarified so far how to proceed legally in the matter. The common man is in a quandary.
There is always the District Consumer Court. Before approaching them, can I go to a police station and lodge a complaint? Is only the RBI authorized to take action against those who refuse the coins? Who is the authority to be approached for redressal?
Vijay Raj Mahajan
(Expert) 22 September 2017
50 paisa coin is no more legal tender and can be refused by any shopkeeper. Go to RBI and deposit all you got of these coins of different denomination, get the notes of the value you deposit there.
Before any coin is withdrawn from circulation the government issues a notification under sub-section 15A of the Coinage Act, 1906 announcing the date from which the coin would cease to be legal tender. In the case of the 25 paise coin which was withdrawn from June 2011, the government had issued a notification in December 2010.