Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Rebuttal to Article in IBNS Journal Vol 54:3 titled “The Facts on High Denomination British India Banknotes with Burma Overstamps”

REBUTTAL

Vol. 54:3 of the I.B.N.S. Journal carried an Article by Anil R. Bohora  (LM 199) titled: The Facts on High Denomination British India Banknotes with Burma Overstamps”. 

As a student, I read the Article very keenly with expectations of a well researched and properly documented treatise on the subject. As I went along, I soon realized that the Article lacked any factual basis, is misrepresented and perhaps the Conclusion was first written and the Article was built around it.

Bohora’s article written backwards:
The Conclusion and its preceding paragraphs disclose the real purpose of the Article.  The rest of the Article very clearly discloses that, rather than a bonafide treatise, it is an exercise in fiction to target imaginary vested interests allegedly Dealers and Auction Houses whom Bohora accuses of selling genuine British India banknotes with fake Burma overstamps, to enhance their value, for inflated prices over € 20,000 and for this castigate I.B.N.S. and its Ethics Committee (for dereliction of duty) and Authors of a well researched and informative book.  This is of course a very serious charge – unfortunately not backed by any facts.

Bohora lost sight of the perils of writing a conclusion and then writing an Article to serve the Agenda and justify the conclusion.  The result is only natural – an Article based on surmises and conjectures which are wholly devoid of merit and fact and passages which are baseless.

The confusion in Bohora’s mind is about Overprinting of Bank Notes  vs.  Overstamping of Bank Notes.
Everybody from the fraternity is aware of the difference between ‘overprinting of bank notes’  and ‘overstamped bank notes’. 
However, in the first para of his Article, Bohora discloses that this basic difference is lost on him.  In this para Bohora states : “ … and auction houses are capitalizing on this activity by offering higher denomination British India banknotes with Burma overstamps at very high prices. The question is are these high denomination overprinted notes genuine?”  Thus Bohora uses the different terms overstamps and overprinted interchangeably. 

He claims that on a closer study of the overstamps used on British India Bank Notes of Rs.1000 or Rs.10000 (of value higher than Rs.100) reveal the following facts:

All lower denomination banknotes (Rs.100 or less) have overprints which are lithographed. 
It’s a mystery of how Bohora’s close study of Rs.1000 or Rs.10000 Bank Notes  (of value higher than Rs.100) revealed that Rs.100 notes had overprints which were lithographed. 

Nonetheless, Bohora’s tirade is confined to high denomination Indian bank notes of Rs.1000 and Rs.10000 which he contends were not overprinted for use in Burma.  He has not given any reference or provided an image of which Auction House has listed The Government of India Rs.10000 overstamped notes and the notes he closely studied.

Pre 1937, British India included Burma but thereafter Burma ceased to be a province of British India and was a separately administered British Colony.  Government of India bank notes printed pre 1937 for British India vs. RBI printed Burma specific bank notes (peacock notes) post 1938 for Burma a separately administered British colony.  RBI overprinted notes for the Military Administration of Burma and the Burma Currency Board in 1945.

Bohora is oblivious to the major difference between the   Government of India Bank Notes printed pre 1937 for British India, of which Burma was a Province vs. RBI  Bank Notes printed post 1938 for Burma a separately administered British colony and  RBI overprinted notes for the Military Administration of Burma and the Burma Currency Board in 1945.

Had Bohora known the difference, he would not have claimed Smoking Gun evidence based upon the proceedings of the British Parliament or RBI’s letter dated November 23, 1970 being the correspondence between Mr. C. M. Nielsen and the RBI.  This correspondence clearly pertains to RBI notes for “British Military Administration of Burma, etc. Notes”, which event transpired 8 years later than 1937 i.e. in 1945.

The extract of the letter from Reserve Bank of India:
Reference : F.No./298/12-70/71 dated November 23, 1970.
British Military Administration of Burma, etc. Notes
2.  No notes of denominations higher than Rs.100 were overprinted for Burma.
3.  We confirm that our records differentiate between overprinted notes of “Military Administration of Burma – Legal Tender in Burma Only” and “Burma Currency Board – Legal Tender in Burma Only”.
4.  “Thus overprinting of BMA and BCB was also done in the above Press.”
5.  “Regarding supply of overprinted notes, we are unable to assist you in the matter”.

The difference between the Government of India Bank Notes for British India and RBI Bank Notes for  Burma as a separate British Colony  are :

Government of India:
·      Circulated Govt. of India bank notes with portrait of King George V with circle of issue Rangoon which were in use until 1937.
·      Circulated an urgent interim issue of Govt. of India bank notes with ‘Legal Tender in Burma Only’ overprinted / overstamped on portrait of King George V with circle of issue Rangoon for denominations Rs.100, Rs.1000 and Rs.5, Rs.10 (without circle of issue) in 1937.

Reserve Bank of India:
·      Printed Burma specific bank notes (peacock notes) with portrait of King George VI for denominations Rs.5, Rs.10, Rs.100, Rs.1000 and Rs.10000 in 1938.
·      Overprinted ‘Military Administration of Burma Legal Tender in Burma Only’ on Reserve Bank of India notes with portrait of King George VI for denominations Rs.100 (circle of issue Calcutta), Rs.5, Rs.10 (without circle of issue) and for Re.1 Government of India bank notes with portrait of King George VI  in 1945.
·      Overprinted ‘Burma Currency Board Legal Tender in Burma Only’ on Reserve Bank of India notes with portrait of King George VI for denominations Rs.100 (circle of issue Calcutta), Rs.5, Rs.10 (without circle of issue) and for Re.1 Government of India bank notes with portrait of King George VI in 1947.

From the facts above, it is clear that the letter from RBI refers only to the KGVI portrait notes issued in 1945 / 1947 and is indeed true that “No notes of denominations higher than Rs.100 were overprinted for Burma” as they pertain to the BMA and BCB. Thus, Bohora’s reliance on RBI’s letter, dated November 23, 1970 – which only reiterates the obvious and is misrepresented in his article.

In the proceedings of the British Parliament, Mr. A. Henderson states :
"Mr. A. Henderson .... As regards the large notes, those of 1,000 and 10,000 denomination, it is, as the Order indicates, the fact that those notes are not to be regarded as legal tender. That, of course, does not mean that they will not be legal; but it will mean in practice that the onus will be put upon those who have them in their possession to establish that they came into their possession by lawful means. .... " In other words, high-denomination notes did exist.

In para 1 and subsequent paras of Bohora’s Article it is discernable that his grievance is that fake high/higher denomination British India banknotes with Burma overstamps are offered at very high prices.  It is trite to say that any price for a fake or tampered note is too high.  A fake or tampered Note is worthless and a source of trouble.  This relative concept of very high price for a fake or tampered note – whether overstamped or overprinted is another instance of confused thinking.

Bohora is also confused between a Note being a fake because it was never printed and put into circulation and that of a genuine bank note being printed and put into circulation but subsequently being rendered a fake by tampering with the Note by overprinting or overstamping it.  

Bohora closely studied a particular Bank Note of Rs. 1000 with a Burma overstamp and had a very strong center fold which he accepts is very common on a Note of its age.  As part of his DNA study, he noticed that the Letter “I” from the text “LEGAL TENDER IN BURMA ONLY” overstamped  on the center fold of the Bank Note is intact and not worn out.  If looked at closely, the Letter ‘I’ has been subject to wear and tear.

I am enclosing images of the following note numbers of Rs.1000 KGV Rangoon with overstamp. 
1.    Note with Serial Number X/6-094996.
2.    Note with Serial Number X/6-095146.
3.    Note with Serial Number X/6-095958.
4.    Note with Serial Number X/6-097133.
5.    Note with Serial Number X/6-097172.
6.    Note with Serial Number X/6-097173.
All the fonts of overstamps on these notes are identical.  I have yet to observe even an image of a Rs.1000 Government of India banknote with KGV portrait of Rangoon circle without any overstamp.  Any such note would certainly command a far greater value than the notes with the overstamp. 
Why would anyone want to deface and devalue any Rs.1000 bank notes of Rangoon with rubber stamps, which are RARE?

I have also enclosed the image on page 53 in the RBI Book ‘Mint
Road Milestones RBI at 75’ released by RBI in 2010.  The Rs.1000 KGV bearing serial number X/6-097172 is featured.













Bohora should refrain from passing dictums and statements like “IBNS members should not be fooled by fake Burma overstamps on Rs 1000 and, maybe Rs 10,000 British India banknotes and should not pay large sums of money for them”. 
I am sure IBNS members are knowledgeable and will not part with their money for fake notes.  The listing 5-3-A.1 in The Revised Standard Reference Guide to Indian Paper Money by Kishore Jhunjhunwalla and Rezwan Razack is legitimate and correct.


2 comments:

Avantika said...

Informative blog posted. Thank you for sharing it.


History of Indian Notes

bharti sharma said...

नासिक करेंसी नोट प्रेस ने RBI को 500 के 50 लाख नोट भेजे
Readmoretodaynews18.com https://goo.gl/C98uAV