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DC Kohima cautions unauthorized money lenders

Wednesday, 13 December 2017 12:18
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Dimapur, December 12: In a move to regulate the mushrooming illegal money lending business, the Kohima District administration has notified that unauthorized money lenders are liable to be punished with imprisonment for a term that may extend to six months or with fine or both.

In a notification, DC Kohima, Rajesh Soundararajan informed the general public and unauthorized money lenders that as per Section 24 of the Nagaland Money Lenders Act 2005 whoever carry on money lending business without a license shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to Rs 2500 or with both. 

Also as per the relevant sub section of Section 7, no money lender can charge interest at a rate exceeding more than three percent above the prevailing average bank rates of interest on loans and rate of interest shall be per annum simple interest on the principal amount of the loan. 

Under Section 16 (1) (b), any money lenders whether licensed or not who receives interest higher than the rate prescribed under Section 7 or at the rate higher than the rate shown in the accounts shall be punishable with imprisonment for term which may exceed to one year or with fine which may extend to Rs 5000 or with both.

The Kohima District administration issued the notice following complaints received regarding lending money by un-licensed money lenders, charging exorbitant interest rates and cases of threat, intimidation and forceful seizure of moveable/immoveable properties, which are violation of the Nagaland Money Lenders Act 2005. 

The DC notified that any aggrieved person can file a money suit in respect of any offence like excess charge of interest, no proper maintenance of records, failure to keep full and detailed description of each of the articles taken in pawn by pawn broker. 

In case of criminal offence arising out of this act like threat, intimidation, assault, abduction, kidnap, forceful seizing of moveable/immoveable property etc., a criminal complaint can be lodged under section 20 of the said act before the competent court of judicial magistrate. 

Advising the general public to borrow only from institutional and licensed money lenders, the DC said there are specific loan scheme for various section i.e. farmers, students, entrepreneurs and skilled workforce etc. Institutional creditors provide larger amount of loan on lower interest rate without any guarantee.

The notice further informed all concerned that any persons/groups/society violating the laid down rules and regulations are liable to be punished under relevant sections as mentioned above.

(Page News Service) 

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