Kuwait Law: Why Rupees?

Posted by Fajer Ahmed

So a lot of you have a read a few of my posts discussing different crimes under the Kuwaiti Penal Law and how the punishments were in Rupees. This caused quite a stir with a lot of people with many asking why the punishments were in Rupees instead of Kuwaiti Dinars. Some of the readers even claimed that those laws no longer applied because the punishments were in Rupees. Firstly that’s not true, the laws are still valid even though they are in Rupees. Secondly, below is an explanation on why Kuwait uses Rupees instead of Kuwaiti Dinars:

The History of the Use of Rupees in Kuwait
They were called the Arabian Gulf Rupees by the people that called our area the Arabian Gulf, and they were also called the Persian Rupees by the people that called our area the Persian Gulf. I decided that I am going to call them the Penal Law Rupees in this post.

The Penal Law Rupees were used in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the Trucial States (now famously known as UAE or should I just say Dubai). They were printed by India and it was used in Kuwait from 1959-1961. You can still find them on eBay selling from a few hundred dollars and all the way up to a few thousand dollars (I am so totally going through my granddads closet today! http://www.ebay.com/bhp/india-gulf-rupee).

The laws that have rupees as punishments and their implications
The Penal Law was promulgated (published) in 1960 which is why the punishments were in Rupees since that was the currency of Kuwait at that time. The currency was changed to Kuwaiti Dinars in 1961 (thanks to our awesome Constitution) and a new law had to be promulgated to change the Rupees to dinars. But you know how things take time in Kuwait and it took a little bit longer than expected to get this sorted… around 24 years.

In 1985 law no. 9 was published “for the replacement of the rupees by the Kuwaiti Dinar wherever stated in the Laws”, and in Article 1 of the law it states that rupees shall be exchanged to 75 fils, wherever they are mentioned in Kuwaiti Law.

So this is why Kuwait uses Rupees in the Kuwait Penal Law. If you want to read more about the Rupees history check out my sources [Here] and [Here].

If anyone finds Rupees in their mums closet then please email us a photo.

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
Have a Kuwait law related question? Email me at ask@fajerthelawyer.com

The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on 248am.com are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.


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19 comments, add your own...


  1. q8expat says:

    well its a good thing that’s out of the way…….

  2. Ashraf says:

    i have Indian Rupee notes of around the same time.. will that do??

    I’m guessing.. the currency in Guld & India were the same at that time.. even though it was called the Arabia or Persian rupee by the people at that time.

    so basically.. I’m guessing it was the case of the currency only being printed in India.. its that the currency was of India..

    if you need a pic.. let me know.

  3. mobi says:

    Why didn’t they also change the text in the laws?

    Last sentence has a typo I think.

  4. Q8Tdot says:

    There is so much Indian influence in Kuwait but the locals still look down on us. Sad.

  5. Umair says:

    I see.
    But I don’t think Wikipedia is a reliable source.

  6. Max says:

    Thanks for the info


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