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Offenses related to Weight and Measure

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Offenses related to Weight and Measure

In India, the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 deals with the methods and units of the weight and measurement relating to the obligatory legal and technical compliances. The same is done to make sure public assurance from the security’s point of view. This act also provides punishments for the offenses related to weight and measure. Further, the main aim behind the enforcement of the Act is listed below:

  • To set and implement the standards and norms concerning weight and measures,
  • To administer trade and business relating to weights, measures, and other goods which are sold or distributed by using weights, measure or numbers, and
  • To look after any other associated matter.

What are the Key Offenses related to Weight and Measure?

The key offenses related to weight and measure are listed below:

  • Measuring Instruments: An individual is not permitted to manufacture, import, or sell any measuring instrument which is not duly stamped, confirmed, and is improper, or the same has been tampered, or meddled with the one that does not abide by the regulations, or the one that is not yet registered.
  • Pre-Packaged Goods: A person is not allowed or permitted to pre-package, distribute, or sell goods that are not appropriately labelled, measured, or do not have the accurate quantity, or does not adhere to the regulations such as compliance regarding packaging goods.
  • Pricing Concerns: Every individual is restricted from changing or altering the price prescribed, or fails to comply with the law that describes a standard unit of measure, or numeration. Hence, no one can either sell or distribute any product more than the prescribed MRP (Maximum Retail Price).
  • Government Compliance: Any contravention or violation by the Government-authorized Test Centres like, counterfeiting of seals, providing false information, suppressing vital information, or hindering Controller’s work. Moreover, thwarting Director, or Legal Metrology Officer is also punished by law.
  • Offenses related to Weight: Making use of those weights and measures which are not in a clean state, or without appropriate lighting is also an offense related to weight. Further, tampering with, mending or manufacturing weights without having a valid license, and hiding of the verification certificateare also serious type of offenses.
  • Not Storing in the Right Place: An individual who is not storing or keeping test weight at the premises of the weighing apparatus, the same is committing an offense related to weight. Moreover, any petrol retail outlet not having a 5 litre, or 10 litre capacity measures, it has also committed an offense.
  • No Dismantling Permitted: Dismantling or Quashing of any measuring and weighing instruments that are duly stamped and verified is considered as an offense related to weight, if in case the Controller of Legal Metrology is not being informed about the same.

What is the prescribed Procedure of Filing a Complaint for the Offenses related to Weight and Measure?

The steps listed below are involved in the procedure of filing a complaint for the offenses related to weight or measure.

In case the Complainant files the complaint for the offenses related to weight and measures to the Nodal Agencies:

  • Firstly, the Complainant is required to file his or her complaint to the Nodal Agencies or the Apex Institutions.
  • After the receipt of complaint or grievance, the concerned Nodal Agency will either redress the grievance within the office or will forward the complaint filed to the concerned department, i.e., Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievance.
  • Once the complaint is received by the department, the Director of Public Grievance will start his inquiry.
  • After the completion of Inquiry, the Director of Public Grievance will make an Assessment Report for recording his opinions.
  • If the Director of Public Grievance is of opinion, that the said matter relates to the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievance, then it will forward to the same to the attached office.
  • The attached office or the sub-organization will then prepare an action report, and pass on the same to the department, i.e., Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievance.
  • In the last step, the department will then send the action report to the respective Nodal Agency.

However, if in case the Complainant directly files the complaint to the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievance, then also the procedure prescribed for grievance redressal will remain the same. Moreover, the same will start from point c) mentioned above.  

Can an Appeal be filed in the Offenses related to Weight and Measure?

Yes, an Appeal can be filed in the offenses related to weight, against the order or the decision passed by any legal officer, director, or controller under the Legal Metrology Act. The same is required to be filed to the next higher authority within a time span of sixty days, starting from the day of passing the decision or order.  

Are the Offenses related to Weight mentioned under IPC included in the Legal Metrology Act?

No, the offenses related to weight mentioned under the Indian Penal Code are not in the ambit of the Legal Metrology Act. The same has been clarified by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case, “State of Uttar Pradesh v. Aman Mittal.” The Apex court held that the schema of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009, is for the offenses relating to the usage of weights and measures that are non-standard. It also includes offense concerning tampering with, modifying, or altering any prescribed standards, whether working standards, or secondary standards of any weight or measure. Moreover, this Act does not forecast any offense concerning cheating as described under Section 415 of the Indian Penal Code, or the offenses mentioned under Sections 467, 468, and 471 of the Indian Penal Code.

Hence, a person will not be charged for any offenses related to weight or measure which is falling under Chapter XIII of the Indian Penal Code, in view of the provisions specified under the Legal Metrology Act, 2009.

What are the Punishments Prescribed under the Legal Metrology Act?

Sl. No.

Section and nature of offense

Penal Section

Penalties

1

Section 8 (3):  Use of weights, measures, or numeration other than the Standard weights, measures, or numeration.

Section 25

The same shall be punished with a fine up to Rs 25,000. For the second or subsequent offense, with an imprisonment for a period up to 06 months along with the fine.

2.

Section 26: Alteration of weights and measures

Section 26

The same shall be penalized with a fine which goes to the extent of Rs 50,000. For the subsequent offense, with an imprisonment for a period of 06 months which goes up to 01 year, or with a fine, or with both.

3

Section 8 (4):   Manufacture of weights or measures not in compliance to the Standards

Section 27

The same shall be penalized with a fine which goes to the extent of Rs 20,000. For a subsequent offense, with an imprisonment for a period up to 03 years, or with a fine, or with both.

4

Section 10:   Transaction or Dealing, or Contract regarding goods, etc., by weights, measures, or numbers than prescribed.

Section 28

The same shall be penalized with a fine which goes to the extent of Rs 10,000. For a subsequent offense, with an imprisonment for a period up to 01 year, or with a fine, or with both.

5

Section 11: Quote or Make a declaration or grant or display of the price list or changing of the price than according to the standard unit of weights or measures or numerations.

Section 29

The same shall be penalized with a fine up to Rs 10,000. For the subsequent offense, with an imprisonment for a period up to 01 year, or with a fine, or with both.

6

Section 12: Demanding or Receiving any commodities or articles on the service less than or above the quantity mentioned by contract or agreement.

Section 30

The same shall be punished with a fine which goes up to Rs 10,000. For the subsequent offense, with an imprisonment for a period up to 01 year, or with a fine, or even both.

7.

Section 17: Maintenance of the Records, and Registers maintained by the Dealers, Manufacturers, or Repairers, and Production of Weights, Measures document, Register on demand

Section 31

The same will be penalized with a fine which may extend further to Rs 5,000. For the subsequent offense, with an imprisonment for a period up to 01 year, and also with a fine.

8.

Section 22: Failure to acquire the model approved.

Section 32

The same shall be penalized with a fine up to Rs 20,000. For the second, or subsequent offense, with an imprisonment for a period up to 01, and also with a fine.

9.

Section 24: Use of any unverified weights or measures

Section 33

The same will be punished with a fine not be less than Rs 2,000, but which may go up to Rs 10,000. For the second or the subsequent offense, with an imprisonment for a period up to 01 year, and even with fine.

10.

Section 34: Sale or Delivery of the commodities, etc., by the non-standard weights or measures

Section 34

The same shall be penalized with a fine amounting Rs 2,000 but which may extend further to Rs 5,000. For the subsequent offense, with an imprisonment for a period not be less than 03 months, but may extend further to 01 year, or with a fine, or even both.

11.

Section 35: Rendering services by the non-standard weights, measures, or numbers.

Section 35

The same will be punished with a fine not be less than Rs 2,000, but which may extend further to Rs 5000. For the second or the subsequent offense, with an imprisonment for a period which will not be less than 03 months, but may extend further to 01 year, or with a fine, or even both.

12.

Section 18 (1): Selling, etc., of the non-standard packages

Section 36 (1)

The same will be penalized with a fine which goes to the extent of Rs 25,000. For the subsequent offense, a fine which may extend further to Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,00,000 or with an imprisonment for 01 year or with both.

13

Section 18 (2): Whoever manufactures, imports, or packs or likely to be manufactured, imported, or packed any pre-packed product with an error in the net quantity.

Section 36 (2)

The same will be penalized with an imprisonment for 01 year, or with a file up to Rs 10,000, or with both.

14.

Section 37: Any Breach by the Government approved Test Centres

Section 37

The same will be punished with a fine, which goes to the extent of Rs 1,00,000. For the subsequent, or second offense, with an imprisonment for a period which may go to the extent of 01 year, and also with a fine up to Rs 10,000.

15.

Section 19: The Non-registration by the Importer of weights or measures

Section 38

same will be punished with a fine, which goes to the extent of Rs 25,000. For the subsequent, or second offense, with an imprisonment for a period which may go to the extent of 06 months, and also with a fine.

16.

Section 20: Import of the Non-standard weights or measures

Section 39

The same will be punished with a fine, which goes to the extent of Rs 50,000. For the subsequent, or second offense, with an imprisonment for a period which may go to the extent of 01 year, and also with a fine.

17.

Section 15: For Obstructing Controller, Director, or any Legal Metrology Officer

Section 40

The same shall be penalized with imprisonment for a period which may extend further to 02 years. For the subsequent, or second offense, with an imprisonment for a period that may go to 05 years.

18.

Section 41: Providing False Information or False Return

Section 41

1.     The same will be penalized with a fine which may extend to Rs 5000. For the subsequent or second offense, the imprisonment for a period which may extend further to 06 months, and also with a fine.

19.

Section 42: Vexatious search

Section 42

The same will be punished with an imprisonment for a period which may extend further to a term of 01 year, or with a fine which may extend further to Rs 10,000, or with both.

20

Section 43: Verification and Investigation in the contravention of the Act, and Rules

Section 43

The same will be penalized with imprisonment for 01 year, or with a fine which may extend further to Rs 10,000 or with both.

21

Section 44: Counterfeiting of the seals, etc.

Section 44

The same will be punished with imprisonment for a period which will at least 06 months but may extend further to one year. Moreover, the second or the subsequent offense, may lead to a conviction for a period which will not be less than 06 months but may extend further to 05 years.

22

Section 23: Manufacturing weights or measures without obtaining license

Section 45

The same will be penalized with a fine which may extend further to Rs 20,000, and for the subsequent offense, with an imprisonment for a period which may extend further to 01 year, or with a fine, or even both.

23

Section 23: Repair or Sale of the weights or measures without license

Section 46

The same shall be penalized with a fine which may extend to Rs 5,000 and for the second or subsequent offense, with an imprisonment for a period which may extend further to 01 year, or with a fine, or with both.

24

Section 47: Tampering with the issued License

Section 47

The same will be penalized with a fine which may extend further to Rs 20,000 or with an imprisonment for a period which may extend further to 01 year, or even both.

25

Section 49: Offences by Companies

Section 49

The same will be liable to be ensued against and punished appropriately and the power of the court to issue name, place of business, etc., for the companies convicted.

26.

Section 52 (1): Provision of any regulation made under this Act

52 (3) of the Legal Metrology Act

In making any rule under this said section, the Central Government will provide that any kind of violation thereof will be punishable with a fine, which may also go to the extent of Rs 5000.

27.

Rules 18 (2) of the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011:  The sale of any commodity which is in a packed form at a cost more than the MRP (Maximum Retail Price)

Rules 32 (2) of the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011

The same shall be penalized with a fine of Rs 2000.

28

Rules 18 (5) of the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011: Destroy, Smear or alter the MRP (Maximum Retail Price) displayed by the Manufacturers or packers or the Importers

Rules 32 (2) of the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011

The same shall be punished with a fine of Rs 2,000.

29.

Rules 27- 31 of the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011: Non-Registration of the manufacturers, importers, and packers of the packaged commodities

Rules 32 (1) of the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011

The same shall be penalized with a fine of Rs 4,000.

30.

S 53 (1) Provision regarding any other rule made under the Act

53 (3)

In making any regulation under this section, the respective State Government shall provide that a breach thereof will be punished by a fine which may extend further to Rs 5000.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1. How much is the penalty prescribed, if in case an individual fails to get his weights or measures, verified or re-verified in the specified time?

    In case an individual omits or fails to obtain verification or re-verification of his or her weigh or measure without any sufficient cause to do so, he or she will be penalized with a fine which not be less than Rs 2,000, but may go extend up to Rs 10,000. Further, such a weight or measure can also be seized or confiscated on inspection.

  • 2. Is the license granted under the Legal Metrology Act transferable?

    No, the license granted or renewed under the Legal Metrology Act will not be saleable or otherwise transferable.

  • 3. For how long any weight or measure will be valid?

    Name of the Weights        Period of Validity
    Iron Weights                       02 Years
    Bullion Weights                  02 Years
    Counter Machine                02 Years
    Beam Scale                         02 Years
    Electronic Scale                  01 Year
    Platform Machine               01 Year
    Steel Meter                          01 Year
    Volume Measures               02 Years
    Peg Measures                      02 Year

    For the public facility, the Government has formed four Quarters:
    a) January to March
    b) April to June
    c) July to September
    d) October to December
    For instance: Any weight or measure which got verified in April, then the same can be re-verified up to the next due month, i.e., April to June without any penalty.

  • 4. Is it compulsory to display the certificate of verification?

    Yes, it is compulsory to display the certificate of verification for every individual who has been granted a certificate under the Act. Moreover, the same is required to be displayed at some conspicuous place of the premises in which such weights or measures are being used, or is likely to be used, for any industrial production.

  • 5. Can an individual use or sell any unstamped weights or measures?

    No, a person or an individual cannot use, sell, or offer any weights or measures which are unstamped in any transaction or for industrial production unless the same has been duly verified and stamped by the inspector of the Legal Metrology Department.

  • 6. Is it mandatory for the manufacturers/ dealers/ repairers to obtain the license for any weights and measures under the Legal Metrology Act?

    Yes, the manufacturer/ dealers/ repairers must obtain a license for the weights and measure as per the prescribed form and guidelines in the Act.

  • 7. Who is the prescribed authority to issue a license under the Legal Metrology Act?

    The Controller appointed under the Legal Metrology Act is the competent authority to issue the license. For obtaining a license under the Legal Metrology the concerned applicant is required to submit his application to the Inspectorate Office of the respective district.

  • 8. How much is the penalty prescribed if in case a person gives short or less deliveries?

    The punishment prescribed for the person who gives less or short deliveries goes up to the extent of Rs 10,000.

  • 9. How much is the penalty prescribed for a person who is charging more than MRP (Maximum Retail Price) affixed in the packaged commodities?

    The punishment prescribed for the person who is selling the commodities at more than the prescribed MRP is a fine which may extend up to Rs 2,000.

 

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