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Obstructing Director, Controller or Legal Metrology Officer – Section 15 under Legal Metrology Act, 2009

calendar17 Apr, 2023
timeReading Time: 4 Minutes
Obstructing Director, Controller or Legal Metrology Officer - Section 15 under Legal Metrology Act, 2009

The Legal Metrology Act 2009 ensures the power of the authority to regulate the weights and measures manufactured and imported to India. Section 15 under Legal Metrology Act, 2009 gives power to the director, controller or any legal metrology officer if they suspect that measures and weights in relation to which any trade and commerce has taken place are not abode by law, or an offence punishable under this Act appears to or it is likely to commit any offence in the course of transportation, then such Director, Controller or any legal metrology officer will have the power of inspection of the premises and may seizure the product if found guilty.

What is Section 15 under Legal Metrology Act, 2009?

Section 15 under Legal Metrology Act, 2009[1] envisages the power of inspection, seizure, etc., to the controlling authority of the Legal Metrology Department.

  1. The director, controller, or any legal metrology appointed officer may if he suspects that the information given to him by any person in writing or from personal knowledge or otherwise, that the business which involves weight or measures done any offence regarding the weights or measures or the commodity they handle or the business is intended to do the offence with trade and commerce. Then the offence is punishable under this Act, kept or concealed in any premises or in the course of transportation.
  2. The authority can go to such premises and search or inspect any weight, measure or other goods in relation to which an offensive trade or commerce has taken place or is intended to take place. The officer can seize any record, register or other document relating to the offence.
  3. The officer can seize any weights, measures and records, register or other relevant document or article which he has reason to believe that the evidence indicates an offence punishable under this Act.
  4. The director, controller or any authorised legal metrology officer produce every document or other record relating to the weight or measure, and the person having the custody of such weights or measures shall comply with such requisition.
  5. Suppose the weights and measures or goods seized by the controlling officer under sub-section (1) are subject to speedy or natural decay. In that case, the director, controller or authorised legal metrology officer may dispose of such commodity in such manner as may mention in the Act.
  6. Every search or seizure made under section 15 under the legal metrology act, 2009 shall be carried out under with the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Crpc), 1973, relating to searches and seizures.

The Objectives of Section 15 under Legal Metrology Act, 2009

The followings are the objective and role of section 15 under Legal Metrology Act, 2009, which search and seizes the non-standard weights and measures

  • Does the inspection and search of the premises if the complaint is arises.
  • Search for the offensive weights and measures
  • Seizure of the offensive goods
  • The timely inspection and seizure ensures the fair trade practices
  • The inspection by the authority at time-to-time on the premises gives consumers trust in the product and measures.

Penalties under Legal Metrology Act

The following are the penalties given to the premises owner from where the authority seized the weights and measures.

  • Every non-standard or unverified weight or measure and package used in any trade and commerce seized under section 15 shall be liable to be forfeited.
  • If such seized unverified weight or measure shall not be forfeited, then the same may be verified and stamped within the prescribed time.
  • Every weight, measure or other goods of the owner seized in section 15 under legal metrology act, 2009 is not forfeited and shall be disposed of by such authority in a manner as may be specified in the Act.
  • The imprisonment may extend to 5 years and shall also be punished with imprisonment for 2 years for the subsequent offence.

Section 15 under Legal Metrology Act, 2009 – Disposal of Seized Weights, And Measures

The following are the steps that a legal metrology officer should follow in disposing of the seized

  • Any unverified weight or measure shall be returned to the importer, manufacturer, or retailer from whom those weights or measures were seized. If that person gets the same corrected, then it is again verified and stamped within 15 daysof the return.
  • If the controlling authority seizes any weight or measure or any relevant document or thing or goods seized and detained by section 15 under Legal Metrology Act,  2009, is subject to proceedings in a court, it shall be dealt with in accordance with a court order.
  • If the goods seized under section 15 of the Act are subject to speedy decay. Then the legal metrology officer shall obtain the signature of the trader who committed the offence for recording purposes.
  • When the goods seized under sub-section (1) of Section 15 of the Act are contained in a package or container. The package is false, which does not contain the declaration or does not comply with the provisions of the Act, which is subject to speedy or natural decay, the legal metrology officer may dispose of the goods in such a package under the provisions of sub-rule (3) of section 15 of the Act.
  • Suppose the goods seized under sub-section (1) of Section 15 under Legal Metrology Act, 2009 are not subject to speedy decay. The legal metrology officer may retain the package or container for prosecution under this Act after giving the trader or owner of the product a notice of such seizure. In cases the offence is not subject to proceedings in a court, after sixty days of its seizure of the goods, the controlling authority may deal with those goods as directed by the court.

Conclusion

The Legal Metrology Act provisions apply to individuals or manufacturers using any weight or measure in any transaction, industrial production, or protection. Section 15 under Legal Metrology Act, 2009 controls and regulates the false and offensive traders or importers by performing a time-to-time inspection of the traders’ premises and helps in assuring fair trade connections and practices.

Read Our Article: Penalties Under Legal Metrology Act – An Overview

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