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Legal Metrology Act, 2009: The Reliable Act for Weight and Measure

The science of measurement is called metrology which includes methods of weighing and measurement regulated by law and legislation. Several legislations, such as the Standards of Measurement and Weight Act, 1976, and the Standards of Weight and Measurement Act, 1985, were enacted before the Legal Metrology Act, 2009.

In 2009, the Standards of Weight and Measurementwast got repealed, and Legal Metrology Act was enacted. This Act monitors the accuracy of weights and measurements and ensures compliance with the Act.

Furthermore, the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 empowers the Central Government to form rules under Section 52. Thus, the Central Government enacted the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011.

Legal Metrology Act, 2009

The Legal Metrology Act 2009 was enacted in 2009, repealing the earlier Acts that regulated weight and measures. The enactment of this Act led to the establishment of uniform weights and measures and regulated trade and commerce in goods distributed by use of weight or measures. So. prior approval is a must from a competent authority relating to the weight model or measure.

Further, the Legal Metrology (Packaging Commodities) Rules, 2011, were formed that apply to the packaged products and specify the declarations to be made and how to make such declarations. The declaration here includes the declaration related to the packaged commodity intended to be sold in the market.

Salient features of the Act, 2009

  • The Act specifies the metric system, the unit of weights and measures used per the international system of units.
  • The Act provides the base unit of the weights and measures.
  • The base unit for enumeration is the international form of Indian Numerals. The enumeration per the provision of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 is to be made per the decimal system provided under section 6.
  • Any custom, usage or practice that is used other than prescribed under the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 is considered void.
  • The Legal Metrology Act, 2009 empowers the Central Government to make rules.
  • The person involved in manufacturing or importing the goods has to take prior approval of the competent authority concerning the model of weight and measures.
  • All the manufacturers, retailers and sellers have to obtain a license from the controller who controls their commodity.

Definitions under the Legal Metrology Act

  • Dealer: Section 2(b) of the Legal Metrology Act defines a dealer. A dealer is a person who directly or indirectly sells, supplies or distributes a product of any weight or measure for cash or deferred payment.
  • Legal Metrology: Section 2(g) defines Legal Metrology. Accordingly, legal metrology means the part of metrology that treats unit of weight and measurement, methods of weight and measurement, which includes weighing and measuring instruments concerning the technical and legal requirements that have the object of ensuring public guarantee for security and accuracy of weight and measurement.
  • Manufacturer: Section 2(i) defines the “manufacturer”. The manufacturer is defined as a person who manufactures the weight or measure. The manufacturer also includes those who manufacture one or more parts and assemble them to form weight or measure, claiming the result.

    The manufacturer includes a person who does not even manufacture a weight or measure but just assembles it. And then acquire the part of the same weight he claims to be his end product to be weight or measure manufactured by himself or himself.

  • Repairer: Section 2(p) defines a Repairer. As per the Act, the repairer repairs, cleans, adjusts, lubricates or paints the weight or measure to ensure the standard of the weight or measure is maintained.
  • Weight or Measure: Section 2(w) defines weight or measure. Accordingly, weight or measure means and includes weighing and measuring units.

The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011

Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 intends to ensure that consumers can make informed decisions by being aware of the essential declaration on the pre-packaged commodities.

The legal metrology rules deal with packaged goods, and it provides how the declaration is to be made. The main objective of legal metrology is to ensure that the public guarantees the point of view of security and accuracy of weight and measures.

Legal metrology registration and certificate

Rule 6 of Packaged Commodity rule directs every seller/ manufacturer/ importer of pre-packaged commodities to acquire registration. Both State and Central governments can grant packer registration.

When a packer wishes to sell pre-packaged commodities in more than one State, the Central Government must acquire package registration.

The registration of a pre-packaged commodity is commonly referred to as LMPC certification. Registration for a pre-packaged commodity should be applied within 90 days of import. In case LMPC certification is not obtained, then custom authorities have the power to stop the import of the product.

Declarations on the pre-packaged commodities

Under Legal Metrology Packaged Commodities Rules, 2011, every packer must print certain mandatory declarations that need to be printed over pre-packaged commodities such as country origin, manufacturer address and name, importer address, manufacturing month and year, month and year of import.

Declarations vary from product to product, and the declarations on food products differ from those on non-food items. The Legal Metrology Packaged Commodities Rules were amended in 2018 by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.

Penalties under the Legal Metrology Act

  • Section 27 of the Legal Metrology Act provides that manufacturing or selling of sub-standardized weights and measures shall get punished with a fine of twenty thousand rupees, and second-time offenders shall get imprisoned for a term of three years or a fine or both.
  • Section 28 of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 provides that a person making any deal or contract in contravention of standards shall get punished with a fine of up to ten thousand rupees, and second-time offenders will get punished with a term upon year or fine or both.
  • Section 29 of the Act provides punishment for quoting or publication of non-standard units in violation of a provision of section 11 of the act. The person committing such offence shall be punishable with a fine extending to ten thousand rupees or imprisonment extending to one year or with a fine.
  • Section 30 provides a penalty for transactions contravention of standard weight or measure. A person doing such an offence shall be punishable with a fine that may extend to ten thousand rupees and for the second and subsequent offence with imprisonment of a term that may extend to one year with fine.
  • Section 31 of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 punishes the non-production of documents. A person who contravenes the provision of Section 31 of the Act shall get punished with a fine extending up to five thousand rupees and, in the instance of a second or subsequent offence, imprisonment that may extend to one year with a fine.
  • Section 32 provides a penalty for failure to get the approval of the model. In such a case, the person is punished with a fine extending to twenty thousand rupees. In the instance of a second or subsequent offence, imprisonment for a term is imposed that may extend to one year with a fine.
  • Section 33 provides punishment for using unverified weight or measure with a fine of less than two thousand rupees that may extend to ten thousand rupees. In the instance of a second or subsequent offence, the imprisonment of a term is imposed that may extend to one year with a fine.
  • Section 34 of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 provides punishment for selling or delivering a commodity by non-standard weight.
  • Section 35 provides a penalty for rendering service by non-standard weight, measure or number. The person committing such an offence shall be punishable with a fine of a minimum of two thousand rupees which may extend to five thousand rupees. In a second or subsequent offence, the punishment is not less than three months imprisonment which may extend to one year with a fine or both.
  • Section 36 of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 provides a penalty for selling non-standard packages. The person committing such an offence is punishable with a fine that may extend to twenty-five thousand rupees which may extend to fifty thousand rupees. In the instance of a second or subsequent offence, the penalty shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees.
  • Section 37 of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 provides a penalty for contravention by the government-approved test centre. In case any government-approved test centre does any act that contravenes, the provision of this act should be punishable with a fine that may extend to one lakh.
  • Section 38 of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 provides a penalty for non-registration by the importer of weight or measures. When an importer imports non-standard weights or measures, he shall be punishable with a fine that may extend to twenty-five thousand, and In the instance of a second or subsequent offence, the imprisonment may extend to one year with a fine.
  • Section 39 of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 provides a penalty for the import of non-standard weight or measure. The person importing such non-standard weight or measure shall get punished with a fine extending to fifty thousand rupees. In the instance of a second or subsequent offence, the punishment shall be imprisonment that may extend to one year with a fine.

The Act further recognises various other acts as offences and provides a penalty.

Conclusion

Legal Metrology Act, 2009 got enacted to keep a check on the weights or measures of the goods. As per the provision of the act, only the stakeholder has the authority, i.e., having a license to manufacture, repair and deal with products or imports.

To support the provision of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 and give a clear insight into the provision of the same, the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, got enacted. The rules thus enacted make it easy to understand the legislature’s intention. Furthermore, the Central Government keeps amending the rules and regulations as per the requirement of society.

FAQs

What do you mean by Legal Metrology?

Legal Metrology is the legal requirement provided to measure weight or measures.

When did the Legal Metrology Act 2009 come into force?

The Legal Metrology Act, 2009, came into force on 1st April 2011.

What do you mean by weight or measure?

Weight or Measure is any unit specified under the Legal Metrology Act, 2009. It includes weighing and measuring instruments.

Is any license required to manufacture, sell or repair weights and measures?

To deal in weight and measure it is a must to get a licence.

Who issues a licence to manufacture, sell or repair the weights and measures?

Controller of legal metrology department issues licence for manufacture, sale or repair of weights and measures

What is Pre-Packed Commodity?

A pre-packed commodity is any commodity placed in the package without the presence of the purchaser. Such Pre-packed commodities have predetermined quantities.

About Author

Anshita Surana, born in the year 1999 in Guwahati, Assam and brought up in Hanumangarh, Rajasthan, where I completed my elementary and secondary education from the CBSE board.

Currently, Pursuing B.B.A.LL.B(H) from K. R. Mangalam University, Gurugram.

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