Salient features of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009

Author: Advocate Sudeep Vijayan

Entry date: 2020-12-02

Summary: Salient features of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009

Salient features of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009

The Legal Metrology Act, 2009 (hereinafter said ‘Act’), enacted on January 13, 2010. The new law seeks to repeal the Standards of Weights & Measures Act, 1976. The new Act will have such impact because it applies to ‘specified goods’ that are mandatorily required to carry the retail sales price (RSP) under the present Standards of Weights & Measures Act, 1976, on the ‘pre-packaged’ commodities.

The said Act stipulates that, a manufacturer can register with the Director, Legal Metrology upon payment of requisite fees.

Having understood the above, Section 38 of said Act stipulates a penalty for ‘non-registration’ by way of levying fine upto Rs. 25000/- for first-time offence and imprisonment upto one year with fine for such subsequent offences. In addition to the same, Section 39 of the said Act stipulates a fine of Rs. 50,000/- on non-adherence to standard weight or measure for commodities as prescribed under the Act.       

Section 18(2) of the said Act stipulates that, every ‘advertisement’ about a commodity while mentioning the price should also quote the net quantity. Since the said Act regulates the advertisement in relation to certain aspects like price, quantity and certificate of origin etc. it is pretty crucial for all companies to ensure strict adherence. The recent action by Legal Metrology Department on Direct selling companies, Amazon, Flipkart etc. with regard to Advertisement, Country of Origin Certificate etc. 

Interestingly, Section 49 deals with offences by companies. It provides for nomination of a separate director to deal with matters relating to the new Act and to be made responsible for a violation under the Act. Such nomination is required to be communicated to the controller or other authorised officer.

Key penalties imposable by legal metrology department

  1. Penalty for non-production of documents U/ Sec. 31 of said Act – Imposition of fine with imprisonment;

 

  1. Penalty for giving false information or false return U/ Sec. 41 of said Act - Imposition of fine with imprisonment;

 

  1. Penalty for use of non-standard weight or measure U/ Sec. 25 of said Act – Imposition of Penalty;

 

  1. Penalty for making any transaction, deal or contract in contravention of the prescribed standards U/ Sec. 28 of said Act- Imposition of fine with imprisonment;

 

  1. Power of seizure goods, commodities of business entity U/Sec. 15 of said Act;

 

Key links indicating recent actions by Legal Metrology Department

https://www.mondaq.com/india/corporate-and-company-law/998534/direct-selling-companies-to-ensure-compliance-under-legal-metrology-act-and-rules

https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/amazon-fined-for-not-displaying-mandatory-information-about-products/article33182487.ece

https://www.financialexpress.com/industry/sme/amazon-flipkart-others-slapped-with-govt-notice-for-not-displaying-country-of-origin-on-products-sold/2107521/