The Cardamom Act, 1965

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The Cardamom Act, 1965 (Act 42 of 1965) is a Central Government’s legislation enacted by the Parliament of India in the 16th year of republic of India and the same is provided for the purpose and object to make provisions for the development of the Cardamom industry, under the control of the Union. The present Act has received the assent of the President of India on 9th day of December, 1965. There is division in the provisions of the Act into six chapters. The provisions of the Act other than what mentioned in the Chapter III of the Act, were brought into effect and operation on 5th day of April, 1966 and the provisions from Chapter III of the Act were given effect on 12th day of July, 1966, by the Central Government after notifying in the Official Gazette. Similarly, the provisions herein were extended to the whole of Indian territories. However, except the provisions relating to control of Export and Import of Cardamom from and into India, under this Act, the other provisions were restricted to have effect and applicability to the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

The first chapter is dealing with the preliminary provisions, where beside the short titling, commencement and extension of the Act, the Act sought to declare that the control of the Cardamom industry is to be taken over by the Union as it is expedient in the interest of public. There are also defined certain terms which are expressly contained under various provisions of this Act.

For the purpose of controlling and development of the Cardamom industry, the Act sought to provide for a Board, which here named as ‘Cardamom Board’ and Chapter II of thereof makes provisions in relation to such Board. The Central Government was empowered to notify the date in which such Board will be established under this Act. And in furtherance to which, in the 1968 the Cardamom Board was established as a corporate body. In the composition of the said Board, there is a Central Government’s appointed Chairman, the Director of Cardamom Development, ex officio, and other Members, some of them from Member of Parliament and some other from the Ministries of the Central Government to represent it. Beside, all these members, the Board is responsible to elect a Vice- Chairman from the Members thereof. Other provisions relating to salaries, allowances, etc. are contained in subsequent provisions of the Act. And, notably, there is also provision for appointing executive officers to the Board including Director and Secretary by the Central Government. Also there is a provision to appoint necessary Committees by the Board for the efficient performance of its functions and duties under this Act.

Further, insofar as the functions of the Board are concerned the Act under its Section 9 enlists the matters, list inclusive, on which said Board is responsible to act and the most important among them is to promote the development of the Cardamom industry under the control of the Central Government. Lastly under this Act, the Central Government is provided with the authority to direct dissolution of said Board by notifying in the Official Gazette.

The Act under chapter III makes provisions as to registration of the owners of the Cardamom estate. Such owners are required to apply within given time for registration to the Registering Officer, who will appointed by the State Government. Such Registering Officer is responsible to register the owners of the Cardamom estate and once such registration is granted, it will be continue to have effect until the same is cancelled by the Registering Officer. For the rules relating to such registration, its cancellation, etc., the State Government is empowered to provide for, by notifying in the Official Gazette. And such registered owners will be responsible under this Act to furnish prescribed returns within the prescribed time and manner.

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The provisions regarding finance, accounting its auditing, etc. of the Board are contained under chapter IV of the Act of the Act.  The Act sought to levy and collection of the Cess on the exportation of the Cardamom. The rate is provided that to not exceed 2% of the ad valorem. And such amount received under the head of Cess will be paid to the Board after it was firstly credited to the Consolidated Fund of India, by the Central Government. The Board is empowered to constitute the Fund namely, Cardamom Fund which will be credited certain amounts provided under this Act, including the amounts received as proceeds of the Cess, as fees levied and collected in relation to licences, etc. under this Act, as grants or loans received from the Central Government or from any institution and all other sums. Similarly, there are certain purposes for which such Fund can be utilized, including the purpose to meet salaries, allowances, etc. of the officers and other employees of the Board, to meet administrative expenses thereof, to meet other costs and repayment of loans, etc. by the Board. The Board is also vested with the authority to borrow on the Security of the Cardamom Fund, etc. for the purpose of this Act and subject to the rules made in relation thereto.

The next chapter being Chapter V of the Act, makes provisions where Central Government is empowered to certain respects, including the controlling of maximum and minimum price, maximum quantity of the Cardamom, which in any one transaction of sale can be sold out by any persons. Besides, the Central Government is also empowered to require persons doing production, supply, etc. in the Cardamom, to maintain books, records, etc. which such persons will also responsible to produce in an inspection. And also there such Government can provide for other necessary matter its control in relation thereto. Similarly, on exports and imports of the Cardamom, the Central Government can provide for its control by imposing prohibition, restrictions, etc. Also such Government can issued the necessary directions for efficiency in the administration of this Act to the Board and the said Board will be responsible to follow them.

The miscellaneous provisions are contained in the last chapter, making certain penal and also provisions about jurisdiction of the Court which here should not be inferior to the Presidency Magistrate or a Magistrate of the first class. However, for entertaining the prosecution under this Act, the previous sanction of the Central Government is necessary. Besides all other powers, as aforementioned, of the Central Government, it is also provided with the authority to make rules on given matters.

The subject of development of the Cardamom industry was, however, taken over by the enactment of 1986 i.e. Spices Board Act being Act no. 10 of 1986, as such the provisions of this Act were sought to be repealed by that enactment under its section 42 without affecting anything done in pursuance with those provisions prior to such repeal.

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