THE STANDARDS OF WEIGHTS AND MEASURES (ENFORCEMENT) ACT, 1985

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The Standards of Weight and Measures (Enforcement) Act, 1985 was enacted by the Parliament on September 4, 1985 for the application of weights and measures constituted under the Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1976 and other matters connected with the subject. The Act expressly provides that the provisions of the Act shall not extend to the inter-state trade or business in any measures or weight or any other commodities that are disposed, conveyed or allocated by weight, number or measure.

The State Government is empowered under the Act to appoint Controller of Legal Metrology for a State and shall also appoint Additional, Joint, Deputy as well as Assistant Controllers, Inspectors and such other officials and staff that are required for application of powers and efficient fulfillment of obligations conferred on them under the enactment. The State Government shall authorize the Additional Controller, Inspector or other officials to perform the works of the Controller. The Controller shall prescribe area within which the Additional Controller, Inspector or other officers shall fulfill their duties, by general or special order. The Additional Controller, Inspector and other officer shall perform the responsibilities under the supervision, authority and direction of the Controller. The Act further provides that the Controller and other officers shall carry out all the functions and exercise the powers provided under the Act or by other rules made in this regard.

If the Controller deems it expedient, he may empower an Inspector or any other officer above his rank to regulate any weight or measure in the areas coming under his jurisdiction. The Act provides that the weights and measures shall not be utilized or kept in any area in such situations as to point out that such weights and measures is proposed to be used for any such measurement or weighment. The provision shall not affect the standard weights and measures and shall not consider any custom, usage or modes that are practiced. The weights and measures except the standard weight and measure shall be utilized or form the foundation of any lawful agreements or other agreement relating to trade, business, manufacture or protection. The contracts or agreements entered by infringement of the provisions of the Act shall be void.

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The persons employing weights or measures for dealings or industrial manufacture shall get registered by filing an application as provided under the Act. The Act prohibits persons from creating, manufacturing, renovate or sale any weight or measure without valid license granted by the authorized Controller. The license shall be in the specified manner, granted on payment of prescribed fee, valid for a definite term, renewed on the expiration and may consist of conditions and limitations as provided. The Act also contains provision for authentication and stamping of weights and measures.

The Act empowers the Inspector to inspect, search, seizure and forfeiture of weights and measures that are found to be of illegal use. The Act states the provisions regarding the disposal and allocation of goods in enclosed form within the State. Besides, the Act affirms that any custom, practice, usage or modes that grants permission to a person to insist, receive or intend to insist or receive any quantity of goods, thing or service more than or less than the prescribed quantity by weight, measure or figure in any contract or another agreement relating to the article, thing or service, is declared void. The Act penalizes for production of substandard weights or measures, counterfeiting of seals, sale or distribution of goods by substandard weights or measures, keeping substandard weights and measures for utilization, tampering with license etc.

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In exercise of the powers conferred under The Standards of Weights and Measures (Enforcement) Act, 1985, the Central Government formulated Standard of Weights and Measures (General) Rules, 1987. In addition, the Central Government has also enacted the Standards of Weights and Measures (Amendment) Act, 2001 to make certain modifications to the present legislation.