The Warehousing (Development and regulation) Act, 2007

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The Warehousing (Development and regulation) Act has been incorporated on 19th September, 2007. This Act has been established to make provisions for the improvement and guideline of warehousing, negotiability of warehouse receipts, for the institution of a warehousing Development, Regulatory Authority and such other matter connected to it.

In order to commence or initiate a warehousing business for issuance of negotiable receipt, such person should obtain a registration certificate with regard to such warehouses sanctioned by such competent authority under this Act. He is also allowed in case if he has filed an application within thirty days of the commencement of this Act. He shall also be exempted from obtaining the registration certificate in case if such certificate is not mandatory. In case of any application made for such registration, it has to be accompanied with the fees. The competent authority upon such genuine enquiry and scrutiny shall grant such registration certificate in such a manner prescribed under the provisions of this Act. Not only has that it also looked for certain agencies for accrediting to provide such certificate of registration for issuing of negotiable receipt.

The warehouseman shall distribute the goods based on the negotiable receipt to the holders of such receipt on demand. These receipts are the document of title in writing or in electronic formats. The holder shall satisfy by surrendering the receipts in case of non-negotiable receipt and endorse such receipts in case of negotiable receipt. In case of any failure of delivery or such non-compliance, the burden of proof shall lie with the workman. The workman shall be bound to maintain its books of records that are specified under this Act.

 The Warehouseman shall have a special power of handling perishable and hazardous products. Maintaining such product has high risk of damages and so the warehouseman shall intimate or notice the holder of the receipt of such materials or depositors, etc, to fulfill the procedure of lien and take away from warehouse. If the holder of the receipt fails to satisfy the lien then the warehouseman shall sell the materials to the public. In case if he couldn’t sell the goods, he may dispose of in such other manner as it deems fit.

The Warehouseman shall not only bear duties and powers but also holds its liabilities. He is held liable for any damages to any goods or materials due to lack of due diligence or because of his negligence as he holds the property as a owner by keeping all the goods in his custody. Not only that in case if the goods are damaged or lost due to his negligence or with due care and precautions, he shall be liable to pay compensation as prescribed by the provisions of this Act.

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The Central Government with the notification in the Official Gazette shall constitute a Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority to constitute a better functioning to fulfill the intention of this Act. This is a Corporate Body, Common Seal, perpetual succession, be and can sue in its own name or to contract. It can hold or dispose the properties. This Authority shall consist of a composition of members heading by a Chairperson. They hold Office for not less than five years unless it has been ordered to modify or terminate them from Office. Their Salaries and other benefits shall be paid as prescribed by this Act.

The powers and functions of this authority shall be of regulatory nature by issuing, rejecting or modifying the certificates for registration for warehouses and such other agencies. It looks after the regulatory functions of such agencies, renew, cancel or suspend such agencies. It also looks after and regulates such other activities that are performed by them as specified under this Act. It regulates these agencies and warehouses by assisting in framing, approving, promoting or rejecting their activities, by specifying their roles and responsibilities.

The Central Government shall grant fund to this Authority immediately after appropriation made by the Parliament. A fund constituted to deal with grants and such other monitory transactions with the authority to motive the regulatory functions of the agencies and the authority as a whole. This authority shall maintain proper records and accounts statements as prescribed by the Central Government audited and certified by the Auditor General and Comptroller.  The audited reports shall be produced on demand to the Central Government and in turn it submits the report to the parliament to raise assistance to fulfill the intention of this Act.

The Central Government has enormous power to regulate, appoint or discharge such other functions as it deems fit and necessary. No suit shall lie upon them or their Officers for any act done in favour of this Act. In case if any person act in violation of this Act shall be penalized accordingly as specified in the provisions of this Act. Appeal shall also be available with the help of limitation Act.

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Adv. C.Srivenkatesh Prabhu