In this article, we are going to provide you with information related to the offenses of weight and measure and their punishment under the Indian Penal Code, 1860. In our previous articles, we have made it very clear what legal metrology is, what weights and measures are, what the importance of LMPC Registration is, and why the LMPC registration of manufacturer, importer, and packer of the commodity, LMPC License is important.

Fraud is not limited to a certain area or definition; it has a wider scope than we think and it can be committed anywhere, in any field. Whenever any fraud takes place, the legal metrology system and Legal Metrology officer takes care of its trial.

To keep a check on the activities under legal metrology, proper inspections and raids are conducted by the Legal Metrology Officers. The officers of Legal Metrology ensure the safety of the procedure in the interest of the public.

But in certain cases, we can see that even after the inspections or other measures taken by the legal metrology officers, fraud took place in the weights and measures.

So, to punish the offenders, the Indian Penal Code, 1860, lays down the punishment for the offenders, and the act has also specified what kind of fraud conducted by the offenders will make them fall under which section of the punishment act. Fraud by weight or measure also increase the Legal Metrology Disputes.

Even during COVID times, the digital thermometer has also played a vital role as it has become a necessity in today’s era. The Legal Metrology Department on the Digital Thermometer has taken care that the increase in sales and purchase of the Digital Thermometer will not increase legal metrology fraud as the thermometer is also a measuring instrument.

Weight and Measures Fraud

  1. As there are numerous ways in which consumers can be exploited at the hands of shopkeepers or traders, the exploitation can be done by the way of
    1. adulterated goods,
    2. supply of defective goods,
    3. degrading the quality of a product, etc.,
  2. But the fraudulent conduct under legal metrology is committed by the fraudulent use of any instrument for weight or measurement by manufacturer, dealer, and importer.
  3. Fraud takes place when the actual weight is less than the full weight of the instruments which are used in
    • industrial production,
    • All commercial affairs, etc.
  4. Fraudulent activities under weighting and measures also take place when the commodity which is to be sold by weight or measure is found to be less than its actual weight of it. This kind of fraud takes place when the wrong or false weight or measures are used by the trader.
  5. The very common malpractice adopted by the trader is to use the false weight, which increases the fraud of weigh and measures.

Provisions under IPC for Weight and Measure

There are certain provisions laid down under the Indian Penal Code for weight and measures to protect the consumers from the fraud that takes place in weight and measure by the manufacturer, importer, or any other trader who deals in weight or measure. Such provisions are:

  1. The provisions which were enacted under the Indian Penal Code, 1960 are covered under Chapter XIII of the Indian Penal Code.
  2. Section 264 to 267 of Chapter XIII of the Indian Penal Code is in the context of the weight and measures
  3. These sections provide the punishments for the unfair trade practices carried out by the above-mentioned section provides the punishment for the unfair trade practice offenses committed by the trader.
  4. Section 254 of the IPC says that whoever fraudulently uses any instrument for the weight that he knows to be false shall be punished with imprisonment of either description
    • for a term which may extend to one year,
    • a fine, or
    • Both fine and imprisonment.
  5. Sections 64 to 67 deal with the offenses and the punishment for the fraudulent use of false instruments for weighting.
  6. This section provides the consumer with safeguards.
  7. That under this section of IPC the offense is a bailable offense.
  8. The offense is a non-cognizable and non-compoundable offense, which is tribal by the magistrate.

Offenders of Weight and Measures

Any person who, being the manufacturer, dealer, or importer commits an offence of weight and measure, shall be charged under section 264. It may also arise Legal Metrology Disputes. By committing the following acts, the person will be the offender of weight and measurement:

  1. To commit an offense of weight and measurement, there must be the usage of an instrument for weight by the offender.
  2. There should be an intention or the offense must be committed knowingly or intentionally to commit it. Then it will come under the offense of weight and measure.
  3. The instrument used for the measurement must be wrongful or false to the knowledge of the accused.

Fraudulent Use of Weight or Measure

  1. Weight and measure fraud takes place, especially when the false weight or measure is used by the trader. It comes under section 265 of the IPC, which says, “Whoever fraudulently uses any false weight or false measure of length or capacity or fraudulently uses any weight or any measure of length or capacity as a different weight or measure from what it is, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend up to one year or a fine, or both.”
  2. If any individual uses false weighted measures of length and capacity as a different way to measure from what it is, it will be an offender of weight and measure and the person shall be punished with this simple imprisonment, or fine, or both.
  3. It is a non-cognizable offense and also a non-compoundable offense.

Offenders of Weight and Measure Under Section 265 of the IPC

  1. A person shall be an offender under section 265 of the IPC if he uses a false weight to measure its length or capacity.
  2. That the offender did this with a fraudulent and malafide intention.
  3. The use of false or wrongful weight should be done by the offender or accused.

Offense by Keeping a False Weight or Measure

  1. As per section 266 of the IPC, any person
    • who keeps a false weight or measure, or
    • has the possession of a false weight or measure
    • shall be punished under section 266 of the IPC, which also says that
      1. Any instrument for weight, or
      2. Any weight,
      3. All of any measure of length or capacity which the offender knows to be false, intending that the same may be fraudulently used shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend up to one year or a fine or both.
  2. It means just having possession of false weight or measure is enough to invoke this section and the person will be liable and charged for the offense.
  3. The offense under section 266 is a bailable offense.
  4. Offense under said section is a non-cognizable and non-compoundable offense.

Who can be charged under section 266 of the IPC for weight and measurement?

  1. Any person who has the possession of wrongful weight or measure
  2. Any person who intentionally keeps the wrong weight and measures it knowingly that it is a wrongful weight or measure.
  3. The wrongful weight and measure must be in the possession of the accused person or the offender.

Producing or selling false weight or measure

  1. It is the offense under Legal Metrology and IPC to produce, manufacture, or sell the false weight or measure. Any offender who commits the act of making the false weight and measure shall be charged under section 267 of the IPC which says “that whoever makes a sale or disposes of any instrument for weight or any measure of length or capacity which he knows to be false so that the same may be used as true or knowing that the same is likely to be used as true shall be punished with imprisonment under either description for a term which may extend up to one year or fine or both
  2. It is a non-cognizable and non-compoundable offense.
  3. It is a bailable offense.

Any person who is ever found guilty under the above-mentioned section can approach the Legal Metrology consultant or an advocate to come out of the situation and rectify the mistakes. The person can take the help of a Legal Metrology expert and ensure that no false act will take place him ever in the future. They will provide the solution of Legal Metrology Disputes.

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