Disputes Under Legal Metrology

Date : 2022-05-11

The Legal Metrology Act deals with the packaged commodities and the declarations made on them. This Act provides the proper instructions and guidelines to the manufacturer, importer, dealer, and packer who deal in the packed commodities for manufacturing, selling, importing, etc.

When it comes to e-commerce websites and businesses, then Legal Metrology plays a very important role as it lays down certain procedures along with proper instructions and guidelines which are to be followed by every e-commerce website and business while dealing in the Indian market. A person will be liable to pay the legal metrology penalty if he commits the offence under the Act.

Now the Legal Metrology disputes arise from time to time whenever any e-commerce website, manufacturer, importer, dealer, packer, or seller does not comply with the procedure laid down in the Legal Metrology act.

What are the Disputes Under Legal Metrology?

There are several kinds of disputes under Legal Metrology which may arise due to the following reasons:

  1. Whenever any manufacturer doesn't have the license to manufacture the packed commodities,
  2. Whenever any manufacturer does not make the proper declarations on the package of the commodities as per the prescribed guidelines,
  3. Whenever any importer of packed commodities without taking the prior permission and without the registration, imports any packed commodity in the Indian market,
  4. LMPC Declarations are mandatory on packed commodities, and its non-compliance can lead to legal consequences.
  5. Whenever any e-commerce website does not comply with the rules and regulations in regards to the
    1. selling of products,
    2. Declarations are made on the commodities and their packages,
    3. information is given on the packages, and packed commodities, etc.
  6. Whenever any false or inappropriate information is provided on the commodity, or on its package
  7. Whenever any incomplete or inappropriate information is provided on the package, then in all these cases, the disputes under Legal Metrology may arise.

Legal Metrology Disputes in India

Here we are going to discuss the legal metrology disputes in India based on judgments as such given by the Supreme Court and High Courts of India. It is advised to take the proper consultancy from the Legal Metrology consultant or expert prior to starting their business in the Indian market in weight and measures

Legal Metrology Act, Section 3

Section 3 of the Legal Metrology Act 2009 overwrites the effect of Chapter XII of the Indian Penal Code. In the matter of the state of Uttar Pradesh versus Aman Mittal, Section 3 of the Legal Metrology Act says that the provision laid down under the override key provision shall be laid down under any other existing law related to the trade and commerce of goods, weights and measures, and distribution of goods sold by weight.

Dispute of Retail Business

In the matter of Lawrence & Mayo (Opt.) LMI Trust & Anr. Versus S.A Chaudhary & Anr. In this matter, the applicant was having a business of retailing spectacles, goggles, spectacle frames, sunglasses, etc., and in the matter, Bombay High Cout purview of Packed commodities rules 1977 along with the Standards of Weight and Measure Act, 1976.

Disputes related to Audio Visual Equipment

In the matter of Philips Electronics India Limited rep. by Ms. Roop Loomba and others, the government of Andra Pradesh. In this matter, the dispute was earlier heard before the High Court of Madras in which the dispute was in regards to clarifying whether the audiovisual equipment and other electronic items come under this standard of weight and measures act 1976 and the rules 1977 or not.

In this regard, the court answered that audiovisual equipment and other electronic items such as television sets, etc. do not count under the purview of the said act as well as under the rule 1977.

In the above matter, the court held that the act and the rules shall not be applicable to any packages which are placed for the customer's convenience, which means that audiovisual equipment and electronic items along with television sets will not be covered under the package commodity rules.

Legal Metrology Dispute of Cadbury India

The case of legal metrology, which was titled as Cadbury India Limited vs Controller of Legal Metrology, the notice was issued to Cadbury India as it was using the word "angula" 5-star chocolate, and this word refers to win edge, which is a non-metric system of length.

Utilizing such a word comes under the violation of section 11 (1) of the legal metrology act. In this matter, the court made the decision in favor of Cadbury India by stating that the commercial had a huge stone. There was no violation by Cadbury India.

Legal Metrology Disputes Related to MRP

The MRP is one of the major parts of the declarations which is required to be made by the manufacturer or importer on the commodity or on the package of the commodity or prepacked commodity. The MRP should include all the taxes which are payable by the consumer. Any person who does not comply with this rule will face legal consequences.

The MRP is one of the major parts of the declarations which is required to be made by the manufacturer or importer on the commodity or on the package of the commodity or prepacked commodity. The MRP should include all the taxes which are payable by the consumer. Any person who does not comply with this rule will face legal consequences.

E-commerce Disputes Under Legal Metrology

  1. As we said above, legal metrology plays an important role in the business of e-commerce, and recently, a notice has been served to the e-commerce firm Meesho, which has just run out the most popular and well-known e-commerce platform.
  2. The notice was served to the Meesho because of the non-compliance with the rules laid down by the legal metrology act.
  3. There are certain rules and procedures which are required to be followed by the e-commerce entities, and such entities must ensure compliance with the act.
  4. Delhi High Court has given directions to keep a regular check on E-commerce sites
  5. Due to the non-compliance of the mandatory declaration on products, the e-commerce firm Meesho was served a notice by the department of legal metrology stating the “This was the final reminder seeking a response to the notice for non-compliance of the rules and regulations”
  6. Because of the non-compliance of the rules and regulations, it is also coming forward that the Meesho had at least once a year fine of Rs. 75,000.
  7. It is very important for every e-commerce website to disclose its country of origin and information such as MRP along with other details prescribed under the act.

LPG Dispute Under Legal Metrology

  1. The dispute under Legal Metrology arose with LPG, and it became one of the most famous disputes under Legal Metrology, which covered the headlines in the matter. The case was filed against the six LPG dealers, who were involved in short-delivery of LPG cylinders, and they were charged with a fine of Rs. 18,000 for the offence.
  2. The Jammu and Kashmir has recorded cases against 11 people who were guilty of LPG traders because they were delivering underweight LPG cylinders to the customers.
  3. The Legal Metrology department took strict actions against the offenders and conducted a special inspection on the order of the controller. They were also fined Rs. 18,000.
  4. Dealers, under Legal Metrology, which deals with the overcharging, short delivery, cheating, and illegal delivery of LPG by dealers, we bring this to the notice of the legal metrology department so that the department can take strict action on time against these offenders. Also, in this matter, the distributors were asked to have a proper weight detector and scale to check the weight and leakage in the delivery banks of the value of a cylinder. 

How can a customer save himself from Legal Metrology Fraud?

There are various pieces of advice given to the consumers who consume the commodity and take the service from the manufacturer, dealer, importer, packer, or sailor.

  1. The consumer is advised to be aware and alert while receiving the delivery of the commodity.
  2. Consumers should take the payment receipt for the purchase of the commodity, whether it be a gas cylinder or any other commodity that they are going to consume.
  3. Consumers should check the weight or commodity and ask the person who delivers such a commodity to check the weight in front of the consumer.

CONCLUSION

It is very important for every business dealing under the Legal Metrology and for every e-commerce entity to ensure the declarations and other compliance are as per the act have to be done by them. In any case, any consumer who has been cheated by any e-commerce website can cancel the complaint to any legal authority and file a complaint against such fraud or misconduct.

If any E-commerce entity or any manufacturer, distributor, or importer who is not sure about the laws of Legal Metrology in India, you can cancel the legal metrology expert so that he can make the proper compliance as required by the legal metrology department and the legal metrology act and the Indian Legal Metrology system.

Author : ELT Consultants