A legal metrology department is part of the Department of Consumer Affairs and is responsible for the implementation of rules, regulations, standards, and requirements related to measurement and measurement instruments. Legal Metrology is under the Department of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution of the Government of India. Weighing and measuring instruments are weighed and measured in India by this agency. The Department for Legal Metrology laws was previously known as the Department of Weights and Measures, and the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 has replaced the Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1976, and its enforcement act, 1985.
Administrative overview of Legal Metrology
It is headed by the Director, Legal Metrology, whose office is located at Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi. Legal Metrology laws vary from state to state. A license is issued by the Controller of Legal Metrology to a manufacturer, repairer, or dealer of weighing and measuring instruments.
Constitutional provisions related to legal Metrology
The Law of Legal Metrology is outlined under Entry 50 of the Union list, which reads “to frame the Acts and Rules, Specification of Standards and International Relations, training in Legal Metrology, etc.” It is also listed under Entry 33A of the Concurrent list, which addresses legal metrology enforcement.
Legal Metrology Act, 2009
As part of the Legal Metrology Act, standards for weights and measures are enforced and established, and the trade of weighing and measuring instruments or the sale of goods using weights and measures is regulated.
Offenses and Penalties under the Act
According to the Act, the following penalties are given for contravening legal metrology laws:
- Use of non-standard weights and measures: fines up to Rs. 25,000/-; imprisonment up to 6 months for second and subsequent offenses.
- Altering weight and measure: A fine of Rs. 25,000/- and imprisonment of up to 6 months, which can be extended to 1 year with or without a fine.
- Manufacturing or selling non-standard weights and measures: Fine up to Rs. 25,000/- and imprisonment up to 3 years for subsequent offenses.
- The act of making an unconstitutional transaction, deal, or contract, quoting, publishing, etc. If the nonstandard unit or transaction is contravening standard weights and measures, or the use of unverified weights and measures, a fine of up to Rs. 10,000/- and imprisonment of 1 year for the second and subsequent offenses.
- Tampering with the license carries a fine up to Rs.25,000 or imprisonment up to 1 year.
A claim under the Act can be appealed
A legal metrology appeal must be filed within 60 days of the date of the impugned decision or order.
Legislation related to Legal Metrology Laws in India
- Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 require every manufacturer, packer, or importer of commodities to register. Regulation of commodities packaging and labeling is the purpose of this Rule. On June 23, 2017, the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Amendment Rules, 2017 were notified and took effect on January 1, 2018. The purpose of this amendment was to enhance consumer protection while balancing business requirements.
- Under section 53 of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009, the Government of Meghalaya in consultation with the Central Government has enacted the Meghalaya Legal Metrology (Enforcement) Rules, 2011.
- The Legal Metrology (Numeration) Rules, 2011 were made under Section 52 of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009. A decimal system will be used for all numerations. Numbers shall be expressed in base ten. Any number represented in digits will be represented using the international form of Indian numerals, i.e., 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9.
- Under section 52 of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009, the Indian Institute of Legal Metrology Rules, 2011 govern training courses in legal metrology and related subjects.
- Legal Metrology (Approval of Models) Rules, 2011 were made by the Central Government with the main objective of approving the physical model that represents weight and measures.
- Central Government drafted the Legal Metrology (National Standard) Rules, 2011 to broaden the meaning and understanding of national standards and weights and measures