Moneylife Events
'No more, no less, buy the exact quantity you paid for'
IG Sanjay Pandey, who is Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures), says, a short delivery, excess demand and overpricing are considered offences against the society and lead to penalties if consumers file a complaint
 
If consumer gets short delivery of the commodity or thing than it is paid for or contracted for, similarly in the services also, it amounts to an offence. However, not many consumers know about remedies available to them to get justice. Such consumers can easily file a complaint before the Legal Metrology Organization (weights and measures).
 
 
Speaking at a seminar organised by Moneylife Foundation in Mumbai, Inspector General (IG) Sanjay Pandey, who is Controller of the Legal Metrology Organization, said, "Due to improved lifestyle of the people, consumer protection movement is now going on in an aggressive manner. Therefore, it is not only just and fair to enforce the provisions strictly but is absolutely essential to enforce the provisions of the Acts and Rules in the interest of common consumers."
 
"We are looking into three areas. One is how builders sell property on square foot basis and how registrars are registering it on sq ft basis. Second is defining call duration standards for telecom companies. How these companies measure the second? It is certified by the authorised government agency. Third area is digital measurement. How the companies are selling GB or MB and who and how it is certified? Soon you will see some action in these areas," he added.  
 
The main role of the Organization is to protect the consumers' interest by surprise visits or inspections at Traders premises, packers, importers, packaging units and industries to verify the accuracy of weights and measures as well as to check the net contents effected by them. A short delivery, excess demand and overpricing are offences against the society. The legal metrology organization keeps a strict vigil on the offenders and enforces the provisions of law by firm hands.
 
 
Deterrent penal provisions are prescribed for errant traders and other persons under the Legal Metrology Act. Such offenders are brought to book and punished accordingly. There is a provision in the Act to compound prosecution cases at the department level if the offender has committed the said offence for the first time. Under such circumstances the Authorities impose compounding fees upon the offender and the matter is settled at the department level. However, if the option is not exercised by the offender to get it compounded at the department level, then the case is sent to the Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC)/Metropolitan Court and then it attracts the provision of Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.) as it is treated as criminal case.
 
According to Mr Pandey, even builders who are selling properties using square feet instead of metres for measurement can be booked under the Act. "This is because, in 1956, the Indian government passed a Standards of Weights and Measures system to introduce metric system based on Punjab Act. The metric system began in October 1958, making metric weight mandatory by October 1960, and the metric measures mandatory by April 1962 banning all other systems."
 
"Puranik Builders published an advertisement that promised 45 sq feet free. We then issued a notice to them. Now the advertisement says 45 smiles instead of 45 sq feet. But let me make it clear again that no builder can sell property on square foot basis as it is illegal. Under the metric system it can be sold only on square metre basis. We have written to MHADA and are gathering more information on this," he added.
 
While buying any pre-packaged commodity, Mr Pandey said, consumers need to check mandatory declarations. This includes...
a) Name and address of the manufacturer or packer or importer.
b) Generic name of the commodity.
c) Net quantity in terms of standard units of weight or measure or number.
d) Month and year in which a commodity is manufactured or packed or imported.
e) Retail sale price of package in the form of maximum retail price inclusive of all taxes or in the form of MRP Rs...... inclusive of all taxes.
f) For complaint redressal, every package shall have name, address, telephone number and email if available, of the person of the company. 
 
Several times, consumers are charged more than the MRP of a product. Many times, there is an alteration in the MRP printed on the package. Under the Act, both sale of packaged commodity more than the MRP printed (overpricing) and alteration in the MRP printed are offenses, said Mr Pandey. "Even MRP printed without mentioning 'inclusive of all taxes' amounts to an offence and consumers approach our department for all these violations. We will immediately initiate appropriate action," he added.
 
According to Mr Pandey, to avoid the legal scanner, many packaged water suppliers are selling bottles with higher MRP printed to 5-star hotels and malls. Sometimes, they even use a separate brand name for these water bottles, which are sold only at these places. “Since they sell at MRP, we cannot initiate any action. However, if they charge more than the MRP printed, we can certainly initiate an action against them,” the chief of Legal Metrology Organization added.
 
Earlier in October and also in this month, the Organisation, headed by Mr Pandey conducted several raids on companies, dealers and owners of CNG and LPG filling stations. It was found that over 20 CNG and LPG filling operators across Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai, never bothered to use the dispensers (regular pumps) approved by the government.
 
“Our department realised that the dispensers used by these owners and dealers were not fit enough to serve the consumers and they could possibly swindle them. Hence, we decided to conduct surprise checks and the results were surprising. Our department has seized 20 dispensers and disciplinary process has been initiated against the dealers in the court of law,” Mr Pandey had said at that time.
 
The Legal Metrology Organisation was launched on 6 June 2007 by former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh to protect the consumers’ interest by surprise visits or inspections at the traders’ premises, packers, importers, packaging units and industries to verify the accuracy of weights and measures as well as to check the net contents supplied by them. 
 
Indian weights and measures (From Wikipedia)
 
Before the introduction of the Metric system, one may divide the history of Indian systems of measurement into three main periods: the pre-Akbar's period, the period of the Akbar system, and the British colonial period.
 
During pre-Akbar period, weights and measure system varied from region to region, commodity to commodity, and rural to urban areas. The weights were based on the weight of various seeds (specially the wheat berry and Ratti) and lengths were based on the length of arms and width of fingers. Akbar realized a need for a uniform system. He elected the barley corn. Unfortunately, this did not replace the existing system. Instead, it just added another system.
 
British entered India as traders. They accepted barleycorn as a unit 'grain' for weighing gold. They minted coins using wheat berry as the standard. Eventually, British introduced their own system for weighing gold (Troy ounce), commodities (Pound/Cwt/Ton). Now, the roads had Furlong and Mile markers. In 1939, Government of India passed the Standards of Weights Act that came into effect in 1942. This allowed Tola/Seer/Maund system to coexist with Pound/Cwt/Ton system.
 
In 1941, the Punjab Weight and Measures act provided a sense of uniformity. In 1956, Government of India passed a Standards of Weights and Measures system to introduce metric system based on Punjab Act. The metric would begin in October 1958, making metric weight mandatory by October 1960, and the metric measures mandatory by April 1962.

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COMMENTS

Bapoo Malcolm

2 years ago

We came away with a sad feeling. Officers of this calibre, instead of being encouraged, are being shunted. One could see, sense, feel the frustration. How long will we have to tilt at windmills?


Bapoo M. Malcolm

manoharlalsharma

2 years ago

'No more, no less, buy the exact quantity you paid for' we r filling complaints since last 15 years to JTR/CBD,CIDCO and also filling at HC what happened at final-A co operative minister TERN DOWN the orders and than HC admits FRIVOLOUS or VEXATIOUS CASE / MERIT LESS ad than YEARS of LOOT.NO ONE do nay thing because grant of STAY from HC

Nifty, Sensex shoots up due to crude oil price collapse – Weekly closing report
Nifty will weaken a bit mid-week but the trend is higher, thanks to fundamental change caused by oil price collapse
 
The S&P BSE Sensex closed the week that ended on 28th November at 28,694 (up 359 points or 1.27%), while the NSE's CNX Nifty ended at 8,588 (up 111 points or 1.31%). Previous week, we had mentioned Nifty may keep pushing higher, as long it does not close below 8,350 for the week.
On Monday, Nifty had a positive range bound move until the noon session. However, it then gathered strength and rose to close at a new lifetime high. Nifty closed at 8,530 (up 53 points or 0.62%).
 
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On Tuesday, Nifty recorded a loss on higher volume on the NSE. The loss was the highest since 16 October 2014. Nifty closed at 8,463 (down 67 points or 0.79%). The current up move was shaken with the SEBI imposing restrictions on issue of offshore derivative instruments or P-notes by foreign portfolio investors.
 
On Wednesday, the move on the Nifty in the morning session seemed like it would book loss for the second consecutive session. However, in the noon session the benchmark moved higher and remained in the green zone till the end of the session. Nifty closed at 8,476 (up 13 points or 0.15%).
Global rating agency Moody's said India's credit trends in 2015 will depend on steps governments takes to address high fiscal expenditures, recurrent food price inflation, and wide infrastructure deficit. The sovereign outlook for India (Baa3) remains stable.
 
On Thursday, Nifty witnessed a volatile session especially due to the expiry of November futures and options (F&O) segment. Nifty closed at 8,494 (up 18 points or 0.22%). Moody's expects the country's GDP to grow at 5.3% in the July-September quarter of the current fiscal, better than 4.8% clocked in the year-ago period. The Indian government will announce data on gross domestic product (GDP) for the quarter ending September 2014 on Friday.
 
With the fall in crude oil prices, the benchmark back home witnessed an upsurge. Nifty closed at 8,588 (up 94 points or 1.11%).
 
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Out of the 27 main sectors tracked by Moneylife, top five and the bottom five sectors for this week were:
 

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Nifty, Sensex to rally further – Friday closing report
As long as Nifty stays above 8,550, it should rally further
 
In Thursday’s closing report, we had mentioned that a strong move above 8,510 will ensure a fresh up move on CNX Nifty. The index opened Friday above this level and hit its low at the same level. This was followed by a range bound session with the benchmark moving gradually ahead.
 
The S&P BSE Sensex opened at 28,491 and declined marginally to reach its low level for the day at 28,484. Nifty opened at 8,516.80 and hit a low at 8,516.25. The benchmarks hit a high at 28,822 and 8,617, respectively. Sensex closed at 28,694 (up 255 points or 0.90%) while Nifty closed at 8,588 (up 94 points or 1.11%). NSE recorded a volume of 92.39 crore shares. India VIX rose 1.21% to close at 12.8975.
 
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday set Rs100 crore as the minimum paid-up equity capital requirement for setting up payments banks and small finance banks.
 
The National Stock Exchange (NSE) said it decided to provide a flat concession of 40% in the transaction charges on the incremental billable volume (i.e. the Premium value) above Rs750 crore in a month for two months from 1 December 2014 to 31 January 2015 on a pilot basis on its equity options segment. This is being done to improve the liquidity in the equity options segment and to align with the feedback received from the market, an exercise to review the transaction charges in the equity options segment was carried out by the exchange, NSE said in a circular.
 
There is news that the Indian government may extend excise duty concessions on automobiles beyond 31 December 2014 as the industry continues to struggle with sluggish demand due to high interest rates.
 
The government is considering a plan to reduce stakes in state-run banks to 52% that could enable it to raise about Rs891.2 billion ($14.39 billion), Jayant Sinha, minister of state for finance told lawmakers on Friday.
 
A Supreme Court order scrapping most coal extraction permits given to companies would have a likely impact of Rs96,484 crore on state-run lenders, Sinha reportedly said in a written reply in parliament on Friday. The government had deduced the impact of the cancellation of the coal block allotments on banks due to likely stoppage of power production, Sinha said.
 
Market sentiments were boosted as the crude oil sank to a four-year low, heading for the biggest weekly tumble since 2011, after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) refrained from reducing output. The OPEC kept its production ceiling steady at yesterday's meeting in Vienna, resisting calls from Venezuela to cut output. Jet Airways (19.99%) was the top gainer in ‘A’ group on the BSE. The stock hit its 52-week high today.
 
Container Corporation of India (7.15%) was among the top two losers in ‘A’ group on the BSE. The stock was recently in news with its Part-Time Non-Official (Independent) Director, Deepak Gupta, resigned from office of directorship due to certain personal reasons. The stock hit its 52-week high on Wednesday.
 
State Bank of India (5.10%) was the top gainer in Sensex 30 pack; the stock hit its 52-week high today. The bank was in news recently as it plans to launch an Islamic equity fund next month aimed primarily at its 17 crore Muslims.
 
The US stock market remained closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving Day holiday.
 
Asian indices showed mixed performance. Shanghai Composite (1.99%) was the top gainer while NZSE 50 (0.57%) was the top loser.
 
Japan's annual core consumer inflation slowed for a third straight month in October due to falling oil prices, highlighting the economic gloom facing Premier Shinzo Abe as he campaigns for a new mandate to implement his stalled recovery plan. Factory output unexpectedly rose in October, suggesting companies have reduced inventories of unsold goods built up after April's sales tax hike triggered a recession.
 
European indices were trading in the red.
 
German retail sales rose in October at their fastest monthly pace in more than three years. Retail sales in October rose 1.9% in calendar- and inflation-adjusted terms compared with September, the Federal Statistics Office said today, 28 November 2014. It was the highest figure since June 2011, when it was 2.6%.
 
In France, consumer spending--by far the largest component of the economy--dropped 0.9% in October from September, the sharpest month-on-month decline since June 2013, statistics agency Insee said.

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