In this way it is ensured that consumer gets the item in the quantity he pays for. That is to say if he purchases one litre or one Kilogram of any item he shall get the same if the measure and weight stamped by our Department have not been tampered by the service provider i.e. petrol pumps, traders, auto/taxi drivers, mother dairy booths etc. As such all commercial
transaction, industrial production and protection are covered by W & M Laws.This Department on the one hand makes regular inspection to ensure that provisions of the various Act/Rules regulated by this Department are observed by service providers and on the other hand
file complaints against the persons who violate provisions of the Act and Rules in the court of Metropolitan Magistrates. If the complaint is proved, the Court can either fine or sentence to jail or both, to a specified amount/period in different sections for different offences.
Under the Standards of Weights & Measures (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 1977 besides other provisions one condition is that no dealer/wholesaler/purchaser can sell any item for a price more than the MRP mentioned in the packaged commodity. In case of any violation the person can be prosecuted in the Court.
In fact a complaint for charging more than MRP or weighing less than the required weights or measuring less than the required volume or using tampered measures or using unstamped weights and measures, any NGO or any person can also file a complaint in the court of Metropolitan Magistrate under section 63 of the Standards of Weights & Measures (Enforcement) Act, 1985. The Section 63 is as under:-
Section 63. Cognizance of offences - Notwithstanding anything contained in the CrPC, 1973 (2 of 1974)
a) no court shall take cognizance of an offence punishable under this Act except upon a complaint, in writing, made by-
i) the Controller;
ii) any other officer authorized in this behalf by the Controller by general or special order;
iii) any person aggrieved; or
iv) a recognized association whether the person aggrieved is a member of such association or not.
Explanation - For the purposes of this clause “recognized consumer association” means a voluntary consumer association registered under the Companies Act, 1956 (I of 1956), or any other law for the time being in force.
b) no court inferior to that of a Metropolitan Magistrate or Judicial magistrate of the first class shall try any offence punishable under this Act.
In short since every person is consumer and therefore every person is effected if the traders use unverified/unstamped weights and measures for executing any transaction with the consumer. The consumer is also cheated if the traders/sellers charge more than MRP (inclusive of all taxes).
The inspectorate staff of this Department is required to verify all balances, petrol pump dispensers, weights used in any transaction etc., every year. They are also required to make surprise checks to ascertain if the stamped Weights and Measures are being used in the commercial transactions or not. Wherever they find any violation the cases are filed against those persons.
Manufacturers/dealers/repairers of Weights & Measures, Packers of items, Petrol Pumps, Auto/Taxi Drivers etc. are the category of persons who generally regularly interact with the Deptt. The Department has made some guide lines for its officers according to which the work is disposed by them within a specified period. The details are as under:-
1. All work except issue of licence and renewal of licences to be disposed within 15 days at the District Level.
2. Issue of Licence and renewal of licence is to be completed in 1 months for its final disposal.
3. Issue of registration under rule 35 of the Standards of Weights & Measures (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 1977 in one month.
4. Calibration of Taxi/Auto meters and Tank lorries are done on same date as far as possible.
The Department is functioning through its 9 offices one each in all the 9 Revenue Districts in Punjab, One Taxi Meter Unit, One Calibration Unit and one Standard Lab.
In case if any difficulty is faced by any person from the officers of this Department a complaint can be lodged in writing to either Controller (W&M) or Director Vigilance, Punjab Govt. However, if any consumer has any complaint against any trader/retailer etc., then this office can make spot inspection on receipt of such complaints and if complaint is found correct during inspection a case is booked against the offender who can in some cases have the option to get the offence compounded by payment of penalty otherwise the case is filed in the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate.
The expectations of the Department from the consumers are that: -
- They should insist that they are sold items by the traders using Weights & Measures duly stamped by this Department and ask the traders to show them the stamp of verification as well as verification certificate.
- They should ensure that they are not being asked price of any packaged item which is more than its MRP (Inclusive of all taxes) written on the packet.
- They should complaint if they received any thing/article less in weight, volume or length.
- They should file a complaint to Controller on e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Fax 5850828, so that the complaint is verified and case of prosecution can be made against the offender.