The main role of the Organization is to protect the consumers' interest by surprise visits or inspections at Traders premises, packers, importers, packaging units 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 some of the offences against the society. The legal metrology organization has to keep strict vigil on the offenders and enforce the provisions of law by firm hands. Deterrent penal provisions are prescribed for errant traders and other persons under the 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 Authourities impose compounding fees upon the offender to be credited to Government 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
Right from pre-natal Stage up to the journey of heavenly abode everybody is closely related with weights & measures. The doctors keenly observe weight of expectant mother and accordingly medication is prescribed. After the birth of a child, weight of newborn infant is noted. This is a beginning of a human being, which goes hand in hand with legal metrology. In the pre-medieval era, we find standard prescribed for weights and measures. One is astonished to notice beweldering nature of the then weights and measures, which has an antique value in the present Century. Various standards in respect of weights and measures in Harrapann civilization stands a mile-stone in the history of urban civilization. The system of weights and measures is perpetual. Even at the time of Arya chanakya rigorous punishment was provided for defaulters who were giving short delivery.
Before Independence, we were ruled by Empire kingdom and they have formulated their own standards for weights and measures that are known as Imperial Standards consisting of seer (sher), pound, maunds(man), rattal, payali etc. After Independence, the Sovereign State of India felt it necessary to amend the existing regulations hence the Standards Act was enacted in the year 1956 and the State Act was passed in the year 1958 and was subsequently repealed by the Standards of Weights and Measures (Enf.) Act, 1985.Both the Acts have been repealed and from April, 2011 the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 have been brought into effect. Various Rules including the Maharashtra Legal Metrology (Enforcement)Rules, 2011 have been made and brought into effect from April, 2011 for the purpose of carrying out the provision of the act. Subject of Weights & Measures is in the concurrent list of the Constitution of India. Provisions pertaining to Weights and Measures are enacted by Central Government and State Government Authority.The Legal Metrology Organization implements those provisions.
Strength of the Organization
- CONTROLLER of Legal Metrology is the head of the department & he is from IPS cadre of super time scale.
- There are 7 Deputy Controllers for 7 Regions & One Deputy Controller at head office.
- There are 29 Assistant Controllers for Districts & 17 Assistant Controllers are attached with the State & Regional offices.
- There are 261 Divisional Inspectors along with Field Assistants & Peons in the field & 21 Inspectors are attached with the State & Regional offices. The inspectors are having minimum qualification as science graduate with physics or diploma / degree in Engineering. And also they have been given comprehensive basic training at Indian Institute of Legal Metrology, Kanke - Ranchi, Zarkhand State.
The Role of Legal Metrology in Maharashtra
The object of Legal Metrology is to provide social justice to all people in Maharashtra. It's motto being "NO MORE, NO LESS BUT EXACT" All the laws of weights & Measures are essentially of social reforms and are of concern to one and all. In a developing State like Maharashtra the enforcement provisions of Weights & Measures are mainly applied to human protection as well as trade & commerce. Due to improved lifestyle of the people, the consumer protection movement is now in a 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.
Both the Acts have been repealed and from April 2011. The Legal Metrology Act, 2009 have been brought into effect. Various Rules incuding the Maharashtra L.M. (Enf) Rules, 2011 have been made and brought into effect w.e.f. April, 2011 for ther purpose of covering out the provision of the Act.
Due to globalization, there is rapid development in the technology which is concerned with weighing & measuring instruments. It is absolutely necessary to ensure the correct weights and measures in trade and commerce of the product being exported to other countries as per International Standards of Weights and Measures. Otherwise, it will affect the internal as well as international markets for the Indian products.