Supreme Court held that Legal Metrology Act excludes Only Those Offence With Regard To Weight Or Measure Under IPC

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The Supreme Court has held that though Section 3 of the Legal Metrology Act completely overrides the provisions of Chapter XIII of Indian Penal in respect of the offences and penalties with regard to weight or measure, but the prosecution for other offences under of IPC could be maintained.

The bench, in State of UP vs. Aman Mittal, observed that the provisions of IPC which relate to offences with regard to weight and measure as contained in Chapter XIII of IPC alone will not apply. It said:

“We find that Section 3 of the Act completely overrides the provisions of Chapter XIII of IPC in respect of the offences and penalties imposable for violations of the provisions of the Act, it being special Act. Therefore, if the offence is disclosed to be made out under the provisions of the Act, an accused cannot be charged for the same offence under Chapter XIII of IPC. Reading of Section 51 of the Act makes it clear that the provisions of IPC insofar as they relate to offences with regard to weight or measure, shall not apply to any offence which is punishable under the Act. Therefore, the provisions of IPC which relate to offences with regard to weight and measure as contained in Chapter XIII of IPC alone will not apply. No person can be charged for an offence relating to weight or measure falling under Chapter XIII of IPC in view of the provisions of the Act.”

The bench further observed:

The scheme of the Act is for the offences for use of weights and measures which are non-standard and for tampering with or altering any standards, secondary standards or working standards of any weight or measure. The Act does not foresee any offence relating to cheating as defined in Section 415 of IPC or the offences under Sections 467, 468 and 471 of IPC. Similarly, an act performed in furtherance of a common intention disclosing an offence under Section 34 is not covered by the provisions of the Act. An offence disclosing a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence which is punishable under Section 120-B IPC is also not an offence under the Act. Since such offences are not punishable under the provisions of the Act, therefore, the prosecution for such offences could be maintained since the trial of such offences is not inconsistent with any of the provisions of the Act. Similar is the provision in respect of the offences under Sections 467, 468, 471 IPC as such offences are not covered by the provisions of the Act.