Ladhu Ram Chowdhary
(Querist) 06 June 2008
This query is : Resolved
Essential Commodities Act-sec.6,3-Bar as to jurisdiction or court-Seizure of salt-Release of-F.I.R. NOT DISCLOSING that salt was seized in contravention of order issued underS.3of Act-Court can release salt ?
(Expert) 10 June 2008
The procedure for confiscation of goods under the Act is as follows:
6A. Confiscation of essential commodity—
(1) Where any essential commodity is seized in pursuance of an order made under section 3 in relation thereto, a report of such seizure shall, without unreasonable delay, be made to the Collector of the district or the Presidency town in which such essential commodity is seized and whether or not a prosecution is instituted for the contravention of such order, the Collector may, if he thinks it expedient so to do, direct the essential commodity so seized to be produced for inspection before him, and if he is satisfied that there has been a contravention of the order may order confiscation of –
(a)the essential commodity so seized;
(b)any package, covering or receptacle in which such essential commodity is found; and
(c)any animal, vehicle, vessel or other conveyance used in carrying such essential commodity :
Provided that without prejudice to any action which may be taken under any other provision of this Act, no foodgrains or edible oilseeds in pursuance of an order made under section 3 in relation thereto from a producer shall, if the seized foodgrains or edible oilseeds have been produced by him, be confiscated under this section :
Provided further that in the case of any animal, vehicle, vessel or other conveyance used for the carriage of goods or passengers for hire, the owner of such animal, vehicle, vessel or other conveyance shall be given an option to pay, in lieu of its confiscation, a fine not exceeding the market price at the date of seizure of the essential commodity sought to be carried by such animal, vehicle, vessel or other conveyance.
(2) Where the Collector, on receiving a report of seizure or on inspection of any essential commodity under sub-section (I), is of the opinion that the essential commodity is subject to speedy and natural decay or it is otherwise expedient in the public interest so to do, he may—
(i)order the same to be sold at the controlled price, if any, fixed for essential commodity under this Act or under any other law for the time being in force; or
(ii)where no such price is fixed, order the same to be sold by public auction :
Provided that in case of foodgrains, the Collector may, for its equitable distribution and availability at fair prices, order the same to be sold through fair price shops at the price fixed by the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, for the retail sale of such foodgrains to the public.
(3) where any essential commodity is sold, as aforesaid, the sale proceeds thereof, after deduction of the expenses of any such sale or auction or other incidental expenses relating thereto, shall—
(a)where no order or confiscation is ultimately passed by the Collector,
(b)where an order passed on appeal under sub-section (l) of section 6C so requires, or
(c)where in a prosecution instituted for the contravention of the order in respect of which an order of confiscation has been made under this section, the person concerned is acquitted be paid to the owner or the person from whom it is seized.
6B. Issue of show cause notice before confiscation of essential commodity—
(1) No order confiscating any essential commodity shall be made under section 6A unless the owner of such essential commodity package, covering, receptacle, animal, vehicle, vessel or other conveyance or the person from whom it is seized—
(a)is given a notice in writing informing him of the grounds on which it is proposed to confiscate the essential commodity package, covering, receptacle, animal, vehicle, vessel or other conveyance;
(b)is given an opportunity of making a presentation in wiring within such reasonable time as may be specified in the notice against the ground of confiscation; and
(c)is given a reasonable opportunity of being heard in the matter.
(2) Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (l), no
(Expert) 10 June 2008
One needs to approach the Collector for release of the goods, The courts do not have the powers to order release.
(Expert) 12 June 2008
FIR being the first information need not state everything specifically. It appears that it is a fact that the salt was seized and in pursuance to that a FIR was lodged. It depends what material has come during the course of investigation.