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Sections 1, 2 (Definitions) & Sec 2A of Essential Commodities Act 1955

THE ESSENTIAL COMMODITIES ACT, 1955 (Act No. 10 OF 1955)  [1st April, 1955.]
An Act to provide, in the interest of the general public, for the control of the production, supply and distribution of, and trade and commerce, in certain commodities.

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Sixth Year of the Republic of India as follows:―

Section 1. Short title and extent.―

(1) This Act may be called the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
(2) It extends to the whole of India.

Section 2. Definitions.―

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,―

(ia) “Collector” includes an Additional Collector and such other officer, not below the rank of Sub-Divisional Officer, as may be authorised by the Collector to perform the functions and exercise the powers of the Collector under this Act;

(b) “food-crops” include crops of sugarcane;

(c) “notified order” means an order notified in the Official Gazette;

(cc) “order” includes a direction issued thereunder;

(d) “State Government,” in relation to a Union territory, means the administrator thereof;

(e) “sugar” means―
  (i) any form of sugar containing more than ninety per cent, of sucrose, including sugar candy;
  (ii) khandsari sugar or bura sugar or crushed sugar or any sugar in crystalline or powdered form; or
  (iii) sugar in process in vacuum pan sugar factory or raw sugar produced therein.

Section 2A. Essential commodities declaration etc.―

(1) For the purposes of this Act, “essential commodity” means a commodity specified in the Schedule.

(2) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (4), the Central Government may, if it is satisfied that it is necessary so to do in the public interest and for reasons to be specified in the notification published in the Official Gazette, amend the Schedule so as to―
    (a) add a commodity to the said Schedule;
    (b) remove any commodity from the said Schedule,
in consultation with the State Governments.

(3) Any notification issued under sub-section (2) may also direct that an entry shall be made against such commodity in the said Schedule declaring that such commodity shall be deemed to be an essential commodity for such period not exceeding six months to be specified in the notification:
Provided that the Central Government may, in the public interest and for reasons to be specified, by notification in the Official Gazette, extend such period beyond the said six months.

(4) The Central Government may exercise its powers under sub-section (2) in respect of the commodity to which Parliament has power to make laws by virtue of Entry 33 List III in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution.

(5) Every notification issued under sub-section (2) shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is issued, before both Houses of Parliament.

Extra Notes for Readers

(1) This Act was extended to Goa, Daman and Diu with modification by Regulation 12 of 1962, section 3 and Schedule, to Dadra and Nagar Haveli by Regulation 6 of 1963, section 3 and Schedule I and to Lakshadweep and Amindivi Islands by Regulation 8 of 1965, section 3 and Schedule, to the State of Sikkim vide S.O. 28(E), dated 7th January, 1976 (w.e.f. 7-Jan-1976).

 This Act has been amended in Maharashtra by Maharashtra Act 71 of 1976, in Orissa by Orissa Act, 8 of 1976, in Uttar Pradesh by Uttar Pradesh Acts 9 of 1974, 18 of 1975, 39 of 1975 and 16 of 1978.

(2) In sub-section (2) of Section 1 - after the words "the whole of India" - the words “except the State of Jammu and Kashmir” were omitted by Act 25 of 1968 (w.e.f. 15-Aug-1968).

(3) Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2006 (No. 54 of 2006) (w.e.f. 12-Feb-2007)

- Clause (a) of Section 2 was omitted;
- Section 2A was newly inserted.

(4) Clause (ia) of Section 2 was inserted by Act 92 of 1976 (w.e.f. 2-Sep-1976).

(5) Clauses (cc) and (e) of Section 2 were inserted by Act 36 of 1967 (w.e.f. 30-Dec-1967).

(6) Clause (d) of Section 2 was substituted by the Adaptation of Laws (No. 3) Order, 1956.

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