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Sections 6, 6A, 6B, 6C, 6D and 6E of Essential Commodities Act 1955

Section 6. Effect of orders inconsistent with other enactments.―

Any order made under section 3 shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any enactment other than this Act or any instrument having effect by virtue of any enactment other than this Act.

Section 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 (1), 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 such 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 by 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 (1) 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 thereof or the person from whom it is seized.

Section 6B. Issue of show cause notice before confiscation of food grains, etc.―

(1) No order confiscating any essential commodity package, covering, receptacle, animal, vehicle, vessel or other conveyance 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 (1), no order confiscating any animal, vehicle, vessel or other conveyance shall be made under section 6A if the owner of the animal, vehicle vessel or other conveyance proves to the satisfaction of the Collector that it was used in carrying the essential commodity without the knowledge or connivance of the owner himself, his agent, if any, and the person in charge of the animal, vehicle, vessel or other conveyance and that each of them had taken all reasonable and necessary precautions against such use.

(3) No order confiscating any essential commodity package, covering, receptacle, animal, vehicle, vessel or other conveyance shall be invalid merely by reason of any defect or irregularity in the notice, given under clause (a) of sub-section (1), if, in giving such notice, the provisions of that clause have been substantially complied with.

Section 6C. Appeal.―

(1) Any person aggrieved by an order of confiscation under section 6A may, within one month from the date of the communication to him of such order, appeal to any judicial authority appointed by the State Government concerned and the judicial authority shall, after giving an opportunity to the appellant to be heard, pass such order as it may think fit, confirming, modifying or annulling the order appealed against.

(2) Where an order under section 6A is modified or annulled by such judicial authority, or where in a prosecution instituted for the contravention of the order in respect of which an order of confiscation has been made under section 6A, the person concerned is acquitted, and in either case it is not possible for any reason to return the essential commodity seized, such persons shall, except except as provided by sub-section (3) of section 6A, be paid the price therefore as if the essential commodity, had been sold to the Government with reasonable interest calculated from the day of the seizure of the essential commodity and such price shall be determined―

 (i) in the case of food grains, edible oilseeds or edible oils, in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (3B) of section 3;
 (ii) in the case of sugar, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (3C) of section 3 ; and
 (iii) in the case of any other essential commodity, in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (3) of section 3.

Section 6D. Award of confiscation not to interfere with other punishments.―

The award of any confiscation under this Act by the Collector shall not prevent the infliction of any punishment to which the person affected thereby is liable under this Act.

Section 6E. Bar of jurisdiction in certain cases.―

Whenever any essential commodity is seized in pursuance of an order made under section 3 in relation thereto, or any package, covering or receptacle in which such essential commodity is found, or any animal, vehicle, vessel or other conveyance used in carrying such essential commodity is seized pending confiscation under section 6A, the Collector, or, as the case may be, the State Government concerned under section 6C shall have, and, notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law for the time being in force, any court, tribunal or other authority shall not have, jurisdiction to make orders with regard to the possession, delivery, disposal, release or distribution of such essential commodity, package, covering, receptacle, animal, vehicle, vessel or other conveyance.





Extra Notes for Readers

(1) Sections 6A to 6D were inserted by Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 1966 (Act No. 25 of 1966) (w.e.f. 3-Sep-1966).

(2) Sections 6A, 6B and 6C were modified by Essential Commodities (Second Amendment) Act, 1967 (Act No. 36 of 1967) (w.e.f. 30-Dec-1967).

(3) Sections 6A and 6B were modified by Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 1974 (Act No. 30 of 1974) (w.e.f. 22-6-1974).

(4) Sections 6A, 6B and 6C were modified and Section 6E was newly inserted by Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 1976 (Act No. 92 of 1976) (w.e.f. 2-Sep-1976).

(5) Section 6E was substituted by Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 1986 (Act No. 42 of 1986) (w.e.f. 9-Sep-1986).

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