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Sections 7, 7A, 8 and 9 of Essential Commodities Act 1955

Section 7. Penalties.―

(1) If any person contravenes any order made under Section 3,―

(a) he shall be punishable,―
  (i) in the case of an order made with reference to clause (h) or clause (i) of sub-section (2) of that section, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and shall also be liable to fine, and
  (ii) in the case of any other order, with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three months but which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine:

Provided that the court may, for any adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than three months;

(b) any property in respect of which the order has been contravened shall be forfeited to the Government;

(c) any package, covering or receptacle in which the property is found and any animal, vehicle, vessel or other conveyance used in carrying the property shall, if the court so orders, be forfeited to the Government.

(2) If any person to whom a direction is given under clause (b) of sub-section(4) of section 3 fails to comply with the direction, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three months but which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine:

Provided that the court may, for any adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than three months.

(2A) If any person convicted of an offence under sub-clause (ii) of clause (a) of sub-section (1) or under sub-section (2) is again convicted of an offence under the same provision, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for the second and for every subsequent offence for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine:

Provided that the court may, for any adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than six months.

(2B) For the purposes of sub-sections (1), (2) and (2A), the fact that an offence under sub-clause (ii) of clause (a) of sub-section (1) or under sub-section (2) has caused no substantial harm to the general public or to any individual shall be an adequate and special reason for awarding a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than three months or six months, as the case may be.

(3) Where a person having been convicted of an offence under sub-section (1) is again convicted convicted of an offence under that sub-section for contravention of an order in respect of an essential commodity, the court by which such person is convicted shall, in addition to any penalty which may be imposed on him under that sub-section, by order, direct that that person shall not carry on any business in that essential commodity for such period, not being less than six months, as may be specified by the Court in the Order.

Section 7A. Power of Central Government to recover certain amounts as arrears of land revenue.―

(1) Where any person, liable to―
  (a) pay any amount in pursuance of any order made under section 3, or
  (b) deposit any amount to the credit of any Account or Fund constituted by or in pursuance of any order made under that section,

makes any default in paying or depositing the whole or any part of such amount, the amount in respect of which such default has been made shall whether such order was made before or after the commencement of the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 1984 (34 of 1984), and whether the liability of such person to pay or deposit such amount arose before or after such commencement be recoverable by Government together with simple interest due thereon computed at the rate of fifteen per cent. per annum from the date of such default to the date of recovery of such amount, as an arrear of land revenue or as a public demand.

(2) The amount recovered under sub-section (1) shall be dealt with in accordance with the order under which the liability to pay or deposit such amount arose.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force or any contract to the contrary, no court, tribunal or other authority shall grant any injunction or make any order prohibiting or restraining any Government from recovering any amount as an arrear of land revenue or as a public demand in pursuance of the provisions of sub-section (1).

(4) If any order, in pursuance of which any amount has been recovered by Government as an arrear of land revenue or as a public demand under subsection (1) is declared by a competent court, after giving to the Government a reasonable opportunity of being heard, to be invalid, the Government shall refund the amount so recovered by it to the person from whom it was recovered, together with simple interest due thereon, computed at the rate of fifteen per cent. per annum, from the date of recovery of such amount to the date on which such refund is made.

Explanation.―For the purposes of this section, “Government” means the Government by which the concerned order under section 3 was made or where such order was made by an officer or authority subordinate to any Government, that Government.

Section 8. Attempts and abetment.―

Any person who attempts to contravene, or abets a contravention of, any order made under section 3 shall be deemed to have contravened that order.

Section 9. False statement.―

If any person,―

 (i) when required by any order made under section 3 to make any statement or furnish any information, makes any statement or furnishes any information which is false in any material particular and which he knows or has reasonable cause to believe to be false, or does not believe to be true, or

 (ii) makes any such statement as aforesaid in any book, account, record, declaration, return or other document which he is required by any such order to maintain or furnish,

he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both.





Extra Notes for Readers

(1) Sections 7 and 9 of this Act were amended by the Essential Commodities (Second Amendment) Act, 1967 (Act No. 36 of 1967) (w.e.f. 30-Dec-1967).

(2) Section 7 of this Act was amended by the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 1974 (Act No. 30 of 1974) (w.e.f. 22-Jun-1974).

(3) Section 7A of was inserted by the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 1984 (Act No. 34 of 1984) (w.e.f. 1-Jul-1984).

(4) Section 7A of this Act was amended by the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 1986 (Act No. 42 of 1986) (w.e.f. 8-Sep-1986).

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