Report No. 29
Category 5.-Hoarding and Profiteering
140. Hoarding and profiteering (Category 5).-The fifth category of the offences mentioned by the Santhanam Committee is-"Profiteering, black-marketing and hoarding.".
141. Existing provisions analysed.-The existing laws relating to these offences are listed separately1. As will be seen, the details of the policy laid down in these laws have to be worked out by orders and rules issued under those laws. The provisions that emerge, as a result of those laws read with such statutory orders or rules, are bound to vary in respect of each commodity or group of commodities. There is a whole structure of legislation and sub-legislation which has come into existence as a result of the exercise of various powers by various authorities as to the control of essential commodities. We do not think that the transfer of the offences against such legislation to the Penal Code would be convenient. It should also be noted, that there are special rules of evidence and procedure enacted by some of these enactments. For example, section 11 of the Essential Commodities Act2 bars the court from taking cognizance of an offence under that Act, except on a written report of a public servant. Again, section 14 of that Act enacts a rule as to burden of proof. It is obvious that the Indian Penal Code cannot be encumbered with these provisions.
1. See Appendix 5.
2. The Essential Commodities Act, 1955 (10 of 1955).