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Report No. 47

Chapter 4

Measures so far Adopted

4.1. Measures so far adopted.-

The problem of dealing effectively with social and economic offences is not a new one. From time to time, the legislature, being concerned with the need for proper enforcement of a particular enactment on the subject, has devoted its attention to the measures necessary in that connection.

4.2. Amendments in the Foreign Exchange Act.-

Thus, in the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947 several amendments have been made from time to time dealing with the topics referred to below:-

Punishment:

For contravention of certain sections of the Act, departmental penalty was authorised by section 23(1A), inserted by Act 39 of 1957 (amended later by Act 55 of 1964).

Confiscation:

Confiscation was provided for, by section 23(1B) inserted by later amendment.

Higher powers of Magistrates:

Higher powers were conferred on Magistrates in relation to fine by section 23(2), inserted by Act 34 of 1950. [Section 23(2) and (3) were re┬Čnumbered as (3) and (4) respectively]

Search and Similar powers:

(i) Section 19A to 19F dealing with various powers of enforcement officers (including search-examination etc.) were inserted by Act 55 of 1964, (sections 19A and 19B were re-numbered as sections 19CH, of the same Act).

(ii) Section 19-I and 19J were inserted by a later amendment.

(iii) Provisions of the Customs Act were applied by section 2A (inserted by Act 8 of 1952), which was amended by Act 55 of 1965 to substitute a reference to section 11 of the Customs Act, 1962, which had been passed in the meantime.

Special rules of evidence:

(i) Where foreign exchange is acquired by a person (other than an authorised dealer) for a particular purpose, under permission granted under the Act, the burden of proving that it was used for the purpose for which permission to acquire it was granted, was thrown on that person by section 24(2), inserted by Act 8 of 1952.

(ii) Presumption as to documents in certain cases was inserted by addition of section 24A, by Act 8 of 1952.

4.3. Amendments in Food Adulteration Act.-

The History of amendments in the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 is also of interest. As regards punishment extensive amendments were made in the Act, which included an amendment of section 16(1) which constitutes the main penal provision in the Act. The maximum punishment was increased from one to six years, and a minimum of six months imposed.

As regards mens rea, section 19(2) was amended by Act 49 of 1964. Under the section, a written warranty is a defence to the vendor if certain requirements are satisfied. Under the amended section, it is also necessary that the vendor should have stored the article properly.

4.4. Amendments in the Essential Commodities Act.-

Again, in the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, amendments have been made from time to time to deal effectively with the various offences under the Act.

Mens rea:

Section 7(1) was amended by Act 36 of 1967, so as to bring in absolute liability.1

Punishment:

Maximum terms of imprisonment was increased from three years to five years by amendment of section 7(1)(b) by Act 36 of 1967, and similar amendment of section 7(2) made by the same Act.

Confiscation:

Sections 6A to 6E relating to confiscation were added by Act 25 of 1966.

Stoppage of business:

Power of the Court regarding stoppage of business was inserted in section 7(3) by Act 36 of 1967.

Summary trial:

The Central Government was given power, by section 12A inserted by Act 47 of 1964, to direct by notification that contravention of the specified orders shall be tried summarily. In a summary trial so authorised, the competent

Magistrate was empowered to pass a sentence of imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.2

Search and similar powers:

Section 3(2)(j) was amended by Act 17 of 1961, to make certain clarifications regarding the provisions that could be made in the rules by way of powers of various nature.

Offences to be cognizable and bailable:

All offences under the Act were made cognizable and bailable by section 10A, inserted by Act 36 of 1967.

1. See para. 4.8, infra.

2. See paras. 4.27 and 4.28, infra.

4.5. Amendments in the Income-Tax Act.-

In the Income-Tax Act, 1961, the offence of making a false statement in any verification under the Act or delivering a false statement or account was, by an amendment in 1964, subjected to minimum punishment.



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