In a bid to check the malpractice of overcharging commodities, the Maharashtra government on Thursday said it is in the process of promulgating an ‘Overpricing Act’ which will have provision of non-bailable offence for the repeated offenders.
The state government is in the process of drafting the proposal and it will soon be sent for the Cabinet approval, a senior Metrology department official said.
“We are in the final leg of drafting the proposal and would be sending it to the government and it will soon come up with the (Overpricing) Act,” said Sanjay Pandey, controller of Legal Metrology (Weights and Measures) Department.
The Act will be the first of its kind in the country, he said, adding that even Central government was also mulling to bring such an Act.
Describing the provisions of the Act as “deterrent” and “effective”, Pandey said that shopkeepers nabbed while selling product more than the MRP printed on the commodity, a police complaint will be registered against them by officials of Metrology department.
“If a vendor commits mistake for the first time, the offence would be meted out as bailable. But if the person is caught second time, he or she would be treated as habitual offender that would amount to a non-bailable offence,” he said.
He said though cases of overpricing are being dealt under the Central laws but they are not very stringent to curb the malpractice.
Currently, under Central Law of Metrology Act provisions, a fine of Rs 2,000 is slapped as penalty for the offence of overcharging.
The official said the Metrology department was also mulling to form committees in all municipal corporations of the state that will report to the government about the activities and work of the department.