Updated: Sunday February 16, 2014/AlAhad Rabi' Thani 16, 1435/Ravivara Magha 27, 1935, at 06:41:19 PM

The Essential Commodities Act, 1957


ACT No. III of 1957

 

(For Statement of Objects and Reasons, see Gaz. of P., dated the 19th February, 1957, Ext., p. 338.

 

The Act has been and shall be deemed to have been brought into force in Gwadur with effect from the 8th September, 1958, by the Gwadur (Application of Central Laws) Ordinance, 1960.

 

(37 of 1960), s. 2.)

[6th March, 1957]


An Act to provide for price control and regulation of trade and commerce between the Provinces


1. Short title extent and commencement--- (Subs. by Ordinance 4 of 1962, s 3, for the original sub‑section (1) (with effect from the 7th October, 1958).)[ (1) This Act may be called the Essential Commodities Act, 1957.]

 

(2) It extends to the whole of Pakistan.


(3) It shall come into force at once.


2. Definition-----In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,‑--


[ (a1) “appropriate Government” means in relation to trade and commerce between the Provinces, (New clause (a1) ins. by A. O., 1964, Art. 2 and Sch.)the Central Government and in relation to other matters the Provincial Government;]


(a) “essential commodity” means any of the classes of commodities mentioned in the Schedule to this Act, and such other classes of commodities as may be declared by the (Subs. ibid., for “Central Government”.)[appropriate Government] by notification in the official Gazette to be essential commodities for the purposes of this Act;


(b) “notified order” means an order notified in the official Gazette[.] (Subs. by Ordinance 4 of 1962, s. 6, for the semi‑colon (with effect from the 1st July, 1961).)


* * * * * * * * * * *(The original clause (c) omitted by the Essential Supplies (Amdt.) Ordinance 1962 (4 of 19621, s. 6 (with effect from the 1st July, 1961).)


3. Power to make orders, etc.--- (1) The (Subs. by A. O., 1964, Art. 2 and Sch., for Central Government.”)[appropriate Government], so far as it appears hers, to it to be necessary or expedient for securing the equitable distribution of an essential commodity between the Provinces (Ins. by Ordinance 4 of 1962, s.4 (with effect from the 7th October, 1958).)[or between different areas in a Province] (The original words “or between a Province and the Federal Territory of Karachi” as amended by the Repealing and Amending Ordinance, 1961 (1 of 1961) have been omitted by Ordinance 4 of 1962, s. 7 (with effect from the 1st July, 1961).)* * * and availability at fair prices (Ins. by Ordinance 4 of 1962, s.4 (with effect from the 7th October, 1958).)[or for promoting export thereof], may, by notified orders(For the Rice (Movement Restriction) Order, 1958, see Gaz. of P., 1958, Ext., p. 251, dated the 15th February, 1958.), provide for regulating the movement, transport and sale of the essential commodity between the Provinces (Ins. by Ordinance 4 of 1962, s.4 (with effect from the 7th October, 1958).)[or between different areas in a Province] (The original words “or between a Province and the Federal Territory of Karachi” as amended by the Repealing and Amending Ordinance, 1961 (1 of 1961) have been omitted by Ordinance 4 of 1962, s. 7 (with effect from the 1st July, 1961).)* * * and for the prices to be charged or paid for it at any stage of transaction therein.


(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the powers conferred by sub‑section (1), an order made thereunder may provide,---


(a) for controlling the prices at which any essential commodity may be bought or sold in any area; ( For orders made under this clause, see Gaz. of P., 1958, Pt. 1, p. 5 ; and ibid., p. 96.)


[(aa) for procuring any essential commodity for purposes of export ;( Ins. by Ordinance 4 of 1962, s.4 (with effect from the 7th October, 1958).)


(aaa) for regulating, restricting or prohibiting the sale, disposal, transport and movement at of any essential commodity within a Province or in different areas in a Province, for purposes of such procurement;]


(b) for regulating by licences, permits or otherwise, the transport, movement and distribution between the Provinces (Ins. by Ordinance 4 of 1962, s.4 (with effect from the 7th October, 1958).) [or between different areas in a Province] (The original words “or between a Province and the Federal Territory of Karachi” as amended by the Repealing and Amending Ordinance, 1961 (1 of 1961) have been omitted by Ordinance 4 of 1962, s. 7 (with effect from the 1st July, 1961).)* * * of an essential commodity;


(c) for prohibiting the withholding of sale between the Provinces (Ins. by Ordinance 4 of 1962, s.4 (with effect from the 7th October, 1958).)[ or between different areas in a Province] (The original words “or between a Province and the Federal Territory of Karachi” as amended by the Repealing and Amending Ordinance, 1961 (1 of 1961) have been omitted by Ordinance 4 of 1962, s. 7 (with effect from the 1st July, 1961).)* * * of an essential commodity ordinarily kept for sale;


(d) for requiring any person holding stock (The words “in the Federal Territory of Karachi or”, as amended by Ordinance 1 of 1961, have been omitted by Ordinance 4 of 1962, s. 7 (with effect from the 1st July, 1961).)* in a Province of an essential commodity to sell in another Province (Ins. by the Essential Supplies (Amdt.) Ordinance, 1962 (4 of 1962), s. 4 (with effect from the 7th October, 1958).) [or in another area of the same Province] (The words “or in the Federal Territory of Karachi”, as amended by Repealing and Amending Ordinance, 1961 (1 of 1961), have been omitted by Ordinance 4 of 1962, s. 7 (with effect from the 1st July, 1961).)* * * the whole or specific part of the stock at such price to such persons or class of persons under such circumstances as may be specified in the order;


(e) for collecting any information or statistics with a view to regulating or prohibiting any of the afore-said matters;


(f) for requiring persons engaged in any of the matters mentioned above in respect of any essential commodity to maintain and produce for inspection such books, accounts and records relating to their business and to furnish such information relating thereto as may be specified in the order;


(g) for any incidental and supplementary matters, including in particular the entering, and search of premises, vehicles, vessels and aircraft, the seizure by a person authorized to make such search of any articles in respect of which such person has reason to believe that a contravention of the order has been, is being or is about to be committed, or any records connected therewith, the grant or issue of licences, permits or other documents, and the charging of fees therefor.


4. Delegation of powers-----The Central Government (Ins. by A. O., 1964, Art. 2 and Sch.)[where it is the appropriate Government] may by notified order (For notifn. directing that the powers to make orders under section 3(2) (a) shall be exercisable also by the Director of Industries, Government of West Pakistan in respect of prices of certain essential commodities, see Gaz. of P., 1957, Pt. I, p. 202;


For notifn. directing that the powers exercisable under this Act, shall be exercised by the Textile Commissioner, in respect of essential commodity mentioned at item (XXVI) to the Schedule, annexed to this Act, see Gaz. of P., 1958, Ext., pp. 2147;


For notifn. under this section directing that the power to make order under clause (a), (e), (f) and (g) of section 3(2), applicable to West Pakistan shall be exercisable also by the Director of Supplies, Government of West Pakistan, in respect of certain essential commodities, see Gaz. of P., 1958, Ext., pp. 1293 and 1303‑1304; and


For notifn. directing that the powers to make orders under section 3(2) (b), shall, with respect to the Scheduled articles as defined in the Essential Commodities Distribution Order, 1953, be exercisable by the Chief Secretary to the Government of East Pakistan or an officer authorised by him in that behalf, see Gaz. of P., 1958, Pt. I, p. 141.) direct that the power to make orders under section 3 shall, in relation to such matters and subject to such conditions, if any, as may be specified in the direction, be exercisable also by,---


(a) such officer or authority subordinate to the Central Government, or


(b) such Provincial Government or such officer or authority subordinate to a Provincial Government, as may be specified in the direction.


4-A. Delegation of powers by Provincial Government---( Section 4A ins. by A. O., 1964, Art. 2 and Sch.)The Provincial Government may delegate any of its powers under section 3 to any of its officers, by an order notified in the official Gazette, subject to such conditions as may be specified in the order.]


5. Effect of orders inconsistent with other enactment----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.


6. Penalties-----(1) If any person contravenes any order(For such an order, see foot‑note 5 under section 3 at p. 342.) made under section 3, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine or with both, and if the order so provides, any Court trying such contravention may direct that any property in respect of which the Court is satisfied that the order has been contravened shall be forfeited to the (Subs. by A. O., 1964, Art. 2 and Sch., for “Central Government”.) [appropriate Government];


Provided that where the contravention is of an order relating to foodstuffs which contains an express provision in this behalf, the Court shall make such direction, unless for reasons to be recorded in writing it is of opinion that the direction should not be made in respect of the whole, or, as the case may be, a part, of the property.


(2) The owner of any vessel, conveyance or animal carrying any property in respect of which an order under section 3 is contravened shall, if the carrying is part of the transaction involving the contravention and if he knew or had reason to believe that the contravention was being committed, be deemed to have contravened the order, and in addition to the punishment to which he is liable under sub‑section (1) the vessel, conveyance or animal shall, when the order provides for forfeiture of the property in respect of which the order is contravened, be forfeited to the (Subs. by A. O., 1964, Art. 2 and Sch., for “Central Government”.) [appropriate Government].


7. 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.


8. Offences by Corporations-----If the person contravening an order made under section 3 is a company or other body corporate, every director, manager, secretary or other officer or agent thereof shall, unless he proves that the contravention took place without his knowledge or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent such contravention, be deemed to be guilty of such contravention.


9. False statement-----If any person,---


(i) when required by an 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 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 three years or with fine or with both.


10. Cognizance of offences----No Court shall take cognizance of any offence punishable under this Act except on a report in writing of the facts constituting such offence made by a person who is a public servant as defined in section 21 of the Pakistan Penal Code. Act XLV of 1860.


11. Powers to try offences summarily------Any magistrate or bench of magistrates empowered for the time being to try in a summary way the offences specified in sub‑section (1) of section 260 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, may, on application in this behalf being made by the prosecution, try in accordance with the provisions contained in sections 262 to 265 of the said Code any offence punishable under this Act. Act V of 1898.


12. Special provision regarding fines----Notwithstanding anything contained in section 32 E of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, it should be lawful for any Magistrate of the First Class specially empowered by the Provincial Government in this behalf to pass a sentence of fine exceeding one thousand rupees on any person convicted of contravening an order made under section 3. Act V of 1898.


13. Presumption as to order-----‑(1) No order made in exercise of any power conferred by or under this Act shall be called in question in any Court.


(2) Where an order purports to have been made and signed by an authority in exercise of any power conferred by or under this Act, a Court shall, within the meaning of the Evidence Act, 1872, presume that such order was so made by that authority. I of 1872


14. Burden of proof in certain cases----Where any person is prosecuted for contravening any order made under section 3 which prohibits him from doing an act or being in possession of a thing without lawful authority or without a permit, licence or other document, the burden of proving that he has such authority, permit, licence or other document, shall be on him.


15. Protection of action taken under the Act----‑(1) No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against any person for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done in pursuance of any order made under section 3.


(2) No suit or other legal proceeding shall lie against Government for any damage caused or likely to be caused by anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done in pursuance of any order made under section 3.


16. [Repeal.] Rep. the by Repealing and Amending Ordinance, 1965 (X of 1965), s. 2 and 1st Sch.

 

SCHEDULE

 

(See section 2)


(i) Foodstuffs including edible oilseeds, and Oils.


(ii) Paper including newsprint, photographic paper, paper board, pulp board, wall board, fibre board, straw board, box board, cellulose wadding, cellulose film and other similar materials, which are manufactured, wholly or mainly either from vegetable fibres or pulp thereof or both from such fibres and such pulp, but does not include of these materials.


(iii) Petroleum and petroleum products.


(iv) Mechanically propelled vehicles, including those in completely knocked‑down condition, their spare parts, and tyres and tubes for the same.


(v) Coal.


(vi) Iron and Steel.


(vii) Drugs and medicines, including those administered by injection.


(viii) Chemicals, including gases.


(ix) Electrical and radio goods and appliances including wires and cables.


(x) Glass plates and glass sheets.


(xi) Artificial Silk Yarn.


(xii) Cycles and their spare parts.


(xiii) Timber.


(xiv) Sanitary and water supply fittings.


(xv) Infant and patient foods and allied articles.


(xvi) Cement.


(xvii) Cigarettes.


(xviii) Tallow.


(xix) Ammunition including gun and rifle cartridges.


(xx) 35 mm. (cine) raw films.


(xxi) Torch cells.


(xxii) Cotton textiles and yarn.


(xxiii) Chemical fertilizers.


(xxiv) Glazed Tiles.


(xxv) Art Silk Fabrics.


[(xxvi) Woollen and worsted textile and yarn, all sorts.( Added by the Ministry of Industries Notifn. No. PC‑(I)‑16(1)/58, dated the 3rd November, 1958, see Gaz. of P., 1958, Ext., p. 2147.)


(xxvii) Sugar.


(xxviii) Tea.


(xxix) Shaving blades.


(xxx) School and colleges text books.]


[(xxxi) Plastic Compounds and plastic sheets.( Added by the Ministry of Industries Notifn. No. PC(I)‑1(40)/58; dated the 7th July 1959. see Gaz. of P., 1959, Ext., p. 1221.)


(xxxii) Sewing Machines and their spare parts.


(xxxiii) Typewriters, Comptometers and similar mechanical equipments used in offices and their spare parts.


(xxxiv) Twill and ‘B’ Twill Gunny Bags]

 

Go to Index | LL. B. – I | LL. B. – II | LL. B. – III | LL. B. Directory | Home