Offenses & Penalties - WDRA
Offences & Penalties
OFFENCES AND PENALTIES
43. (1) Any warehouseman knowingly issuing a negotiable warehouse receipt without taking the actual physical delivery of the goods in his warehouse or a warehouseman or an agent or servant of the warehouseman who issues a warehouse receipt without reasonably satisfying himself that the goods for which such warehouse receipt is issued have actually been received or the number, weight or grade of the goods corresponds to the number, weight or grade specified in the warehouse receipt or the goods are under his actual control at the time of issuing such warehouse receipt, commits an offence and shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to four times the value of the goods or with both.
(2) A warehouseman or an agent or servant of the warehouseman, who knowingly issues a duplicate negotiable warehouse receipt without substantially following the procedure for the issue of a duplicate warehouse receipt, commits an offence and shall be punishable for such offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both.
(3) A warehouseman or an agent or servant of the warehouseman, who, knowingly that the negotiable warehouse receipt in respect of such goods is outstanding and is uncancelled, delivers the goods without obtaining possession of such negotiable warehouse receipt at or before the time of such delivery and thereby causes unlawful loss or gain to any person, commits an offence and shall be punishable for such an offence by imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both.
(4) A warehouseman who fails, on surrender of a negotiable warehouse receipt by the depositor or endorsee and payment of all his lawful charges and cancellation of encumbrances endorsed on the receipt, within the declared shelf-life of the goods, as mentioned therein to deliver the goods represented by the receipt commits an offence and shall be punishable for such offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to three times the value of the goods or with both.
(5) Any depositor, who declared as the value of the goods delivered by him for storage with a warehouseman an amount which he does not believe to be the proper value, commits an offence and shall be punishable for such an offence with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees.
Offences by companies.
44. (1) Where an offence under this Chapter is committed by a company, every person, who at the time the offence was committed, was in charge of the company or was responsible for making the deposit, as the case may be, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly:
Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to punishment if he proves that the contravention took place without his knowledge or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent such contravention.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where any offence under this Chapter has been committed by a company and it is proved that such an offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
Explanation.-For the purposes of this section,
(a) "company" means any body corporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals; and
(b) "director", in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm.
Cognizance of offences by courts
45. (1) No court shall take cognizance of any offence punishable under this Act, save on a complaint made by the Authority or by any officer authorised in writing in this behalf by the authority.
(2) No court inferior to that of a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of the first class shall try any offence punishable under this Act.
Chairperson, members, officers and other employees of Authority to be public servants.
46. The Chairperson, members, officers and other employees of Authority and Appellate Authority shall be deemed, when acting or purporting to act in pursuance of any of the provisions of this Act, to be public servants within the meaning of section 21 of the Indian Penal Code.
Protection of action taken in good faith.
47. No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against the Central Government or any officer of the Central Government or any member, officer or other employee of the Authority for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act or the rules or regulations made there under:
Provided that nothing in this Act shall exempt any person any suit or other proceedings which might, apart from this Act, be brought against him.
Delegation of powers.
48. The Authority may, by general or special order in writing, delegate to the Chairperson or any other member or officer of the Authority subject to such conditions, if any, as may be specified in the order, such of its powers and functions (excluding the power to make regulations under section 51) under this Act as it may deem necessary.
Exemption from tax on wealth and income.
49. Notwithstanding anything contained in the Wealth-tax Act, 1957, the Income-tax Act, 1961 or any other enactment for the time being in force relating to tax on wealth, income, profits or gains, the Authority shall not be liable to pay wealth-tax, income-tax or any other tax in respect of their wealth, income, profits or gains derived.
Power of Central Government to make rules.
50. (1) The Central Government may, by notification, make rules for carrying out the provisions of this Act.
(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:
(a) the form and manner in which an application for obtaining a certificate of registration for commencing or carrying on the business of warehousing issuing negotiable
warehouse receipts may be made and the fees which shall accompany such application under sub-section (2) of section 4;
(b) the form in which a certificate for registration of warehouses may be issued under sub-section (3) of section 4;
(c) The financial, managerial and other eligibility criteria and competence which an applicant for registration of warehouses shall satisfy under sub-section (4) of section 4;
(d) The qualification and other requirements which a person applying for functioning as an accreditation agency shall fulfill under sub-section (2) of section 5;
(e) the form and manner in which an application for registration as an accreditation agency may be made and the fees which shall accompany such application under sub-section (3) of section 5;
(f) the form of certificate of registration of accreditation agency under subsection (4) of section 5;
(g) the salary and allowances payable to, and the other terms and conditions of service of the Chairperson and other members under section 28;
(h) such other powers that may be exercised by the Authority under clause (p) of sub-section (2) of section 35;
(i) the form and manner of maintenance of annual statement of accounts to be maintained by the Authority under sub-section (1) of section 38;
(j) the form and manner in which and the time within which returns and statements and particulars are to be furnished by the Authority to the Central Government under sub-
section (1) of section 39;
(k) the form and the manner in which an appeal may be made to the Appellate Authority and the fee which shall accompany such appeal under sub-section (2) of section 42;
(l) the procedure to be followed by the Appellate Authority in disposing of an appeal under sub-section (3) of section 42;
(m) any other matter which is required to be, or may be, prescribed, or in respect of which provision is to be or may be made by rules.
Power of Authority to make regulations.
51. (1) The Authority may, with the previous approval of the Central Government, and in consultation with the Warehousing Advisory Committee, by notification, make regulations
consistent with this Act and the rules made thereunder to carry out the provisions of this Act.
(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such regulations may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:
(a) the matters regulating the authorities of accreditation agencies under subsection (2) of section 3;
(b) the form and manner and the period for which a warehouseman shall keep the records and accounts of the warehousing business under sub-section (2) of section 8;
(c) the manner of disposal of goods or any part thereof and the keeping of sale proceeds in an escrow account by the warehouseman under sub-section (7) of section 9;
(d) the mode of sale under sub-section (10) of section 10;
(e) the manner of issuance of duplicate warehouse receipt under the proviso to sub-section (2) of section 23;
(f) the time and places of meetings of the Authority and the procedure to be followed at such meetings including the quorum necessary for the transaction of business under sub-
section (1) of section 31;
(g) the terms and conditions of service of officers and other employees of the Authority under sub-section (2) of section 33;
(h) the registration and functioning of accreditation agencies, renewal, modification, withdrawal, suspension or cancellation of such registration and the code of conduct for
officials of accreditation agencies for accreditation of the warehouses under clause (b) of sub-section (2) of section 35;
(i) the standards for approval of certifying agencies for grading of goods under clause (f) of sub-section (2) of section 35;
(j) the rate of fees and other charges to be levied for carrying out the provisions of this Act under clause (h) of sub-section (2) of section 35; +
(k) any other matter which is required to be, or may be, specified by regulations or in respect of which provision is to be or may be made by regulations.
Rules and regulations to be laid before Parliament
52. Every rule made by the Central Government and every regulation made by the Authority under this Act shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament, while it is in session, for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or regulation or both Houses agree that the rule or regulation should not be made, the rule or regulation shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule or regulation.
Act to have overriding effect
53. The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any other law for time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act.
Power to remove difficulties.
54. (1) If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this Act, the Central Government may, by order, published in the Official Gazette, make such provisions not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act as appear to it to be necessary for removing the difficulty:
Provided that no such order shall be made under this section after the expiry of three years from the date of commencement of this Act.
(2) Every order made under this section shall, as soon as may be after it is made, be laid before each House of Parliament.
Amendment of Act 2 of 1899.
55. After section 8B of the Stamp Act, 1899, the following section shall be inserted, namely:
Negotiable warehouse receipts not liable to stamp duty
"8C. Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, negotiable warehouse receipts shall not be liable to stamp duty".
K. N. CHATURVEDI Secy. to the Govt. of India.