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26 1937

CONTROL OF PRICES ACT, 1937

PART IV.

Overcharging for Commodities not the subject of Price Orders.

Restriction on proceedings under Part IV.

34. —The Controller shall not do any act or thing or make a certificate under this Part of this Act in relation to the price of any commodity in respect of which statutory powers of fixing prices are for the time being exercisable by any other person except he is authorised in writing by such other person to do such act or thing or make such certificate.

Statement of particulars of purchases.

35. —(1) Where a person who carries on a business by way of trade or gain sells in the course or as part of such business any kind of a commodity, the price of which exceeds two shillings, such person shall, if so required by the purchaser at the time of sale, then and there deliver to the purchaser a statement in writing setting out in respect of such kind of such commodity the following particulars, that is to say:—

(a) a description;

(b) if the sale is by weight or measure, the net weight or measure, as the case may be;

(c) if the sale is by number, the number;

(d) the sum charged.

(2) If any person fails, neglects, or refuses to comply with this section, such person shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding two pounds.

Complaints of overcharging.

36. —(1) Any person may make to the Controller a complaint (in this Part of this Act referred to as a complaint) that a person who carries on a business by way of trade or for the purposes of gain has sold or offered for sale to him in the course of or as part of such business a kind of a commodity at an unreasonably high price.

(2) Every person making a complaint shall furnish to the Controller such particulars as the Controller may require to enable him to determine whether such complaint should or should not be investigated.

(3) A complaint to the Controller may be made by making it to any other officer of the Commission appointed by the Commission to receive complaints on behalf of the Controller.

Reference of complaints to inspectors for investigation.

37. —The Controller shall on receipt of a complaint refer it to an inspector for investigation under this Part of this Act unless—

(a) he is of opinion that such complaint is frivolous, or

(b) the person making such complaint fails to furnish to the Controller such information in relation thereto as he requires, or

(c) the several matters alleged in such complaint would, if proved, constitute an offence under section 27 (which relates to price orders) or section 30 (which relates to price (restriction on profits) orders) of this Act.

Investigation of complaints by inspectors.

38. —(1) Whenever a complaint is referred to an inspector under the immediately preceding section, such inspector shall investigate such complaint and when he has completed his investigation shall report the result thereof to the Controller.

(2) For the purposes of an investigation into a complaint an inspector may on production of his authority to act as an inspector require—

(a) the person who made the complaint the subject of such investigation to furnish him with such information relevant to the complaint as he may reasonably require and as is either in the possession of such person or in the power, without incurring unreasonable expense, of such person to obtain;

(b) the seller mentioned in such complaint to furnish him with such information relevant to the complaint as be may reasonably require and as is either in the possession of such seller or in the power, without incurring unreasonable expense, of such seller to obtain;

(c) any other person, who carries on a business by way of trade or for the purposes of gain and who sells in the, course of or as part of such business the kind of commodity to which such complaint relates, to furnish him with such information as he may reasonably require in relation to the price which such person pays for such kind of commodity and the price at which such person sells such kind of commodity.

(3) If any person refuses or neglects to furnish an inspector with any information lawfully required by him under this section, such person shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding five pounds.

Price certificates.

39. —(1) Where a report is made to the Controller by an inspector on a complaint referred to him for investigation and the Controller, after consideration of such report, is of opinion that such complaint is well founded, the Controller may, with the consent of the Commission, make a certificate (in this Act referred to as a price certificate) in the prescribed form and containing the prescribed particulars, certifying the price which, in the opinion of the Controller, is a reasonable price for the kind of the commodity which was the subject of the complaint when sold by the seller to whom such complaint relates in a specified area (which shall include the place in which the sale the subject of such complaint took place) under conditions similar to those under which the sale the subject of such complaint was made, and serve a copy of such certificate upon such seller.

(2) Every price certificate shall remain in force until revoked.

(3) The Controller may, with the consent of the Commission, publish a price certificate in such manner as he thinks fit.

(4) The Controller may, with the consent of the Commission, revoke or amend a price certificate.

(5) The Commission may request the Controller to amend, in such manner as they may think fit, or revoke a price certificate and the Controller shall comply with any such request.

(6) Where a price order is made in relation to a kind of a commodity when sold or offered for sale in a particular area under a set of conditions, every price certificate relating to such kind of such commodity when sold or offered for sale in such area under a similar set of conditions shall cease to be in force.

(7) A copy of a price certificate may be served by delivering it to the person named therein or by sending it by registered post to such person at the premises where he carries on business.

Offences in relation to prices certificates.

40. —(1) Whenever—

(a) a price certificate in relation to a kind of a commodity is for the time being in force, and

(b) such certificate certifies a price as a reasonable price to be charged for such kind of such commodity when sold in the area to which such certificate applies under the conditions specified in such certificate, and

(c) a copy of such certificate has been duly served on the person named therein,

it shall not be lawful for such person to sell or offer for sale such kind of such commodity in such area under such conditions at a price in excess of such price.

(2) If any person acts in contravention of this section such person shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof in the case of a first offence to a fine not exceeding five pounds, and in the case of a second or any subsequent offence to a fine not exceeding ten pounds, or, at the discretion of the Court, to imprisonment for any term not exceeding three months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

(3) In any proceedings for an offence under this section the production of a price certificate purporting to be signed by the Controller shall be primâ facie evidence that such certificate was validly made in all respects and was signed by the Controller.

(4) Proceedings for an offence under this section shall not be instituted except with the consent of the Commission.