ACT AND ORDINANCES
THE ASSAM AGRICULTURAL PRODUCE MARKET ACT, 1972
An Act to provide for better regulation of buying and selling of agricultural produce and the establishment of markets for agricultural produce in the State of Assam and for matters connected therewith.Preamble
Whereas it is expedient to provide for better regulation of buying and selling of agricultural produce in the State of Assam and establishment of regulated markets for agricultural produce:
And whereas the previous sanction of the President of India under the provision to Article 304(b) of the Constitution of India has been obtained for the introduction of the Bill in the Legislative Assembly;
It is hereby enacted in the Twenty-third year of
PRELIMINARY Short title, extent and commencement
1. (1) This Act may be called the Assam Agricultural Produce Market Act, 1972;
(2) It shall extend to such area or areas of the State of Assam as may be notified by the State Government from time to time in the Official Gazette;
(3) It shall come into force on such date as the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.
2. (1) In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context.
(i) “Agricultural Produce” means and includes any produce whether processed or non-processed of Agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, pisciculture, sericulture and forest as specified in the Schedule;
(ii) “Agriculturist” means a person who ordinarily by himself or who by his tenants or hired labour or otherwise is engaged in the production of agricultural produce but does not include a dealer or broker in agricultural produce although such a dealer or broker may also be engaged in the production or growth or agricultural produce;
(iii) “Gaon Panchayat” means a Panchayat established under Section 4 of the Assam Panchayati Raj Act, 1972; (Assam Act XI 1973)
(iv) “Board” means the State Agricultural Marketing Board constituted under Section 3;
(v) “Broker” means an agent, whose ordinary course of business is to negotiate and make contracts for the purchase or sale of agricultural produce on behalf of his principal and who is remunerated by commission; but does not include the servant of such principal whether engaged in negotiating or making such contracts;
(vi) “Bye-laws” means bye-laws made under Section 50;
(vii) “Certificate Officer” means the officer so defined in the Bengal Public Demands Recovery Act, 1913; (Bengal Act II of 1913)
(viii) “Commission Agent” means a person who on behalf of another person and in consideration of commission makes or offers to make purchase or sale of agricultural produce or does or offers to do anything necessary for completing and carrying out such purchase or sale;
(ix) “Co-operative Bank” means the Assam Cooperative Apex Bank Ltd., registered under the Assam Co-operative Societies Registration Act, 1949 or any other Co-operative Bank formed for the State of Assam as an Apex Bank and includes a District Central Co-operative Bank; (Act I of 1950)
(x) “Co-operative Marketing Society” means a Co-operative Society registered under the Assam Co-operative Societies Act 1949 which has an its principal object the promotion of the sale of agricultural produce grown, reared or produced by its members or which is declared as such or equivalent thereto by the State Government;
(xi) :Director” means the Officer appointed by the State Government to discharge all or any of the functions of the Director under this Act;
(xii) “District Council” means a District Council, constituted under paragraph 2 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India;
(xiii) “Gaon Panchayat” means a Gaon Panchayat established under the Assam Panchayati Raj Act, 1972; (Assam Act XI of 1973)
(xiv) “Licence” means a person or association, firm or company granted a licence under this Act;
(xv) “Local authority” means a Corporation, a Municipal Board or a Town Committee, a Mohkuma Parishad or a Gaon Panchayat;
(xvi) “Market” means a regulated market established under this Act for the market areas and includes a market proper, a principal market yard and a sub-market yard or yards, if any;
(xvii) “Market area” means any area declared to be a market area under Section 5;
(xviii) “Market Committee” means a Committee established under Section 7;
(xix) “Market proper” means any area including all lands with the buildings and structures thereon within such distance of the principal or sub-market yard as the State Government may, by a notification in the Official Gazette, declare it to be a market proper;
(xx) “Market year” means the financial year adopted and followed by the State Government;
(xxi) “Measurer” means a person whose business is to measure consignments of agricultural produce for sale;
(xxii) “Mohkuma Parishad” means a Mohkuma Parishad established under Section 3 of the Assam Panchayati Raj Act, 1972; (Assam Act XI of 1973)
(xxiii) “Notification” means a notification published in the official Gazette.
(xxiv) “Notified agricultural produce” means the agricultural produce specified in the notification issued by the State Government under sub-section (1) of Section 5;
(xxv) “Prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(xxvi) “Principal market yard” and “sub-market yard” means an enclosure, building or locality declared to be a Principal market yard and sub-market yard respectively in the official Gazette by the State Government;
(xxvii) “Progressive producer” means a producer who in the opinion of the Director of Agriculture, Assam carries on agricultural production on improved method;
(xxviii) “Proprietor” means the owner of a market and includes any person who is in actual charge and or in direct control of the market whether such person is the owner of the market or is the lessee thereof or is acting on behalf of such owner or lessee;
(xxix) “Registrar” means the Registrar of the Co-operative Societies, Assam;
(xxx) “Retail sale” means a sale of any agricultural produce not exceeding such quantity as may by bye-laws or rules be fixed in respect of such agricultural produce;
(xxxi) “Rules” means rules made under this Act;
(xxxii) “Schedule” means a schedule to this Act;
(xxxii) “State Government” means the State Government of Assam;
(xxxiii) “Schedule” means a schedule to this Act;
(xxxiv) “Secretary” means the Chief Executive of the market committee and includes officiating, acting, Deputy and Assistant Secretary;
(xxxv) “Surveyor” means a person whose business is to survey a consignment of agricultural produce for sale in regard to quality, grade, refraction, adulteration and such other purposes;
(xxxvi) “Trade” means an kind of transaction of sale and purchase or any kind of remuneration of sale and purchase of any agricultural produce;
(xxxvii) “Trader” means a person ordinarily engaged in the business of buying and selling of agricultural produce as a principal or a duly authorised agent of one or more principals and includes a person ordinarily engaged in the business of processing of agricultural produce;
(xxxviii) “Warehousing Compotation” means the State Warehousing Corporation established in Assam under Section 18 of the Warehousing Corporation Act, 1972;
(xxxix) “Weighman” means a person whose business is to weigh a consignment of agricultural produce for sale.
(2) If a question arises whether a person is or is not an agriculturist or trader for he purpose of this Act, it will be decided in the manner prescribed and the decision of the State Government thereon shall be final;
Explanation:— For the purpose of the Act, the word “person” includes any firm, joint family, association or body of individuals whether incorporated or not.
CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE AGRICULTURAL MARKETING BOARD, MARKET AND MARKET COMMITTEE Constitution of State Agricultural Marketing Board
3. (1) The State Government may for exercising the powers conferred on and duties assigned to the Board by or under this Act, establish and constitute a State Agricultural Marketing Board consisting of Chairman and 10 other members to be nominated by the State Government as follows:—
(a) One non-official Chairman;
(b) Officials of the Government of Assam —
(i) Director of Agriculture, Assam.
(ii) Director of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry, Assam.
(iii) Registrar of co-operative societies, Assam,
(iv) Secretary, Agriculture Department, Assam,
(c) Non-officials —
(i) One agriculturist member of the Market Committees,
(ii) One representative from Agricultural Farming Corporations formed under the Assam Agricultural Farming Corporation Act 1973,
(iii) Two progressive producers,
(iv) One licencee,
(v) One from amongst the members of the Cooperative Marketing Societies represented in the Market Committees.
(2) The State Government shall nominate an officer of the Agriculture Department not below the rank of a Joint Director to be the Secretary of the Board.
(3) The Board shall be a body corporate by the name of the State Agricultural Marketing Board having perpetual succession and a common seat, with power subject to the provisions of this Act, to acquire and hold property and shall by the said name sue and be sued;
(4) The term of office of the Chairman and the non-official members of the Board shall be three years:
Provided the any non-official member nominated under clause © of sub-section (i) of this section shall cease to be a member of the Board from the date he ceases to be a member of a Market Committee representative fo Agricultural Farming Corporation, or a Licencee or a member of the Co-operative Society represented in the Market Committee as the case may be.
(5) No person shall be eligible to become a Chairman or a member of the Board who —
(a) Does not ordinarily reside within the State of Assam;
(b) Is below twenty-one year of age;
(c) Has been removed under Section 30 of this Act;
(d) Is of unsound mind; or
(e) His been declared as insolvent or sentenced by a criminal court whether within or outside the State of Assam for an offence involving moral turpitude:
Provided that the disqualification under clause 5(c) on the ground of a sentence by a criminal court shall not apply after the expiry of four years from the date on which the sentence of such person expired:
Provided further that no person shall be nominated as Chairman of the Board consecutively for more than two terms.
(6) A non-official member of the Board may resign from membership by tendering his resignation to the State Government through the Chairman of the Board and the Chairman of the Board may resign by tendering his resignation to the State Government and such resignation shall be effective from the date of the acceptance by the State Government;
(7) The State Government may remove the Chairman or any member of the Board who has become subject to any of the disqualification specified in sub-section (5):
Provided that before removing the Chairman or a member the reasons for the proposed action shall be conveyed to him and his reply invited within a specified period and duly considered;
(8) In the vacancy caused by cessation of office of any member under proviso to sub-clause (4) or by resignation or removal of the Chairman or member under sub-section (6) and (7) respectively of this section the State Government may nominate another in the manner provided in clause 3(1) (a) or 3(1) (c) as the case may be and such person shall remain in office for the remaining period of the term of his predecessor.
(9) The State Government shall exercise superintendence and control over the Board and its employees and may call for such information as it may deem necessary and in the event of its being satisfied that the Board is not functioning properly or is abusing its powers or is guilty of corruption or mismanagement, it may supersede the Board and, till such time as a new Board is constituted, shall make such arrangements for the exercise of the functions of the Board as it may think fit:
Provided that the new Board shall be constituted within six months from the date of its supersession.
(10) The Board shall exercise superintendence and control over the market Committees in the manner prescribed.
(11) The State Government or the Chairman or the Secretary of the Board, or any other employee of the Board authorised in this behalf by the Board, may call for any information for return relating to notified agricultural produce from a Market Committee or any other functionaries under or in relation to such Market Committee and shall have the power to inspect the records of a Market Committee or such functionaries as the case may be.
(12) Subject to the provisions of this Act, and the rules and bye-laws made thereunder, the Board may employ such persons for the performance of the functions of the Board under this Act, and may give them such remuneration, as it may think fit, and may suspend, remove, dismiss or otherwise punish any person so employed.
(13) Subject to rules made under this Act, an estimate of the annual income and expenditure of the Board for the ensuing year shall be prepared and passed by the Board and submitted every year for sanction of the State Government not later than the prescribed date. The State Government shall sanction and return the budget within two months from the date of the receipt thereof. If it is not received within two months it shall be presumed to have been sanctioned.
(14) Subject to rules made under this Act, the Board may, with the approval of the State Government frame bye-laws for —
(a) Regulating the transaction of business at its meeting;
(b) The assignment of duties and powers of the Board to its Chairman, Secretary or persons employed by it; and
(c) Such other matters as may be prescribed.
(15) Four members shall constitute a quorum at a meeting of the Board:
Provided that if a meeting is adjourned for want of quorum, no quorum shall be necessary at such adjourned meeting.
(16) All questions before a meeting of the Board shall be determined by a majority of votes of the members present in the voting and, in case of equality of votes, the Chairman may exercise a casting vote,
(17) The State Government may delegate, by notification in the official Gazette any of the powers conferred on it by or under the Act, to any of its officers or to the Board or to the Chairman or its Secretary;
(18) The headquarters of the Board shall be located at a place to be determined by the State Government;
(19) No act or proceeding of the Board shall be invalid by reason only of he existence of any vacancy among its members or any defect in the constitution thereof.Notification of intention of exercising control over purchase and sale of agricultural produce in specified area
4. (1) The State Government may, by notification in the official gazette, declare its intention of regulating the purchase and sale of such agricultural produce in such areas as may be specified in the notification. A copy of the notification under this section shall also be published in the area concerned in the manner prescribed:
Provided that no area within the limits of a District Council shall be included in the area specified in such notification except after consultation with the District Council concerned.
(2) The notification under sub-section (1) shall state that any objection or suggestion received by the State Government within a period of not less than one month to be specified in the notification under sub-section (1) shall be considered by the State Government.Declaration of market area
5. (1) After the expiry of the period specified in the notification issued under section 4 and after considering such objections and suggestions as may be received before such expiry and after holding such enquiry as may be necessary the State Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, declare the area specified in the notification under section 4 or any portion thereof to be a market area for the purpose of this Act in respect of all or any of the kinds of agricultural produce specified in the said notification. A copy of the notification under this section shall also be published in the area concerned in the manner prescribed.
(2) On and after the date of the publication of the notification under sub-section (1) or at such later date as may be specified therein, no local authority or other person, notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, shall, within the market area or within a distance thereof to be notified in the official Gazette in this behalf, set up, establish or continue or allow to be set up, established or continued, any place for the purchase or sale of any agricultural produce so notified, except in accordance with the provisions of this Act, and the rules and bye-laws, framed thereunder for purchase or sale of any agricultural produce so notified.
(3) Nothing in sub-section (2) shall apply to the purchase or sale of such agricultural produce if the producer of such produce is himself its seller and the purchaser is a person, who purchases such produce for his own private consumption or if such agricultural produce is sold by retail sale to a person who purchases such produce for his own private consumption.
(4) The State Government, may, at any time by notification in the official Gazette exclude from the market area any area or any agricultural produce comprised therein or include in any market area, any area or any agricultural produce as included in the notification issued under Section 4.
(5) Subject to the provisions of section 4, the State Government may at any time by notification in the official Gazette withdraw any notification issued under sub-section (1).Declaration of market yards
6. (1) For each market area there shall be one principal market-yard and one or more sub-market yards as may be necessary.
(2) The State Government may by notification in the official Gazette, declare —
(i) Any enclosure, building or locality in any market area to be the principal market-yard and other enclosures, buildings or localities in such market areas to be one or more sub-market yard or yards for the area; and
(ii) Any area including all lands with the buildings and structures thereon within such distance of the principal or sub-market yard or yards, as the case may be, as it thinks fit to be market proper.Establishment of Market Committee
7. (1) The State Government shall establish a market committee for every area declared to be a market area under sub-section (1) of Section 5. It shall be the duty of the market committee to enforce the provisions of this Act and the rules and bye-laws framed thereunder in such market area.
(2) The State Government may establish a separate market committee within the same market area or a part thereof provided it is satisfied that trading in a particular type of agricultural produce can be regulated only if and when an independent market committee already functioning is unable to undertake regulated trading in that commodity because of its peculiar nature:
Provided that not more than one Market Committee shall be established within the same market area or a part thereof for the same type of agricultural produce.Constitution of Market Committee
8. (1) Every market committee or a Gaon Panchayat shall consist of the following members namely,—
(i) Seven agriculturists who are voters of Gaon Panchayat to be elected by the members of the Gaon Panchayat in the market area in the manner prescribed;
(ii) Three to be elected by the traders, otherwise than co-operative marketing societies and Gaon panchayat, holding valid licence under this Act from amongst themselves in the manner prescribed;
(iii) One to be elected by the members of the Managing Committee or Board of Directors, as the case may be, of the co-operative marketing societies in the market area holding a licence under this Act from amongst themselves in the manner prescribed;
(iv) One to be nominated by such co-operative Bank as may be decided upon by the State Government;
(v) One to be nominated by the State Government;
(vi) One to be elected by the members of the Municipal Board, Town Committee or Gaon Panchayat within whose jurisdiction the principal market-yard is situated from amongst the members of the Municipal Board, Town Committee or Gaon Panchayat, as the case may be. When the principal market-yard is situated within the jurisdiction of two or more local authorities of the type mentioned above, one member to be elected jointly by the members of the local authorities concerned from amongst themselves in the manner prescribed.
(vii) One to be nominated by the Warehousing Corporation, if a warehouse has been established by such Corporation within the market area and where no such warehouse has been established, then two persons shall be elected by the Co-operative Marketing Societies under clause (iii)
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-Section (1),
On the failure of any organisation, person or authority to elect any member under sub-section (1) within a period of three months from the date of the occurrence of the vacancy, the Director shall give notice in writing to the organisation, person or authority concerned to elect the member within a month from the date of such notice and on the failure of the organisation, person or authority to elect a member within the said period, the Director shall nominate a person on behalf of such organisation, person or authority as a member of the market committee.
(3) When a market committee is constituted for the first time all the members of the market committee including the Chairman and Vice-Chairman thereof shall be nominated by the State Government and such members shall hold office for a period of three years:
Provided that the State Government may extend the term of the Market Committee for a period not exceeding two years;
Provided further that the extension period on any occasion shall not exceed one year at a time.Period of office of Market Committee
9. (1) Every member of market committee other than the first one constituted by the State Government shall hold office for a period of three years commencing from the date of first meeting of the reconstituted market committee at which a quorum is present. The market committee shall, thereafter, be reconstituted every three years before the expiry of the third year and not earlier than three months prior to such expiry.
(2) The term of three years referred to in Sub-section (1) shall include any period which may lapse between the expiry of the said three years and the date of the first meeting of the reconstituted market committee, at which a quorum is present.
(3) The State Government may, be notification for sufficient cause to be stated therein, direct from time to time that the term of office of the members of a market committee be extended by such period not exceeding one year as may be specified in the notification.
(4) A member elected or nominated under sub-section (1) of section 8 shall cease to hold office, if he ceases to be a member of the category of persons from which he was elected or nominated.
(5) A member shall also cease to hold office if he is writing resigns his membership and the same is accepted by the market Committee or if he is removed by the State Government under the provisions of this Act.
(6) Whenever any vacancy occurs in membership for any of the reasons aforesaid, the said vacancy shall be filled in by election or nomination as the case may be and every such member elected or nominated, shall hold office for the unexpired period of the term of the member in whose place he is elected or nominated.
(7) Notwithstanding any vacancy in a market committee it shall be competent to exercise its powers and perform its duties and none of its actions shall be questioned merely on the ground of the existence of any vacancy in or any defect in the constitution of the committee.Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Market Committee
10. (1) Subject to the provision of sub-section (3) of Section 8 every market committee shall elect, in the manner prescribed, one of its members to be its Chairman and another member to be its Vice-Chairman.
(2) The Chairman and the Vice-Chairman shall exercise such powers and carry out such duties on behalf of the Committee under this Act and the rules made thereunder from time to time, as may be prescribed.
(3) Whenever for any reason, the offices of both the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman of any Market Committee fall vacant, the State Government shall appoint any one from amongst the members of such market committee as the Chairman to hold office as such temporarily, till a Chairman is elected.
(4) The Chairman, or in his absence, the Vice-Chairman shall preside at every meeting of the market committee and in the absence of both the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman at any meeting, the members present shall elect one from amongst themselves to preside over that meeting.
(5) When a meeting is held for the removal of the Chairman or the Vice-Chairman or both,
(6) (a) The Vice-Chairman or in his absence, a member duly elected at the meeting shall preside, if the resolution relates to the removal of the Chairman,
(b) The Chairman or in his absence a member duly elected at the meeting, shall preside if the resolution relates to the removal of the Vice-Chairman.
(c) A member duly elected at the meeting shall preside if the resolution relates to the simultaneous removal of both the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman.Removal of Chairman and Vice-Chairman
11. (1) The Chairman or Vice-Chairman of any market committee may be removed from office by a resolution adopted by at least two-third of the total number of members of the market committee present and voting at the meeting convened for the purpose, in the manner prescribed.
(2) The State Government may, after giving an opportunity to explain, remove the Chairman or Vice-Chairman of a market committee from office if he persistently omits or refuses to carry out or disobeys the provisions of the Act or the rules made thereunder or any directive issued by the competent authority under this Act or rules made thereunder from time to time, or if he becomes incapable of so acting or is declared insolvent or is convicted by a criminal court for any offences involving moral turpitude or declared disqualified under any of the provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder.Calling of meetings and quorum
12. (1) No business shall be transacted at any meeting of the market committee unless,
(a) Such meeting is called by the Secretary under the direction of the Chairman or Vice-Chairman, as the case may be, or as may be required on a requisition by the members as prescribed, and
(b) A quorum is present.
(2) The quorum referred to in sub-section (1) shall be one-third of the total number of members of the market committee. If at any meeting the prescribed quorum is not present the meeting shall stand adjourned to some future day to be appointed by the Chairman, Vice-Chairman or any member who may preside at the meeting, as the case may be. The members present at a such adjourned meeting shall form a quorum whatever their number may be.
INCORPORATION OF MARKET COMMITTEE, ITS OBJECTS, POWERS AND DUTIES Incorporation of market committee
13. (1) Every market committee shall be a body corporate by such name as the State Government may specify by notification in the official Gazette. It shall have perpetual succession and a common seal, may sue or be sued in its corporate name and shall be competent to acquire and hold lease, shall or otherwise transfer any property and to contract and to do all other things necessary for the purpose for which it is established.
(2) Where a market committee to established in any area, no person shall function as a trader, commercial agent, broker, weighman, measurer, surveyor, warehousemen or in such other capacity as may be determined by the Director in any market within the area, to work in a processing or pressing factory, unless a licence is issued to such person by the market committee on payment of such fees and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed.Functions of the market committee
14. The functions of a market committee shall be as follows:—
(i) To maintain and manage the market yard and to control, regulate, and run the market in the interest of the agriculturists and traders holding licence from the market committee;
(ii) To regulate and control transactions in the market and to deal with licence holder who default to open, close and suspend trade in any notified agricultural produce, to settle disputes, levy and recover market charges, fees on an agricultural produce, licence and other fees, to impose fines and penalties;
(iii) To act as a mediator, arbitrator or surveyor in all matters of differences, disputes, claims, etc., between licences or between them and agriculturists making use of the market as sellers of agricultural produce;
(iv) to control and regulate the admission to the market, to determine the conditions for the use of the market and to prosecute and confiscate the goods belonging to persons trading without a valid licence;
(v) To bring, prosecute or defend or aid in bringing, prosecuting or defending any suit, action, proceeding, application or arbitration on behalf of the market committee or otherwise as directed by the State Government;
(vi) To purchase, hire or acquire any land for construction of any house thereon or other equipment for the purpose of its business, to raise fund from the Government or otherwise with the approval of the Director for the said purpose and to enter into arrangements with the Government, local authority or otherwise and to comply with such arrangements; and
(vii) To do such other things as may be required for the purpose of achieving the objects and requirements of the Act and the rules and bye-laws framed thereunder.Power of the market committee
15. A market committee shall have the power to regulate entry of persons into the principal or sub-market yards, to supervise the behaviour of the persons so entered for transacting business and to take disciplinary action against the licensee who fails to fulfil the conditions of the licence or any direction of the market committee, issued within the purview of this Act or rules or bye-laws.Duties of the market committee
16. It shall be the duty of every market committee to enforce the provisions of this Act, the conditions of licence granted under the rules and bye-laws framed under the Act in the market area and to provide such facilities as the State Government may, from time to time, direct in connection with the purchase and or sale of notified agricultural produce concerned.Appointment of sub-committee and joint committee
17. A market Committee may appoint a sub-committee or a joint committee or an ad-hoc committee from amongst its members or any other person from within the market area for the administration of the sub-market yard, for the conduct of any work or for reporting or recommending or deciding any matter or matters and may delegate to such committee such of its powers or duties as it may think fit. There shall be at least three such members in such committee.Appointment of Secretary
18. Every market committee shall have a Secretary appointed by the Board subject to such terms and conditions as may be prescribed.Appointment and salaries of staff market of committee
19. (1) A market committee may also employ such other officers and staff as may be necessary for the management of the market and may pay such officers and staff such salaries as it may think fit.
(2) A market committee may also, provide for payment of such leave allowances, pensions and gratuities as it may deem proper and may contribute to any provident fund which may be established for the benefit of such officers and staff.
(3) The powers conferred by this section on the market committee shall be exercisable by it subject to any rules which may be made in this behalf by the Board.Execution of contracts
20. Every contract entered into by a market committee shall be in writing and shall be signed by its Chairman, Secretary and two other members of the Committee.Power to levy cess
21. (1) Every market committee shall levy and collect a cess on the agricultural produce bought or sold in the market area at a rate not exceeding one rupees for every one hundred rupees of the aggregate amount for which a notified agricultural produce is bought or sold whether for cash or for deferred payment or other valuable considerations:
Provided that no cess will be levied on goods manufactured from the agricultural produce on which cess is proposed to be levied and which are ultimately exported out of the country.
Explanation:— 1. For the purpose of this section all notified agricultural produce taken out or proposed to be taken out of a market area shall unless the contrary is proved, be presumed to be bought or sold within such area.
Explanation:— 2. The cess referred to in Section 21 shall be paid by the purchaser of the notified agricultural produce concerned.Certain difference regarding construction of rules, etc. about weights and measures to be decided by market committee
22. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Assam Weights and Measures (Enforcement) Act, 1956, if any difference arises between the Inspector or any other officer, empowered to enforce the aforesaid Act and any person interested, as to the meaning or construction of any rule framed under the aforesaid Act, as to the method of evolving, adjusting or stamping any weight or measures or weighing or measuring instrument in any market area, such difference may, at the request of the person interested or by the Inspector or the officer of his own accord, by referred to the market committee of the area and the decision of the market committee shall subject to the provision of the sub-section (2) be final and deemed to have been given under the Assam Weights and Measures (Enforcement) Act. 1956; (Assam Act XIX of 1956)
(2) An appeal shall be lie against the decision of the market committee within thirty days (excluding the time required for taking copies) from the date of the decision under sub-section (1) to the State Government or such officer, as the Sttae Government may appoint in this behalf. The decision of the State Government or such officer as the case may be on such appeal shall be final.Market Committee Fund
23. All money received by a market committee shall be paid into a fund to be called “The Market Committee Fund” and all expenditures incurred by the market committee under or for the purpose of this Act shall be defrayed out of the said fund. Any surplus remaining with the market committee after such expenditures shall be invested in such manner as may be prescribed in this behalf.Pool of Officers
24. (1) The Board shall create a pool of officers as soon as may be convenient for appointment of such staff at the markets as may be notified from time to time in the official Gazette. Every market committee shall contribute a sum not exceeding 30 per cent of its gross revenue as may be determined by the Director to the fund of the Board to meet the cost of staff to be appointed by the Board under sub-section (2) and also for meeting the cost of general supervision.
(2) The Board shall make appointment to the post notified under sub-section (1) from the pool of officers created by the Board and it shall be obligatory on every market committee to employ such persons. The emoluments and terms and conditions of service of such officers shall be fixed by the Board:
Provided that until a pool of officers is created by the Board, the Director may permit employment of other persons to the posts notified under sub-section (1) purely on temporary basis.Purpose for which market committee fund shall be expended
25. Subject to the provisions of Section 23 the market committee fund shall be expended for the following purposes namely:—
(i) Contributing to general revenues of the Board, Mahkuma Parishads, Gaon Panchayats, Town Committees and Municipal Boards as the State Government may direct;
(ii) Payment of interest on the loans that may be raised for the purposes of the market and the provisions of sinking fund in respect of such loans;
(iii) The acquisition of a site or sites for the market;
(iv) The maintenance and improvement of the market;
(v) The construction and repair of buildings necessary for the purposes of such market and for the healthy convenience and safety of the persons using it;
(vi) The provision and maintenance of standard weights and measures;
(vii) Pay, pensions, leave, allowance, gratuities, compensations for injuries resulting from accidents, compassionate allowances and contribution towards leave allowances, pensions or provident fund of the officers and staff employed by it;
(viii) The expenses of and incidental to elections of the Market Committee;
(ix) Collection and dissemination of information regarding matters relating to crop statistics and marketing in respect of the agricultural produce notified under Section 5;
(x) Payment of the costs referred to in Section 24;
(xi) Propaganda in favour of agricultural improvement; and
(xii) Other functions under the Act and the Rules.Misapplication of fund
26. If a market committee incurs an expenditure for any purpose, other than those specified under the last preceding section or in excess of the expenditure approved by the Director, then it shall be deemed to be a misapplication of the fund.Power to Borrow
27. (1) A market committee may, with the previous sanction of the State Government raise money required for carrying out the purposes for which it is established on the security of any property vested in it and of any fees leviable by it under this Act.
(2) The market committee may, for the purpose of meeting the initial expenditure on lands, buildings and equipment required for establishing the market, obtain loan from the State Government or any financial institution.
(3) The conditions subject to which such money or loan shall be raised or obtained and time within which such money or loan shall be repayable shall be subject to previous sanction of the State Government.Acquisition of land for the purpose of this Act
28. The State Government may on the request of the Market Committee, acquire land required for the purposes of this Act, under the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.
TRADE ALLOWANCES To trade allowance permissible except as prescribed
29. No person shall make or recover any trade allowance other than an allowance prescribed by rules or bye-laws made under this Act, in any market areas in any transaction in respect of the notified agricultural produce concerned and no Civil Court shall, in any suit or proceeding arising out of any such transaction, have regard to or recognise any trade allowance not so prescribed.
Explanation:— Every deduction, other than a deduction on account of deviation from sample when the purchase is made by sample or on account of deviation from standard, when the purchase is made by reference to a known standard or on account of difference between the actual weights of the container and the standard weight or on account of the admixture of foreign matter shall be regarded as a trade allowance for the purposes of this section.Liabilities of members of market committee to removal from office
30. (1) The State Government may, on the recommendations of the market Committee supported by at least two third of the total members or on the recommendations of the Director remove any member of the market committee, elected or nominated under this Act, if such a member, has in the opinion of the State Government, been guilty of misconduct in the discharge of his duties, or has become incapable of performing his duties as a member:
Provided that no recommendations shall be made by the market committee or the Director unless the member has been given a reasonable opportunity of showing cause why such recommendation should not be made:
Provided further that no order for removal of any member shall be passed by the State Government unless the member has been given a reasonable opportunity of showing cause why such order should no be passed.
(2) The decision of the State Government under sub-section (1) shall be final.Members to be held responsible for misapplication of Funds
31. Every member of the market committee shall be personally liable for the misapplication of fund to which he shall have been a party, or which shall have happened through, or been facilitated by gross neglect of his duty as a member, and he may be sued for recovery of the moneys so misapplied:
Provided that no member shall be personally liable in respect of any contract or agreement duly made, or for any expense incurred for, or on behalf of the market committee, but the funds at the disposal of the market committee shall be liable for and be charged with, all costs in respect of any such contract and agreement and all such expenses.Duty to furnish information to Director and other authorised officer
32. When the affairs of the Board or of a market committee are investigated or the proceedings of such Board or committee are examined by the Director or any other officer to whom the powers of the State Government have been delegated under Section 48, all officers, staff and members of such committee shall furnish such information in their possession in regard to the affairs or proceedings of the Board or committee as the Director or such officer may require.Power to inspect
33. The Director or any officer authorised by the State Government, by general or special order, shall have power inspect or caused to be inspected, the accounts of the Board or any market committee or to institute an enquiry into the affairs of the Board or any market committee and to require it to do a thing or to desist from doing anything which the Director or such officer considers necessary in the interest of the Board or any market committee as the case may be and to furnish a written reply to him within a reasonable time stating its reasons for non-compliance.Power of Director in Emergencies
34. (1) In case of an emergency, the Director may suspend or cancel all or any license issued under the provision of this Act and take such other steps as may be deemed necessary in the interest of a market.
(2) Where a market committee is not competent to perform the duties imposed by or under this Act, under orders or decision of a court, the Director shall make such arrangement for performing the duties and functions of such a market committee.Recovery of Loss
35. (1) Any loss that may occur to a market committee due to its failure to carry out any instruction of the Director shall be recoverable from the members of the Market Committee after due enquiry and reasonable opportunity being given to them of showing cause why such loss should not be recovered from them.
(2) Any amount recoverable from the member of a market committee under this section shall be realised as an arrear of land revenue.Power to enforce attendance
36. An officer investigating the affairs of the Board or of a market committee or examining the proceedings of such Board or committee under Section 32 shall have powers to summon and enforce the attendance of officers or members of the Board or market committee and to compel them to give evidence and to produce documents by the same means and as far as possible in the same manner as is provided by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. (Act No. 5 of 1908)Supersession of market committee
37. If in the opinion of the State Government a market committee is not competent to perform, or persistently makes default in the performance of the duties imposed on it by or under this Act or otherwise by law, or exceeds or abuses its powers, the State Government may, after giving the market committee an opportunity for submitting an explanation in regard to the matter, by notification, stating the reasons for so doing, declare such committee to be incompetent or in default or to have exceeded or abused its powers, as the case may be and supersede the committee for a period not exceeding one year at a time or dissolve the committee and reconstitute it as soon as possible:
Provided that when a committee is superseded or dissolved the State Government may appoint any person as Chairman to carry on day-to-day routine matters on behalf of the committee unit the same is reconstituted and a new Chairman is elected.Consequences of supersession
38. (1) When an order of supersession shall have been passed under the last preceding section the following consequences shall ensure—
(a) All the members as well as the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman of the market committee shall from the date of such publication, vacate their offices;
(b) All the powers and duties which under the Act may be exercised and performed by the committee, whether at a meeting or otherwise, shall, during the period of supersession, be exercised and performed by the Chairman appointed by the State Government or by such person as the State Government may direct;
(c) All assets vested in such committee shall during the period of supersession, vest in the State Government subject to all its liabilities.
(2) On the expiration of the period of supersession specified in the order, State Government may,
(a) Extend the period of supersession for such further term as may be considered necessary, but not exceeding a period of one year at a time; or
(b) Reconstitute the market committee and in that case the persons who vacated their office under clause (a) or sub-section (1) shall not be deemed disqualified for election or nomination, as the case may be:
Provided that the State Government may at any time before the expiration of the period of supersession take action under clause (b) of this sub-section.
(3) If the State Government make an order for reconstitution of the market committee under sub-section (2) if shall transfer the assets and liabilities of the market committee as on the date of such transfer to the new market committee constituted as such or to the person or persons if any appointed for carrying out the functions of the market committee, as the case may be:
Provided that if the market committee is not reconstituted or if no person is appointed for carrying out the function of the market committee the State Government may transfer all the assets of the market committee which remain after the satisfaction of all its liabilities to the local authority within whose jurisdiction the market committee is situated or if there are ore than one such authority, such portion of the assets as the State Government may determine. The local authority to which the assets are so transferred shall utilise the same in the area within its jurisdiction, for such object as the State Government may consider to be for the benefit of the agriculturist in that area in consonance with the provisions of this Act.Penalty for contravention of Section 5
39. Whoever contravenes the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 5 shall, on conviction be punishable with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees and in case of continuing contravention, with further fine which may extend to one hundred rupees per day during which the contravention is continued after the conviction.
40. Every encroacher of market yard, sub-market yard or years shall be evicted therefrom in such manner and procedure as provided in law in force for eviction of encroacher of Government reserved land.Penalty for contravention of Section 29
41. (1) Whoever in contravention of the provisions of section 29 makes or recovers any trade allowance prescribed by rules or bye-laws made under this Act, shall on conviction be punishable with fine which may extend to rupees two hundred.
(2) All fines and damages recovered from an offender shall be paid to the market committee concerned.Penalty for contravention provision of Section 32
42. (1) If any officer or member of the Board or market committee when required to furnish in formation in regard to the affairs or proceedings of the Board or a market committee under Section 32,
(a) Wilfully neglects or refuses, to furnish any information, or
(b) Wilfully furnishes false information, he shall, on conviction, be punishable with fine which may extend to rupees two hundred.
(2) If any officer member, or a staff of the Board or a market committee wilfully neglects or refuses to do any act or wilfully or without any reasonable excuse, disobeys a lawful written order issued under the provisions of this Act or fails to furnish information or return lawfully required from him he shall, on conviction, be punishable with fine which may extend to rupees five hundred.Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Member and staff of market committees to be public servants
43. The Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Members, Secretary and other officers and staff of the Board or a market committee shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning of Section 21 of the India Penal Code. (Act XIV of 1860)Bar of suit in absence of Notice
44. (1) No suit shall be instituted against the Board or a market committee or any member, officer or staff thereof, or any person acting under the direction of such Board or market committee, for anything done or purported to be done in good faith by such member, officer, staff or person under this Act. until the expiration of two months next after notice in writing, stating the cause of action, the name and place of abode of the intending plaintiff and the relief which he claims, has been in the case of the Board or a market committee, delivered or left at its office, and in the case of any such member, officer, staff or person as aforesaid, delivered to him or left at his office or usual place of abode and the plaint shall contain a statement that such notice has been so delivered or left. (Act XI of 1860)
(2) Every such suit shall be barred unless it is instituted within six months from the date of the accrual alleged causes of action.Trial of offences
45. (1) No offence under this Act, or any rule or bye-law framed thereunder shall be tried by a Court other than that of Judicial Magistrate of the First Class or a Judicial Magistrate of the Second Class, specially empowered in this behalf by the State Government
(2) Prosecution under this Act, rules or bye-laws framed thereunder may be instituted by any person duly authorised in writing by the State Government or the market committee in this behalf.Admissibility of copy of entry as evidence
46. (1) A copy of any entry in any book, register or list regularly kept in course of business in the possession of a market committee shall, if duly certified, in such manner as may be prescribed, be admissible in evidence of the existence of such entry and shall be admitted as evidence of the matter and the transaction therein recorded in every case, where and to the same extent to which the original entry would, if produced have been admissible to prove such matter.
(2) In the case of such market committee as the State Government, by general or special order, may direct, no officer of a market Committee shall, in any legal proceedings to which the market committee is not a party, be compelled to produce any of its books, the contents of which can be provided under sub-section (1) or to appear as a witness to prove the matters, transactions and accounts therein recorded unless otherwise ordered by the Court in that behalf.Recovery of sums due to and from market Committee
47. (1) Every sum due from a market committee to the State Government or the Board or any local authority shall be recoverable as an arrear of land revenue.
(2) Every sum due to a market committee from any person shall be reduced to the form of a demand certificate, as prescribed, over the signature of the Director or of such gazetted officer as may have powers delegated to them by the Director in this behalf and shall be recovered as an arrear of land revenue on such certificate being forwarded to the certificate officer concerned.Power of the State Government to delegate its power
48. The State Government may delegate by notification in the official Gazette any of the powers conferred on it by or under this Act, to any of its officers or to the Board or to its Chairman or Secretary.Power to make rules
49. (1) The State Government may either generally or specially for the Board or any market area or market areas make rules, after previous publication for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act.
(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provision such rules may provide for or regulate,—
(i) The qualifications of voters, the preparation and revision of the lists of voters, the division of market areas into constituencies, the election appointment and nomination of members of the market committee, the manner of holding election, the drawing up of the election programme, the fixing of polling stations and the appointment of Returning, Presiding and Poling Officers, the declaration of the results of election and matters regarding appeals in respect of disputes in connection with elections;
(ii) The election of the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman of the market committee;
(iii) The filling up of casual vacancies in the office of Chairman, Vice-Chairman or member of a market committee;
(iv) The powers to be exercised and the duties to be performed by a market committee and its Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Secretary;
(v) The management of the market, minimum and maximum cess which may be levied and collected by the market committee, the method, manner and mode of collection of such cess in respect of agricultural produce regulated under the Act and sold and resold in the market area;
(vi) The issue of licences to traders, persons and firms engaged in processing of agricultural produce, commission agent, brokers, weighmen, measures, surveyors, warehouse man and the cancellation and suspension of such licence and the category of such other persons operating in a market area as may be determined by the Director and the form in which and the condition subject to which such licences shall be issued, cancelled, or renewed therefore;
(vii) The method and manner of holding meetings, the procedure to be followed at such meetings and the powers to be exercised at such meetings;
(viii) The form in which returns shall be submitted by the Board or a market committee to the Director and such other officers as may be authorised by the Director;
(ix) The persons by whom and the form in which copies of documents, entries in the books of a market committee, may be certified and the charges to be levied for the supply of such copies;
(x) The kind and description of the weights and measures and the weighing and measuring instruments which alone shall be used in the transactions in agricultural produce in market areas;
(xi) The periodical inspection of all weights and measures and weighing and measuring instruments in use in market areas;
(xii) The procedure to be followed in presenting and disposing of an appeal to the State Government or the officer appointed by it in that behalf under sub-section (2) of Section 22;
(xiii) The manner in which the inquiry and inspection of the Board or a market committee shall be held;
(xiv) The matters in respect of which the Board or a market committee shall or may make by-laws and the procedure to be followed in making or abrogating bye-laws and the conditions to be fulfilled prior to making such abrogation and alterations;
(xv) The declaration of market proper and market yards;
(xvi) The service rules, recruitment rules provident fund rules, pension rules and such other rules as may be required for the employment of the staff; of the Board and the market committee;
(xvii) The trade allowance which may be made or received by any person in any transaction in any agricultural produce in a market area;
(xviii) The prohibition of brokers for acting in any transaction on behalf of both the buyer and seller of agricultural produce or as a buyer or seller;
(xix) The provisions of accommodation for storing any agricultural produce brought into the market;
(xx) The preparation of plans and estimates for works proposed to be constructed partly or wholly at the expense of the market committee and the grant of sanction of such plans and estimates;
(xxi) The form in which the accounts of the Board or a market committee, and the grant or sanction to plans and estimates shall be kept, the audit, inspection and publication of such accounts if any to be made for such audit and the inspection of audit memoranda of the accounts and supply of copies of such memoranda;
(xxii) the preparation and submission for sanction of the annual budget and the report and returns to be furnished by the Board or a market committee;
(xxiii) The investment and disposal of the surplus funds of a market committee;
(xxiv) The regulation of advances, if any, given to agriculturists by brokers, commission agents, or traders;
(xxv) The prevention of adulteration of agricultural produce;
(xxvi) The grading and standardisation of agricultural produce;
(xxvii) The keeping of a list of prices of agricultural produce in respect of which the market is established;
(xxviii) The manner in which auctions of agricultural produce shall be conducted and bids made and accepted in any market;
(xxix) The recovery and disposal of cost leviable by or under this Act.
(xxx) Other matters relating to the functioning of the Board or the Market Committee.
(3) Any rule made under this Act may provide that for any contravention thereof or any of the conditions of licence issued or renewed the offender shall, on conviction be punishable with fine which may extend to rupees two hundred.
(4) Every rule made under this Section shall be laid as soon as may be after it is made before the Assam Legislative Assembly while it is in session for a total period of fourteen days which may be comprised in one session or in two successive sessions and if, before the expiry of the session in which it is so laid or the session immediately following, the Assam Legislative Assembly agree in making any modification in the rule or the Assam Legislative Assembly agree that the rule should not be made, the rule 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 amendment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything done under that rule.Bye-laws
50. (1) Subject to any rules made by the State Government under Section 49, the market committee may, in respect of the agricultural produce and the market area under its management make bye-laws and form time to time alter or rescind the same, but not so as to render them inconsistent with this Act and rules made for the regulation of business and the conditions of trading therein with the previous sanction of the Director or any other officer specially empowered in this behalf by the State Government.
(2) Any bye-law made under this section may provide that any contravention thereof shall on conviction, be punishable with fine which may extend to rupees one hundred.
(3) When the Director or any other officer empowered in this behalf by the State Government sanctions any amendment of the bye-laws of a market committee, he shall issue to the market committee a copy of the amendment certified by him which shall be conclusive evidence that it is duly sanctioned.Power of the Director to impose bye-laws
51. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or the rules or bye-laws framed thereunder, if the Director considers that an amendment alteration, rescission or adoption of a new bye-law is necessary or desirable in the interest of market committee, he may by an order in writing to be served on a market committee by registered post, require it to make such amendment, alteration, rescission or adoption of a bye-law within such time as may be specified in such order.
(2) If the market committee fails to make any such amendment, alteration, rescission or adoption of the bye-law within the time specified by the Director in his order under sub-section (1), the Director may after giving the market committee an opportunity of showing cause why such amendment, alteration, rescission, or adoption should not be made, register such amendment, alteration, rescission or adoption of bye-law and issue a certified copy thereof to such market committee.
(3) The market committee may, within one month from the date of the issue of an order made under sub-section (2) appeal from such order to the State Government.
(4) Where no appeal is presented within one month from the date of the issue of an order under sub-section (2) registering an amendment such amendment shall not come into force till the order is confirmed by the State Government;
(5) A certified copy of the amendment of the bye-law registered by the Director under sub-section (2) shall, subject to the result of an appeal, if any under sub-section (3) be conclusive evidence that it has been duly registered and such amendment, alteration rescission or adoption of bye-law shall be deemed to have made by the market committee.Power of State Government to call for proceedings of market committees and to pass orders thereon
52. (1) The State Government may at any time call for and examine the proceedings of the Board or any market committee for the purpose of satisfying itself, as to the legality or propriety of any decision or order passed by the Board or market committee under the rules. If in any case, it appears to the State Government that any decision or order or proceedings so called for should be modified, annulled or revised the State Government may pass such order thereon as it may think fit.
(2) The State Government may, by general or special order delegate to the Director all or any of the powers conferred upon it by this section.Power of State Government to amend the schedules
53. The State Government may, by notification in the official Gazette add to, amend or cancel any of the items of agricultural produce specified in the schedule.Savings
54. Nothing contained in the Assam Panchayati Raj Act, 1972 or in any other law for the time being in force relating to the establishment, maintenance or regulation of a market shall apply to any market area or affect in any way the powers of a market committee or the rights of a holder of a licence granted under sub-section (2) Section of 13. (Assam Act XI of 1973)
SCHEDULE[See Section 2(1)(i)]