Chapter-7 Provisions Relating to Inquiry, Inspection and Monitoring

Chapter-7 Provisions Relating to Inquiry, Inspection and Monitoring

  1. Central Market Monitoring Committee: (1) A Central Market Monitoring Committee shall be formed for the protection of the rights and interests of the consumers or for making coordination among the bodies involved in the monitoring or inspection of the supply system, price, quality and purity of the goods or services.

            (2) The Central Market Monitoring Committee referred to in sub-section (1) shall consist of the following Members:

                                    (a)       Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Commerce

and Supplies                                                        -Coordinator

(b)       Joint-secretary, Ministry of Industry,

Commerce and Supplies (responsible

the supplies)                                                                -Member

(c)       Joint-secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs              -Member

(d)       Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and

Livestock Development                                             -Member

(e)       Secretary, Ministry of Land Management,

Cooperative and Poverty Alleviation                       -Member

(f)        Director General, Department of Food

Technology and Quality Control                              -Member

(g)       Director General, Nepal Bureau of Standards       -Member

(h)       Director General, Department of Drug

Management                                                              -Member

(i)        Director General, Department -Member-Secretary

            (3) The procedures relating to the meeting of the Central Market Monitoring Committee shall be as prescribed.

  1. Function, duties and powers of Central Market Monitoring Committee: The functions, duties and powers of the Central Market Monitoring Committee shall be as follows:

 (a)       to take necessary initiative to make the goods or services easily available, by identifying their shortage seen in the market,

  (b)       to monitor and supervise regarding the supply system, price, weight, quality, purity etc. of the goods or services in the market,

 (c)       to make recommendation of the procedures of operation of market monitoring, monitoring team and consumers organizations and institutions,

(d)       to maintain coordination in the functions of  the Market Monitoring Team and Local Monitoring Committee,

 (e)       to give necessary directives to the bodies that protect the rights and interests of the consumers and law enforcement bodies in order to make market monitoring effective,

 (f)        to set up the Consumers Information Center,

 (g)       to form committees or sub-committees as necessary,

 (h)       to perform such other functions as prescribed.

  1. Provincial Market Monitoring Committee: (1) The Provincial Government may, in order to make necessary arrangements for protection of the rights and welfare of the consumers, form a Provincial Market Monitoring Committee by a notification in the Provincial Gazette, for carrying out inspection and monitoring on the matters relating to the supply system, price, quality, purity of the goods or services.

            (2)        The Provincial Market Monitoring Committee referred to in sub-section (1) may form monitoring teams or sub-committees as necessary.

            (3)        The functions, duties and powers of the Provincial Market Monitoring Committee referred to in sub-section (1) shall be as prescribed.

            (4)        Other provisions relating to the functions of the Provincial Market Monitoring Committee referred to in sub-section (1) shall be in accordance with the rules framed by the Provincial Government.

  1. Local Market Monitoring Committee: (1) The Rural Municipality or Municipality may, for the protection of the rights of consumers under this Act, form a Local Market Monitoring Committee for carrying out field inspection and monitoring of the market on the matters relating to the supply system, price, quality, purity of the goods or services.

                        (2)        The Committee referred to in sub-section (1) shall also consist of the bodies and consumers under the Local Level in necessary numbers.

                        (3)        The functions, duties, powers, work procedures and other necessary matters of Local Market Monitoring Committee to be formed pursuant to sub-section (1) shall be as prescribed.

                        (4)        The Local Market Monitoring Committee to be formed pursuant to sub-section (1) may form market monitoring teams or sub-committees as necessary.

  1. To form Market Monitoring Team: (1) In order to monitor and supervise regularly as to whether any unfair business activity has taken place pursuant to Section 16, price list is kept or not pursuant to Section 20, and regarding the quality, quantity or price of goods or services, Market Monitoring Team or Subject-wise Monitoring Team or Joint Monitoring Team consisting of the expert of the related sector as well as Inspection Officer may be formed as prescribed.

            (2)        The Market Monitoring Team referred to in sub-section (1) may get information about or enquire into the quality, quantity, price determination of any goods or services.

            (3)        The Market Monitoring Team referred to in sub-section (1) may, while getting information or making inquiry pursuant to sub-section (2), demand necessary document and evidence, and it shall be the duty of the producer or seller concerned to submit such document or evidence.

            (4)        The Market Monitoring Team referred to in sub-section (1) may exercise all the powers conferred to the Inspection Officer under this Act.

            (5)        The Market Monitoring Team referred to in sub-section (1) shall, while making monitoring and inspection of the market, use the market monitoring and inspection form as prescribed.

  1. To make inquiry or inspection: (1) If there is reasonable ground to believe that any person is doing unfair trade or business activity, doing the act of affecting the price or supply system by maintaining monopoly or any other manner in the market, or producing or selling and distributing sub-standard goods, or doing any act contrary to this Act or the rule framed under this Act, or if information is received regarding such matters through any means of communication or any complaint or through anyone that carries out surveillance, the Ministry or Department may immediately inquire into or inspect that matter or cause such inquiry or inspection to be made.

                        (2)        Inspection or monitoring shall be carried out accordingly if the prevailing law provides for monitoring and inspection, with respect to the inspection or inquiry pursuant to sub-section (1), and in other circumstances, the Ministry may form immediately an inspection or inquiry committee or designate any committee formed under this Act or the Inspection Officer to that effect.

(3)        Any producer, dealer, agent, seller, person or institution found guilty from the inquiry or inspection pursuant to sub-section (1) shall be liable to action under this Act or the prevailing law.

(4) If upon inspection or inquiry, the committee or the Inspection Officer designated pursuant to sub-section (2) does not find that such an act falls under this Act, the committee or the officer shall send the matter, along with the inquiry or inspection file, to the concerned body for necessary action; and such a body shall also give information  about the action taken in that respect to such a committee or officer.

  1. Power to carry out casual inspection: (1) The Department may carry out casual inspection for the protection of the rights, interests of the consumers.

                        (2)        Other provisions relating to casual inspection shall be as prescribed.

  1. Power to appoint or designate Inspection Officer: (1) The Department may, in order to carry out monitoring of availability of the quality goods or services at appropriate price for consumers by making market and supply system effective, appoint Inspection Officer or designate any officer employee of the Government of Nepal, Provincial Government or Local Level to act as Inspection Officer as prescribed.

                        (2)        The qualification of the Inspection Officer appointed or designated pursuant to sub-section (1) shall be as prescribed.

  1. Functions, duties and powers of Inspection Officer: (1) If there is reasonable ground to believe that the unsafe goods having adverse effect or sub-standard goods are being produced or sold, or services have been provided, or any acts are being done contrary to this Act and the rules framed under this Act, the Inspection Officer may, by entering into such a place at any time as necessary, inspect, inquire or search, arrest the person who commits such act and hold such a person in detention for seven days with the permission of the case trying authority.

                        (2)        In the course of inspection, inquiry or search pursuant to sub-section (1), necessary description, information or statement may be taken from the producer, importer, carrier, hoarder, seller, service provider or other related person.

(3) While carrying out inspection, investigation or search pursuant to sub-section (2), if it seems unsafe, affected goods or goods having no quality are being produced or sold and distributed, or service provided or activities are contrary to this Act and the rules framed under this Act, the Inspection Officer may impose restriction on producing or selling and distribution of such goods or providing services for prescribed period by taking samples of such goods as prescribed.

(4)        A testing list of the goods or services shall have to be prepared as prescribed for the purpose of carrying out market inspection or inquiry pursuant to sub-section (1).

(5)        If it is not found to be in accordance with the testing list pursuant to sub-section (4), the Inspection Officer may immediately impose the fine referred to in Section 39 with restriction on the sale and distribution of such goods.

(6)        The report relating to the functions carried out by the Inspection Officer pursuant to sub-section (2) shall have to be submitted to the Department within seven days.

(7)        If a fine is imposed pursuant to sub-section (5) in the report pursuant to Sub-section (6), report shall have to be prepared by specifying such details as well.

(8)        If it seems appropriate to give any order immediately to the producer or seller in course of inspection or inquiry, the Inspection Officer may give such an order or do such other act as appropriate.

(9)        The procedures to be adopted by the Inspection Officer while carrying out inspection, inquiry or search shall be as prescribed.

(10)      The Inspection Officer may, while carrying out inspection, inquiry or search, if it seems that any legal action is required to be taken against any producer, seller, send it to the Department by mentioning such details in the report as well, or to other bodies concerned with the reason if needed.

(11)      The provisions relating to other functions, duties and powers of the Inspection Officer and the implementation of the report furnished by the Inspection Officer shall be as prescribed.

  1. Testing of goods: (1) The Inspection Officer shall forward, immediately the samples of goods taken for testing pursuant to sub-section (3) of Section 33 to the laboratory of the Government of Nepal or the laboratory accredited by the Government of Nepal, as prescribed if the goods are of the nature of being instantly rotten, overripe, and within twenty-four hours from the date of samples taken if they are other goods.

                        (2)        The Inspection Officer shall, while forwarding samples to the laboratory pursuant to sub-section (1), have to forward them by giving symbol numbers to them.

(3)        If a false result is given or negligence is found to have been made while testing the goods in the laboratory pursuant to sub-section (1), departmental action shall be taken against such an employee.

  1. To confiscate or destroy sub-standard goods: (1) If the goods are not found to have the quality as prescribed while testing the samples of such goods forwarded to the laboratory for testing pursuant to Section 34, such goods shall be confiscated and shall, as required, be destroyed as prescribed.

                        (2)        When the goods are confiscated and destroyed pursuant to sub-section (1), the producer, importer or seller shall have to bear the expenses for confiscating or destroying such goods.

  1. To make complaint: (1) If any goods or service provider performs any act against the consumer interest or contrary to this Act or any rule framed under this Act, any person who gets information of such matters may make a complaint in writing or orally or even through electronic means to the Central Market Monitoring Committee, Department or Inspection Officer, along with the information or proof and evidence under his or her custody.

(2)        If the person who makes a complaint pursuant to sub-section (1) wishes to keep his or her name confidential, the name of such a person shall have to be kept confidential.

(3)        Other provisions relating to the complaint shall be as prescribed.

  1. Action against person leaking information: (1) Departmental action shall be taken against a public servant, who leaks the information of casual inspection or the monitoring to be carried out regularly pursuant to Section 31, before such inspection or monitoring takes place.

                        (2)        If information is leaked by a consumers’ organization or institution of consumers or other person involved in the act referred to in sub-section (1), the Director General of the Department shall impose a fine on such person, representative or institution in accordance with the claimed amount as revealed and from fifty thousand rupees up to one hundred thousand rupees if the claimed amount in not set out, and such an organization or institution shall be included in the black list for a period not exceeding three years.