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02 Jul 2024

Demystifying Legal Metrology Rules in India: Ensuring Fairness in Everyday Transactions

02 Jul 2024
Legal metrology

In the bustling markets and stores of India, where buying and selling happens every day, there’s a set of rules quietly at work to make sure you get what you pay for. These acts and rules are colloquially known as ‘Legal Metrology’. The rules are intended to make sure that measurements and weights used in trade are accurate and fair, and are represented to the consumer clearly. The rules are enforced by the Legal Metrology Division, which is managed by the Department of Consumer Affairs under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.


What is Legal Metrology?

Legal Metrology sets out to ensure that whatever you buy (whether it’s rice, oil, fruits, cosmetics, backpacks, electronics, or any other packaged goods or commodities) is in compliance with requirements and guidelines about the quantity, weight, measurements, expiry date, origin, manufacturer, etc., and is also packaged in a manner that these details are captured and made available to you. It’s like having referees in the game of trade, making sure everyone plays fair.


How Does It Work?

  1. Ensuring Accuracy: You might notice a stamp or mark on the weighing/measuring devices/equipments, this is to show that they’ve been verified and are accurate. In fact, the Legal Metrology department also issues Licenses to manufacturers, dealers and repairer of weighing/measuring devices for dealing with such instruments. 
  2. Packaged Goods: Ever look at a pack of biscuits or a bottle of shampoo and see all those details like MRP, manufacturing date, expiry date, consumer care information as well as the quantity of the package? Legal Metrology rules make it mandatory for companies to give you this information in the manner prescribed under the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 as well as the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 so you are aware of the contents of the package and of your mode of communication with the company in case of any complaints.


What a Consumer Should Know?

  • Rights as a Consumer: You have the right to get what you pay for. If you feel something is not right, like the weight of a product or the information on the pack, you can file a complaint through the online platform – https://consumerhelpline.gov.in/ , which will be forwarded to the appropriate officer for grievance redressal. One can register complaints by call on 1800-11-4000 or 1915 or through SMS on 8800001915. 
  • Checking for Stamps: Next time you buy something by weight, look for the stamp or mark on the scale or the measuring device. It means it’s been checked and is okay to use


What a Business Owner (For Consumer Goods) Should Know?

  • Product Packaging and Labelling: You must ensure that all products intended for retail sale are accurately weighed or measured and are packaged as per the prescribed standards. This includes providing essential information such as net quantity, MRP (Maximum Retail Price), date of manufacture, expiry date, and consumer care details on the packaging.
  • Weighing and Measuring Instruments: Businesses using weighing and measuring instruments (like scales, meters, etc.) must ensure these instruments are verified and stamped by authorized Legal Metrology officers. Regular calibration and maintenance of these instruments are essential to maintain accuracy and compliance.
  • Compliance and Audits: Regular audits and inspections are conducted by Legal Metrology authorities to verify compliance with Legal Metrology rules. Non-compliance can lead to penalties, fines, seizure of goods or even legal repercussions, which can impact a company’s reputation and operations.


Challenges and Moving Forward

Offences relating to weights and measures are punished with fine or imprisonment or with both depending on the offence committed. The government is working on making these rules easier to understand and ensuring everyone follows them correctly.



Legal Metrology rules are not just about weights and measures; they are about fairness and trust in every transaction you make. By making sure everything is measured and packaged correctly, these rules protect you as a consumer and ensure that businesses play by the rules. So, next time you shop, remember these rules are on your side to make sure you get what you deserve!


The content of this article is for information purpose only and does not constitute advice or a legal opinion and are personal views of the author. It is based upon relevant law and/or facts available at that point of time and prepared with due accuracy & reliability. Readers are requested to check and refer to relevant provisions of statute, latest judicial pronouncements, circulars, clarifications etc. before acting on the basis of the above write up. The possibility of other views on the subject matter cannot be ruled out. By the use of the said information, you agree that the Author / Treelife is not responsible or liable in any manner for the authenticity, accuracy, completeness, errors or any kind of omissions in this piece of information for any action taken thereof.

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