The Consumer Protection (Search and Seizure and Compounding of offences by the Central Authority and Crediting of Penalty) Rules, 2021.

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The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution on 6th December 2021 has published the Consumer Protection (Search and Seizure and Compounding of offences by the Central Authority and Crediting of Penalty) Rules, 2021.

The rules notify the Procedure of taking copies or extracts of documents, records, or articles seized or produced and disposal of articles subject to speedy or natural decay.

Where the Director General or any other officer authorised by him in this behalf, or the District Collector, has seized, or require production of, any document, record, or article, the Director-General or any other officer authorized by him in this behalf or the District Collector, as the case may be, shall return the same to the person from whom such document, record, or article was seized, or required for production, within a period of twenty days from the date of such seizure or production;

The Director-General or any other officer authorized by him in this behalf who has seized or require production may take copies of, or extracts from, the relevant document, record, or article, as its nature permits, before returning such document, record, or article:

 Provided that the Director-General or any other officer authorized by him in this behalf or District Collector may require the person from whom such document, record, or article was seized or required for production to take and provide such copy or extract to the Director-General or officer or District Collector, as the case may be.

Further , any offence committed for the first time punishable, may either before or after the institution of any prosecution, be compounded by an officer so authorised by the Chief Commissioner.

Any person may either before or after the institution of prosecution, make an application in the form as specified by the Central Authority with the approval of the Central Government from time to time to the compounding officer, to compound the offences specified under section 96 of the Act.

On receipt of an application, the compounding officer shall call for any other information from the applicant which may be considered relevant for examination of such application and such information shall be furnished by the applicant within a period of thirty days or within such extended period as may be allowed by the compounding officer, from the date of receipt of communication from the compounding officer.

The compounding officer, after giving personal hearing to the applicant and after taking into account the contents of the said application, may, by order, giving reasons of arriving at the decision, either allow the application indicating the compounding amount or reject such application:

 Provided that the application shall not be rejected unless an opportunity has been given to the applicant of being heard and the grounds of such rejection are mentioned in such order:

 Provided further that the applicant shall not claim, as a matter of right, that his offence be compounded:

Provided also that no compounding shall be allowed by the compounding officer where there are apparent contradictions, inconsistencies or incompleteness in the case of the applicant.

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