FPJ Legal: Not mandatory to hallmark jewellry before June 1, Bombay HC grants relief to jewellers

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court bench of Justices Sunil Shukre and Avinash Gharote on Friday ordered the Union government not to take any coercive action against any jeweller for not hallmarking their jewellery before June 1. This comes as a great relief for over five lakh jewellers in India.
The bench was seized with a plea filed by the All India Gems and Jewellery Domestic Council challenging the decision of the Union government making hall marking of all jewellery compulsory from June 1, 2021.


The council through senior counsel Rohan Shah highlighted that the proportion to such a multitude of jewellers in India i.e. five lakh, the percentage of hallmarking centres available in India is about 34. He further pointed out that at least 488 districts do not have any hallmarking centres.
In his submissions, Shah further contended that there are around six thousand crores pieces of jewellery, which need to be hallmarked before June 1, as per the Union government's decision.


Notably the Union Consumer Affairs Department had made it mandatory for all jewellers to hallmark their jewellery under the provisions of theBureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016 (BIS Act), which also provides for a penalty of a maximum imprisonment of one year for not hallmarking.
Shah submitted that it wouldn't be possible got the jewellers to hallmark every piece of jewellery presently available, till June 1.

He further highlighted the restrictions which are in force in all the states owing to Covid, wherein travelling from district to district has been restricted.
Having heard the contentions, the bench issued notice to the Union government seeking a detailed response on the issue.
"Meanwhile, we direct that no coercive action shall be taken against the jewellers under the BIS Act, till next date," the bench ordered while adjourning the matter till June 14.

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