Criminal Complaint Against Samsung India Set Aside

In an order[1] dated May 31, 2023, the Karnataka High Court set aside the criminal proceedings instituted against the petitioner, M/s Samsung India for violation of packaging rules.

A complaint was filed before the jurisdictional Magistrate based on an inspection of one of the distributors of the petitioner company. During the inspection, it was discovered that the maximum retail price (MRP) printed on one of the petitioner’s products, a pre-packed Samsung Galaxy Tab-4 was in violation of the provisions of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 and the Legal Metrology (Numeration) Rules, 2011. Another allegation levelled against the petitioner is that one of the pre-packed wholesale package products containing 20 individual packages does not have the qualifying symbol ‘N’ indicating the quantity in violation of the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011. Pursuant to the complaint, a show cause notice and subsequently a summons was issued to the petitioner.

With respect to the first allegation, the court held that the Numeration Rules apply only to weight, measure or number and not to the price or MRP of packaged goods. Concerning the second allegation, the court opined that the offence alleged relates to retail packages and not to wholesale packages. Further, attention was drawn to Rule 24 of the Packaged Commodities Rules which applies to wholesale packages and states that only the number of quantities must be specified without necessarily adding the prefix ‘N’ or ‘U’.

Holding that the provisions of the said Act and the rules made thereunder have been misinterpreted and the offences alleged are not made out, the court allowed the criminal petition and set aside the proceedings pending before the Metropolitan Magistrate, Traffic Court-I, Bengaluru.

[1] M/s Samsung India vs. State of Karnataka (CRL.P 9771/2017)