THE SEEDS ACT, 1966
ACT No. 54 OF 1966
29th December, 1966
An Act to provide for regulating thequality of certain seeds for sale, and for matters connected therewith
BE enacted by Parliament in the SeventeenthYear of the Republicof India as follows: –
1.Short title, extent and commencement: (1)This Act may be called the Seeds Act, 1966.
(2) It extends to the whole of India.
(3) It shall came into force on such dateas the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette,appoint, and different dates may be appointed for different provisions of thisAct, and for different States or for different areas thereof.
2.Definitions: In this Act, unless thecontext otherwise requires, –
(1) "agriculture" includeshorticulture;
(2) "Central Seed Laboratory"means the Central Seed Laboratory or declared as such under sub-section (1) ofsection 4;
(3) "certification agency" meansthe certification agency established under section 8 or recognised undersection 18;
(4) "Committee" means the CentralSeed Committee constituted under sub-section (1) of section 3;
(5) "container" means a box,bottle, casket, tin, barrel, case, receptacle, sack, bag, wrapper or otherthing in which any article or thing is placed or packed;
(6) "export" means taking out of India to a place outside India;
(7) "import" means bringing into India from a place outside India;
(8) "kind" means one or morerelated species or sub-species of crop plants each individually or collectivelyknown by one common name such as cabbage, maize, paddy and wheat;
(9) "notified kind or variety",in relation to any seed, means any kind or variety thereof notified undersection 5;
(10) "prescribed" meansprescribed by rules made under this Act;
(11) "seed" means any of thefollowing classes of seeds used for sowing or planting-
(i) seed of food crops including edible oilseeds and seeds of fruits and vegetables;
(ii) cotton seeds;
(iii) seeds of cattle fodder,
1 [(iv) jute seeds,]
and includes seedlings, and tubers, bulbs,rhizomes, roots, cuttings, all types of grafts and other vegetativelypropagated material, of food crops or cattle fodder;
(12) "Seed Analyst" means a SeedAnalyst appointed under section 12;
(13) "Seed Inspector" means aSeed Inspector appointed under section 13;
(14) "State Government", inrelation to a Union territory, means the administrator thereof;
(15) "State Seed Laboratory", inrelation to any State, means the State Seed Laboratory established or declaredas such under sub-section (2) of section 4 for that State; and
(16) "variety" means asub-division of a kind identifiable by growth, yield, plant, fruit, seed, orother characteristic.
1. Sub-clause inserted by the Seeds(Amendment) Act, 1972 (55 of 1972) Section 2.
3.Central Seed Committee: (1) The CentralGovernment shall, as soon as may be after the commencement of this Act,constitute a Committee called the Central Seed Committee to advice the CentralGovernment and the State Governments on matters arising out of the administrationof this Act and to carry out the other functions assigned to it by or underthis Act.
(2) The Committee shall consist of thefollowing members, namely: –
(i) a Chairman to be nominated by theCentral Government;
(ii) eight persons to be nominated by theCentral Government to represent such interests as the Government thinks fit, ofwhom not less than two persons shall be representatives of growers of seed;
(iii) one person to be nominated by theGovernment of each of the States.
(3) The members of the Committee shall,unless their seals become vacant earlier by resignation, death or otherwise, beentitled to hold office for two years and shall be eligible for re-nomination.
(4) The Committee may, subject to theprevious approval of the Central Government, make bye-laws fixing the quorumand regulating its own procedure and the conduct of all business to betransacted by it.
(5) The Committee may appoint one or moresub-committees, consisting wholly of members of the Committee or wholly ofother persons or partly of members of the Committee and partly of otherpersons, as it thinks fit, for the purpose of discharging such of its functionsas may be delegated to such sub-committee or sub-committees by the Committee.
(6) The functions of the Committee or anysub-committee thereof may be exercised notwithstanding any vacancy therein.
(7) The Central Government shall appoint aperson to be the secretary of the committee and shall provide the Committeewith such clerical and other staff as the Central Government considersnecessary.
4.Central Seed Laboratory and State SeedLaboratory: (1) The Central Government may, by notification in the OfficialGazette, establish a Central Seed Laboratory or declare any seed laboratory asthe Central Seed Laboratory to carry out the functions entrusted to the CentralSeed Laboratory by or under this Act.
(2) The State Government may, bynotification in the Official Gazette, establish one or more State SeedLaboratory or declare any seed laboratory as the State Seed Laboratory wereanalysis of seeds of any notified kind or variety shall be carried out by SeedAnalysts under this Act in the prescribed manner.
5.Power to notify kinds or varieties ofseeds: If the Central Government, after consultation with the Committee, is ofopinion that it is necessary or expedient to regulate the quality of seed ofany kind or variety to be sold for purposes of agriculture, it may, bynotification in the Official Gazette, declare such kind or variety to be anotified kind or variety for the purposes of this Act and different kinds orvarieties may be notified for different States or for different areas thereof.
6.Power to specify minimum limits ofgermination and purity, etc.: The Central Government may, after consultationwith the Committee and by notification in the Official Gazette, specify-
(a) the minimum limits of germination andpurity with respect to any seed of any notified kind or variety;
(b) the mark or label to indicate such seedconforms to the minimum limits of germination and purity specified under clause(a) and the particulars which such mark or label may contain.
7.Regulation or sale of seeds of notifiedkinds of varieties: No person shall, himself or by any other person on hisbehalf, carry on the business of selling, keeping for sale, offering to sell,bartering or otherwise supplying any seed of any notified kind or variety,unless-
(a) such seed is identifiable as to itskind or variety;
(b) such seed conforms to the minimumlimits of germination and purity specified under clause (a) of section 6;
(c) the container of such seed bears in theprescribed manner, the mark or label containing the correct particulars thereofspecified under clause (b) of section 6; and
(d) he complies with such other requirementsas may be prescribed.
8.Certification agency: The StateGovernment or the Central Government in consultation with the State Governmentmay, by notification in the Official Gazette, establish a certificate agencyfor the State to carry out the functions entrusted to the certification agencyby or under this Act.
1 [8A.The Central Seed Certification Board:(1) The Central Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette,establish a Central Seed Certification Board (hereinafter referred to as theBoard) to advise the Central Government and the State Governments on allmatters relating to certification, and to co-ordinate the functioning of theagencies established under section 8.
(2) The Board shall consist of thefollowing members, namely: –
(i) a Chairman, to be nominated by theCentral Government;
(ii) four members, to be nominated by theCentral Government from out of the persons employed by the State Governments asDirectors of Agriculture;
(iii) three members, to be nominated by theCentral Government from out of the persons employed by the AgriculturalUniversities as Directors of Research;
(iv) thirteen persons, to be nominated bythe Central Government to represent such interests as that Government thinksfit, of whom not less than four persons shall be representatives of seedproducers or tradesmen.
(3) A member of the Board shall, unless hisseat becomes vacant earlier by resignation or otherwise, be entitled to holdofficer for two years from the date of his nomination:
Provided that a person nominated underclause (ii) or clause (iii) of sub-section (2) shall hold officer only for oflong as he holds the appointment by virtue of which his nomination was made.
8B.Other Committees: The Board may appointas may committees as it deems fit consisting wholly of the members of the Boardor wholly of other persons or partly of members of the Board and partly ofother persons as it thinks fit to exercise such powers and perform such dutiesas may be delegated to them, subject to such conditions as it may think fit, bythe Board.
8C.Proceedings of Board or Committee not tobe invalid by reason of any vacancy therein: No proceeding of the Board or anyCommittee thereof shall become invalid merely by reason of the existence of anyvacancy therein or any defect in the constitution thereof.
8D.Procedure for Board: The Board may,subject to the previous approval of the Central Government, make bye-laws forthe purpose of regulation its own procedure and the procedure of any Committeethereof and the conduct of all business to be transacted by it or suchCommittee.
8E.Secretary and other officers: TheCentral Government shall –
(i) appoint a person to be the Secretary ofthe Board, and
(ii) provide the Board with such technicaland other staff as the Central Government considers necessary]
1. Sections 8A to 8E by the Seeds(Amendment) Act, 1972 (55 of 1972) Section 3.
9.Grant of certificate by certificationagency: (1) Any persons selling, keeping for sale, offering to sell, barteringor otherwise supplying any seed of any notified kind or variety may, if hedesires to have such seed certified by the certification agency, apply to thecertification agency for the grant of a certificate for the purpose.
(2) Every application under sub-Section (1)shall be made in such form, shall contain such particulars and shall beaccompanied by such fees as may be prescribed.
(3) On receipt of any such application forthe grant of a certificate, the certification agency may, after such enquiry assit thinks fit and after satisfying itself that the seed to which theapplication relates conforms to the 1 [prescribed standards], grant acertificate in such form and on such conditions as may be prescribed:
2 [Provided that such standards shall notbe lower that the minimum limits of germination and purity specified for thatseed under clause (a) of section 6.]
1. Substituted for the words, figure,letters, and brackets "minimum limits of germination and purity specifiedfor that seed under clause (a) of section 6" by the Seeds (Amendment) Act,1972 (55 of 1972) Section 4 (i).
2. The proviso inserted by the Seeds(Amendment) Act, 1972 (55 of 1972) Section 4 (ii).
10.Revocation of certificate: If thecertification agency is satisfied, either on a reference made to it in thisbehalf or otherwise, that –
(a) the certificate granted by it undersection 9 has been obtained by misrepresentation as to an essential fact; or
(b) the holder of the certificate has,without reasonable cause, failed to comply with the conditions subject to whichthe certificate has been granted or has contravened any of the provisions ofthis Act or the rules made thereunder,
then, without prejudice to any otherpenalty to which the holder of the certificate may be liable under this Act,the certification agency may, after giving the holder of the certificate anopportunity of showing cause, revoke the certificate.
11.Appeal:(1) Any person aggrieved by adecision of a certification agency under section 9 or section 10, may withinthirty days from the date on which the decision is communicated to him and onpayment of such fees as may be prescribed, prefer an appeal to such authorityas may be specified by the State Government in this behalf:
Provided that the appellate authority mayentertain an appeal after the expiry of the said period of thirty days if it issatisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filling theappeal in time.
(2) On receipt of an appeal under sub-section(1), the appellate authority shall, after giving the appellate an opportunityof being heard, dispose of the appeal as expeditiously as possible.
(3) Every order of the appellate authorityunder this section shall be final.
12.Seed Analysts: The State Government may,by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint such persons as it thinks fit,having the prescribed qualifications, to be Seed Analysts and define the areaswithin which they shall exercise jurisdiction.
13.Seed Inspectors: (1) The StateGovernment may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint such personsas it thinks fit, having the prescribed qualifications, to be Seed Inspectorsand define the areas within which they shall exercise jurisdiction.
(2) Every Seed Inspector shall be deemed tobe a public servant within the meaning of section 21 of the Indian Penal Codeand shall be officially subordinate to such authority as the State Governmentmay specify in this behalf.(45 of 1980)
14.Powers of Seed Inspector: (1) The Seed Inspectormay-
(a) take samples of any seed in anynotified kind or variety from-
(i) any person selling such seed; or
(ii) any person who is in the course ofconveying, delivering or preparing to deliver such seed to a purchaser or aconsignee; or
(iii) a purchaser or a consignee afterdelivery of such seed to him;
(b) send such sample for analysis to theSeed Analyst for the area within which such sample has been taken;
(c) enter and search at all reasonabletimes, with such assistance, if any, as he considers necessary, any place inwhich he has reason to believe that an offence under this Act has been or isbeing committed and order in writing the person in possession of any seed inrespect of which the offence has been or is being committed, not to dispose ofany stock of such seed for a specific period not exceeding thirty days or,unless the alleged offence is such that the defect may be removed by thepossessor of the seed, seize the stock of such seed;
(d) examine any record, register, documentor any other material object found in any place mentioned in clause (c) andseize the same if he has reason to believe that if may furnish evidence of thecommission of an offence punishable under this Act; and
(e) exercise such other powers as may be necessaryfor carrying out the purposes of this Act or any rule made there under.
(2) Where any samples of any seed of anynotified kind or variety is taken under clause (a) of sub-section (1), itscost, calculated at the rate at which such seed is usually sold to the public,shall be paid on demand to the person from whom it is taken.
(3) The power conferred by this sectionincludes power to break open any container in which any seed of any notifiedkind or variety may be contained or to break-open the door of any premiseswhere any such seed may be kept for sale:
Provided that the power to break-open thedoor shall be exercised only after the owner or any other person in occupationof the premises, if he is present therein, refuses to open to the door on beingcalled upon to do so.
(4) Where the Seed Inspector takes anyaction under clause (a) of sub-section (1), he shall, as far as possible, callnot less than two persons to be present at the time when such action is takenand take their signatures on a memorandum to be prepared in the prescribed formand manner.
(5) The provisions of the Code of CriminalProcedure, 1898, shall, so far as may be, apply to any search or seizure underthis section as they apply to any search or seizure made under the authority ofa warranted issued under section 98 of the said Code.
15.Procedure be followed by SeedInspectors: (1) Whenever a Seed Inspector intends to take sample of any seed ofany notified kind or variety or analysis, he shall-
(a) give notice in writing, then and there,of such intention to the person from whom he intends to take sample;
(b) except in special cases provided byrules made under this Act, take three representative samples in the prescribedmanner and mark and seal or fasten up each sample in such manner as its naturepermits.
(2) When samples of any seed of anynotified kind or variety are taken under sub-section (1), the Seed Inspectorshall-
(a) deliver one sample to the person fromwhom it has been taken;
(b) send in the prescribed manner anothersample for analysis to the Seed analyst for the area within which such samplehas been taken; and
(c) retain the remaining sample in theprescribed manner for production in case any legal proceedings are taken or foranalysis by the Central Seed Laboratory under sub-section (2) of section, 16,as the case may be.
(3) In the person from whom the sampleshave been taken refuses to accept one of the samples, the Seed Inspectors shallsend intimation to the Seed Analyst of such refusal and thereupon the SeedAnalyst receiving the sample for analysis shall divide it into two parts andshall seal or fasten up one of those parts and shall cause it, either uponreceipt of the sample or when he delivers his report, to be delivered to theSeed Inspector who shall retain it for production in case legal proceedings aretaken.
(4) Where a Seed Inspector takes any actionunder clause (c) of sub-section (1) of section 14, –
(a) he shall use all despatch inascertaining whether or not the seed contravenes any of the provisions ofsection 7 and if it is ascertained that the seed does not so contravene,forthwith revoke the order passed under the said clause or, as the case may be,take such action as may be necessary for the return of the stock of the seed seized;
(b) if he seizes the stock of the seed, heshall, as soon as may be, inform a magistrate and take his orders as to thecustody thereof;
(c) without prejudice to the institution ofany prosecution, if the alleged offence is such that the defect may be removedby the possessor of the seed, he shall, on being satisfied that the defect hasbeen so removed, forthwith revoke the order passed under the said clause.
(5) Where a Seed Inspector seizes anyrecord, register, document or any other material object under clause (a) ofsub-section (1) of section 14, he shall, as soon as may be, inform a magistrateand take his orders as to the custody thereof.
16.Report of Seed Analyst: (1) The SeedAnalyst shall, as soon as may be after the receipt of the sample undersub-section (2) of section 15, analyse the sample at the State Seed Laboratoryand deliver, in such form as may be prescribed, one copy of the report of theresult of the analysis to the Seed Inspector and another copy thereof to theperson from whom the sample has been taken.
(2) After the institution of a prosecutionunder this Act, the accused vendor or the complainant may, on payment of theprescribed fee, make an application to the court for sending any of the samplesmentioned in clause (a) or clause (c) of sub-section (2) of section 15 to theCentral Seed Laboratory for its report and on receipt of the application, thecourt shall first ascertain that the mark and the seal or fastening as providedin clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 15 are intact and may then despatchthe sample under its own seal to the Central Seed Laboratory which shallthereupon send its report to the court in the prescribed form within one monthfrom the date or receipt of the sample, specifying the result of the analysis.
(3) The report by the Central SeedLaboratory under sub-section (2) shall supersede the report given by the SeedAnalyst under sub-section (1).
(4) Where the report sent by the CentralSeed Laboratory under sub-section (2) is produced in any proceedings undersection 19, it shall not be necessary in such proceedings to produce any sampleor part thereof taken for analysis.
17.Restriction on export and import ofseeds of notified kinds of varieties: No person shall, for the purpose ofshowing or planting by any person (including himself), export or import orcause to be exported or imported any seed of any notified kind or variety,unless –
(a) it conforms to the minimum limits ofgermination and purity specified for that seed under clause (a) of section 6;and
(b) its container bears, in the prescribedmanner, the mark or label with the correct particulars thereof specified forthat seed under clause (b) of section 6.
18.Recognition of seed certificationagencies of foreign countries: The Central Government may, on therecommendation of the Committee and by notification in the Official Gazette,recognise any seed certification agency established in any foreign country, forthe purposes of this Act.
19.Penalty: If any person-
(a) contravenes any provision of this actor any rule made thereunder; or
(b) prevents a Seed Inspector from takingsample under this Act; or
(c) prevents a Seed Inspector fromexercising any other power conferred on him by or under this Act,
he shall, on conviction, be punishable-
(i) for the first offence with fine whichmay extend to five hundred rupees, and
(ii) in the event of such person havingbeen previously convicted of an offence under this section, with imprisonmentfor a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to onethousand rupees, or with both.
20.Forfeiture of property: When any personhas been convicted under this Act for the contravention of any of theprovisions of the Act or the rules made thereunder, the seed in respect ofwhich the contravention has been committed may be forfeited to the Government.
21.Offences by companies: (1) Where anoffence under this Act has been committed by a company, every person who at thetime the offence was committed was in charge of, and was responsible to, thecompany for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the companyfor the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shallbe deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded againstand punished accordingly:
Provided that nothing contained in thissub-section shall render any such person liable to any punishment under thisAct if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge and thathe exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained insub-section (1), where an offence under this Act has been committed by acompany and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consentor connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of, anydirector, manager secretary or other officer of the company, such director,manager, secretary or other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of thatoffence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
Explanation: For the purposes of thissection, –
(a) "company" means any bodycorporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals; and
(b) "director", in relation to afirm, means a partner in the firm.
22.Protection of action taken in goodfaith: Not suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against theGovernment or any officer of the Government for anything which is in good faithdone or intended to be done under this Act.
23.Power to give directions: The CentralGovernment may give such directions to any State Government as may appear tothe Central Government to be necessary for carrying into execution in the Stateany of the provisions of this Act or of any rule made thereunder.
24.Exemption: Nothing in this Act shallapply to any seed of any notified kind or variety grown by a person and sold ordelivered by him on his own premises direct to another person for being used bythat person for the purpose of sowing or planting.
25.power to make rules: (1) The CentralGovernment may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules to carryout the purposes of this Act.
(2) In particular and without prejudice tothe generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for-
(a) the functions of the Committee and thetravelling and daily allowances payable to members of the Committee and membersof any sub-committee appointed under sub-section (5) of section 3;
(b) the functions of the Central SeedLaboratory;
(c) the functions of a certificationagency;
(d) the manner of marking or labelling thecontainer of seed of any notified kind or variety under clause (c) of section 7and under clause (b) of section 17;
(e) the requirements which may be compliedwith by a person carrying on the business referred to in section 7;
(f) the form of application for the grantof a certificate under section 9, the particulars it may contain, the feeswhich should accompany it, the form of the certificate and the conditionssubject to which the certificate may be granted;
1 [(ff) the standards to which seeds shouldconform;]
(g) the form and manner in which and thefee on payment of which an appeal may be preferred under section 11 and theprocedure to be followed by the appellate authority in disposing of the appeal;
(h) the qualifications and duties of SeedAnalysts and Seed Inspectors;
(i) the manner in which samples may betaken by the Seed Inspector, the procedure for sending such samples to the SeedAnalyst or the Central Seed Laboratory and the manner of analysing suchsamples;
(j) the form of report of the result of theanalysis under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) of section 16 and the feespayable in respect of such report under the said sub-section (2);
(k) the records to be maintained by aperson carrying on the business referred to in section 7 and the particularswhich such records shall contain; and
(l) any other matter which is to be or maybe prescribed.
(3) Every rule made under this Act shall belaid as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament whileit is in session for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised inone session or 2 [in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiryof the session immediately following the session or the successive sessionsaforesaid], both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or bothHouses agree that the rule should not be made, that rule shall, thereafter haveeffect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; sohowever, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice tothe validity of anything previously done under that rule.
1. Clause (ff) inserted by the Seeds(Amendment) Act, 1972 (55 of 1972) Section 5 (a).
2. Substituted for the words "in twosuccessive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session in which it is solaid or the session immediately following" by the Seeds (Amendment) Act,1972 (55 of 1972) Section 5 (b).