The Poisons Act, 1919 was enacted by the Government of India with a view to regulate possession for sale & sale of substances specified as poisons. The Government of Maharashtra under the powers granted under Section 2 of the said Act has promulgated Maharashtra Poisons Rules 1972.
The Poison Act and Maharashtra Poisons Rules were being implemented by the following authorities till 1977.
(a) The Commissioner of Police in cities where Commissionerates of Police existed and
(b) District Magistrates in cities.
Food and Drug Administration, Maharashtra State was given
responsibility as Licensing Authority under the Maharashtra Poisons Rules, 1972 by amending the said rules in 1977 vide notification No. DRG-1269/54294(II) (227)/ PH-10, dated 14th January 1977.
AS per the Schedule of the Poisons Act. The following substances are specified are poisons.
(1) All poisonous urethans and ureids:
(2) Mercury.- (i) Oxides and nitrates of mercury except substances containing less than 3 per cent of mercury (Hg)
(ii) Mercuric ammonium Chloride, Potassium mercuric iodide except containing 1 per cent of mercuric iodide.
(iii) Organic mercury compounds- Methyl mercury chloride, methyl mercury cyanide, methyl mercury Hydroxide, Methyl mercury toluene sulphonate, ethyl mercury chloride, ethyl mercury phosphate, ethyl mercury toluene sulphonate, Hydroxymer-curiphenol. Cyano Methyl mercury guanidine.
(iv) Mercury Perchloride (Mercury bichloride).
(3) Arsenic.- (i) Arsenic acid, Arsenic disulphide, Arsenic-trioxide,
(ii) Arsenates- Calcium arsenate, copper arsenate, sodium arsenate and other arsenates.
(iii) Organic arsenicals.
(4) Cyanides.- Potassium cyanide, Hydrogen cyanide, Cyanegen chloride, Acctonitrile, acrylonitrile.
(5) Carbon Disulphide.
(6) Higher Alcohols- Ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol.
(7) Halogenated Hydrocarbons – Carbon tetrachloride, Trichloroethylene, Tetrachloroethane.
The important provisions of Poison Act are reproduced below:
2. Power of the State Government to regulate possession for sale and sale of any poison-
(1) The [State Government] may be rule regulate within the whole or any part of the territories under its administration the possession for sale and the sale, whether wholesale or retail of any specified poison.
(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for -
(a) the grant of licences to possess any specified poison for sale, wholesale or retail, and the fixing of the fee (if any) to be charged for such licences;
(b) the classes of persons to whom alone such licences may be granted;
(c) the classes of persons to whom alone any such poison may be sold;
(d) the maximum quantity of any such poison which may be sold to any one person;
(e) the maintenance by vendors of any such poison in registers or sales, the particulars to be entered in such registers, and the inspection of the same;
(f) the safe custody of such poisons and the labeling of the vessels, packages or coverings in which poison is sold or possessed for sale; and
(g) the inspection and examination of any such poison when possessed for sale by any such vendor.
3. Power to prohibit importation into India or any poison except under licence -
The [Central Government] may, by notification in the [official Gazette], prohibit, except under and in accordance with the conditions of a licence, the importation into [India] [across any customs frontier defined the Central Government] of any specified poison and may by rule regulate the grant of licences.
4. Power to regulate possession of any poison in certain areas.-
(1) The [State Government] may by rule regulate the possession of any specified poison in any local area in which the use of such poison for the purpose of committing murder or mischief by poisoning cattle appears to it to be such frequent occurrence as to render restrictions on the possession thereof licence.
(2) In making any rule under sub-section (1) the [State Government] may direct that any breach thereof shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees or with both, together with confiscation of the poison in respect of which the breach has been committed, and of the vessels packages or covering in which the same is found.
5. Presumption as to specified poisons.-
Any substance specified as a poison in a rule made or notification issued under this Act shall be deemed to be poison for the purposes of this Act.
6. Penalty for unlawful importation, etc.- (1) Whoever-
(a) commits a breach of any rule made under Section 2, or
(b) imports without a licence [into [India] across a customs frontier defined by the Central Government] any poison the importation of which is for the time being restricted under Section 3, or
(c) breaks any condition of a licence for the importation of any poison granted to him under Section 3,
shall be punishable, -
(i) on a first conviction, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both, and
(ii) on a second or subsequent conviction, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.
(2) Any poison in respect of which an offence has been committed
under this section, together with the vessels, packages or coverings in which the same is found, shall be liable to confiscation.
The important provision of Maharashtra Poisons Rules 1972 are reproduced below:
3. Prohibition of possession or sale of poisons without licence.- Unless exempted from the operation of these rules under the provisions of the Act, no persons shall possess for sale or sell, whether by wholesale or retail, any poison, except under a licence granted by the licensing authority in Form A.
Requirements for Grant of Licence
1) Fee of Rs 20
2) Validity of Licence one year
3) Documents to be submitted along with Application for grant of licence :
I] Document regarding Legal Possession of premises.
II] Document of competent person.
III] Document regarding constitution.