Seed Act 1966

The parliament had passed to Seeds Act 1966 to provide legal framework around seed certification and make good quality seeds available to the cultivators. Under this act Seed rules were framed and notified in1968 and systematic Seed Certification started in India in 1969. This act provided for establishment of a Central Seed Committee to advise the states in seed related matters. It also provided for establishment of Seed Certification Agencies in the states; Seed certification Boards and State Seed Testing Laboratories.  To meet with the current requirements, the bill needed to be amended. A new bill was introduced in 2004 (Seed Bill 2004) but so far that bill has not seen the light of the day. The NDA Government is now proposing to introduce a fresh seed act amendment bill.[currentuser_id]

The Seeds Act 1966 has total 25 clauses which are summarized below:

  1. This act applies to whole of India including Jammu & Kashmir.
  2. It covers seeds of food crops, oil crops, cotton seeds, seeds of cattle fodder and all types of vegetative propagating material.
  3. It provides for establishment of a Central Seed Committee (comprising eight members) to advise the Central and State Governments on matters arising out of the administration of this act and carry out other functions assigned to it by the Act
  4. It provides establishing a Central Seed Laboratory as well as State Seed Laboratory to carry out seed analysis of notified variety
  5. It empowers the Central Seed Committee to notify any variety found suitable as per the Act after notification in the Official Gazette
  6. It empowers the committee to fix the minimum limits of germination and purity of seed for a variety to be notified as well as for marking or labelling a seed lot to be sold commercially
  7. Regulation of sale of seeds of notified varieties by compulsory truthful labeling revealing the true identity of the variety, germination as well as purity
  8. Constituting a certification agency for undertaking the process of certification
  9. Power of certification agency to recommend notification of suitable variety and grant of notification certificate provided the seed meets minimum limits of germination and purity.
  10. Empowerment to the agency for revocation of certificate if the agency is convinced that holder has obtained certificate by misrepresentation or not complied with the conditions
  11. Provision for an appeal by the holder on payment basis to express before an appellate in India authority, his limitations for not complying with the conditions
  12. Appointment of a seed analyst to undertake seed testing.
  13. Appointment of seed inspector who is deemed to be a public servant within the meaning or section 21 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860)
  14. Empowerment of seed inspector to draw samples from any seller or a purchaser and verify the quality by sending samples to a seed analyst in the seed testing laboratory
  15. Laying-out of procedure for seed sample collection and other rules. The clause also entrust inspector with the power to break open any seed container or door of any premises where such seed may be kept for sale, under those circumstances when owner refuses to cooperate. The whole operation has to be done in presence of two witnesses with their signatures on a memorandum
  16. Responsibility of Seed analyst to report the results in a specified format after analysis of the seed samples to Seed Inspector as well as the seller/ purchaser. Complainant if dissatisfied with the result can apply to the court for sending samples to Central Seed Testing Laboratory. Central seed laboratory shall thereupon send its report to the court in the prescribed format within one month from the date of receipt of the sample.
  17. Restriction on import and export of seeds of notified varieties. Any variety imported or exported should meet the minimum limits of seed germination and purity marked or labeled on the container truly
  18. Recognition of seed certification agencies of foreign countries for the purpose of this act.
  19. Penalty or punishment or both for those who do not comply with the provisions of the act and also prevent seed inspectors from executing his power
  20. Forfeiture of property (seeds) belonging to any person convicted under this act due to contravention of the procedures under this act
  21. Punishment for offences committed by companies or anybody corporate. All who was incharge of, when the time the offence was committed and was responsible to the company shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and punished accordingly
  22. Protection of Government action taken in good faith that is no prosecution or legal proceeding will lie against Government or any Government Officer for anything that is done in good faith
  23. Power for Government to give directions for smooth conduct of the act 24. Non-application of the act to the seed exchange by the farmers without any brand name
  24. Power of Government to make rules to carry out various functions of Central Seed Committee, Central Seed Laboratory, Certification Agency and Seed Inspectors

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