AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS ACT
Arrangement of Sections
1. Short title
3. Statistics that may be collected
4. Obligation to make returns
5. Obligation to supply information
6. Power of entry
7. Publication of statistics
8. Offences by officers and penalties
9. Penalty for false statements
12. Authentication of forms
13. Free postal service
15. Consequences of default in payment of fines
to provide for the collection of agricultural statistics; to provide for the compilation and publication of statistics; and to provide for matters incidental to the foregoing.
[13th March, 1919]
Act 11 of 1916,
Act 13 of 1994,
GN 319 of 1964,
GN 497 of 1964.
This Act may be cited as the Agricultural Statistics Act.
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-
“statistics” means the information which may be collected of and incidental to matters specified in or prescribed under section 3.
(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act and to the directions of the Minister, statistics or estimates shall be collected from time to time in relation to all or any of the following matters:
(a) pastoral, agricultural, horticultural and dairying industries;
(b) factories dealing with animal or vegetable products of the country;
(c) land tenure and occupancy;
(d) any other matter relating to rural industries prescribed by the Minister by statutory notice.
(2) The duty of collecting any such statistics shall be performed by such public officer or officers as the Minister may, by statutory notice, designate thereto, and all prescribed particulars shall be furnished to such officers.
[S 3 am by GN 319 of 1964.]
(1) For the purpose of enabling the statistics to be collected, every prescribed person shall, to the best of his knowledge, when required by the prescribed officer so to do, fill up and supply, in accordance with the instructions contained in or accompanying the prescribed form, the particulars specified in that form.
(2) Such particulars may relate to estimates of probable production, as well as to actual facts and figures.
Every person shall to the best of his knowledge and belief answer when so required all questions asked of him by the prescribed officer, or by an officer authorised in writing by a prescribed officer, which are necessary to the obtaining of any information required for the collection of statistics.
(1) For the purpose of making any inquiries or observations necessary for the carrying out of this Act, the prescribed officer, or any officer authorised by him in writing, may at all reasonable times enter upon any land on which any agricultural, horticultural, dairying or pastoral industry is carried on, and may enter any factory, workshop, dairy or other place where persons are employed or any such industrial undertaking is carried on, and may inspect any part of it, and all plant and machinery used in connection with it, and may make such inquiries as are prescribed or allowed by this Act.
(2) Any person who hinders, obstructs or delays any officer mentioned in sub-section (1) in the execution of any power conferred by this section shall be guilty of an offence, and liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding three hundred penalty units.
[S 6 am by Act 13 of 1994.]
Compilations of statistics or abstracts thereof shall be made and published in such manner as the Minister may direct:
Provided that no return of statistics furnished by any person shall separately and alone be made public without the consent of the person making the return.
[S 7 am by GN 319 of 1964.]
Any officer who-
(a) puts an improper or offensive question to any person;
(b) asks, receives or takes, in respect of or in connection with his employment under this Act, from any person other than an authorised officer of the Government, any payment or reward;
(c) divulges, except as allowed by this Act, the contents of any form or return filled up in pursuance of this Act, or any information furnished in pursuance of this Act;
shall be guilty of an offence, and be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand five hundred penalty units, or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months in default of payment of any fine inflicted, or to the like imprisonment without the option of a fine, at the discretion of the court trying the offence.
[S 8 am by Act 13 of 1994.]
Any person who makes, in any form or document filled up or supplied in pursuance of this Act or in answer to any question asked him under authority of this Act, any statement which is false in any material particular knowing the same to be false, shall be guilty of an offence, and be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand five hundred penalty units, or in default of payment of any fine inflicted to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months, or to the like period of imprisonment without the option of a fine, at the discretion of the court trying the offence.
[S 9 am by Act 13 of 1994.]
Any person who forges any form or document which is used or prescribed under this Act, or utters such a document knowing it to be forged, shall be guilty of an offence, and be liable on conviction to the penalties prescribed by law for the crime of fraud.
(1) The Minister may, by statutory instrument, make regulations-
(a) prescribing the particulars and information to be furnished in relation to any matter in respect of which statistics may be collected under this Act;
(b) prescribing the manner and form in which, the times and places at which, and the persons by whom and to whom such particulars and information shall be furnished.
(2) Such regulations may provide that any person who, without reasonable cause, makes default in complying therewith shall be guilty of an offence, and be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand five hundred penalty units, or, in the case of a continuing default, to a fine not exceeding thirty penalty units for every day during which the default continues.
[S 11 am by GN 319 of 1964; Act 13 of 1994.]
Every form, notice or other document given or issued by an officer under this Act shall be sufficiently authenticated if the name of the officer by whom it is given or issued has been printed or stamped thereon.
All letters, parcels and packets, and all telegraphic messages relating to the statistics, shall, if marked with the words "Statistics. On Government Service", and when transmitted to or by a prescribed officer, be free of postal, telegraphic or other charges made by the General Post Office.
No entry in any return, book, register or record made by an officer or by any person under this Act shall be admissible in any legal proceedings, civil or criminal, except upon a charge of an offence against this Act, anything to the contrary in the law of evidence notwithstanding.
Whenever any fine has been imposed under this Act for an offence, and the person convicted thereof does not forthwith pay the fine, the court imposing the fine may in its discretion issue a warrant for the levy of the amount of the fine by seizure and sale of any movable property belonging to the offender, and the warrant shall authorise the seizure and sale of such movable property within the court’s jurisdiction, and also outside its jurisdiction if the warrant be endorsed by the magistrate having jurisdiction where the property is situate.