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The State of Maharashtra Vs. Kacharadas D. Bhalgar - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFood Adulteration
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Appeal No. 691 of 1976
Judge
Reported in(1978)80BOMLR396; 1978MhLJ799
AppellantThe State of Maharashtra
RespondentKacharadas D. Bhalgar
Excerpt:
prevention of food adulteration act (xxxviii of 1954) - strictures on procedure followed by the food inspector--panchanama form.;in cases where the detection of the sale of adulterated food is to be made, the steps to be taken are statutorily prescribed.;panchanama is a memorandum of what happens in the presence of the panchas as seen by them and of what they hear. if the panchas are made to sign upon a printed panchanama which contains the predetermined narration of what they are expected to see and depose to, then that panchanama is absolutely valueless. - [couto; m.l. pendse, jj.] in the first instance the order passed under s. 132(5) is an order of a summary nature and does not conclude the rights of the petitioners, because while passing the assessment order, it is always open to the..........being properly proved, is a printed document with the title 'panchanama form'. procedure which a food inspector is expected to follow while obtaining the samples and sealing them has been printed in marathi in terms of the rules. some gaps for the name of the food inspector, the date and the name of the item of food and the quantity of the sample had been originally left in the form and these gaps have been filled in obviously by the food inspector. in my opinion, this is a farce of a panchanama. panchanama is a memorandum of what happens in the presence of the panchas as seen by them and of what they hear. it is a narration of what the panchas actually hear and see and not what the inspector wants them to say they have seen and heard. nor is it a prophesy of what they are likely to.....
Judgment:

Jahagirdar, J.

1. His Lordship, after stating the facts of the case and dealing with points not relevant to this report, proceeded. I cannot help commenting upon an extraordinary procedure followed by this food inspector apparently under the direction of the Municipal Corporation of which he is the servant. He has mentioned that the three packets were sealed according to the rules, that one was given to the respondent, that two were retained with him, and that a receipt was obtained from the respondent. He mentions that the respondent signed on the office copy of the notice given to him. Then in all solemnity he proceeds to say that the panchanama of this was recorded. I find on evidence that this could not be true. The panchanama which has been unfortunately exhibited as exh. 10 without being properly proved, is a printed document with the title 'Panchanama Form'. Procedure which a food inspector is expected to follow while obtaining the samples and sealing them has been printed in Marathi in terms of the rules. Some gaps for the name of the food inspector, the date and the name of the item of food and the quantity of the sample had been originally left in the form and these gaps have been filled in obviously by the food inspector. In my opinion, this is a farce of a panchanama. Panchanama is a memorandum of what happens in the presence of the panchas as seen by them and of what they hear. It is a narration of what the panchas actually hear and see and not what the inspector wants them to say they have seen and heard. Nor is it a prophesy of what they are likely to see and hear. In cases where the detection of the sale of adulterated food is to be made, the steps to be taken are statutorily prescribed. Even then the events that are likely to take place cannot be reduced to a formula or cannot be expressed in predetermined words. The process of obtaining the samples of foodgrains, the observation of the same by the panchas, the weighing of the samples, the conduct of the person selling the samples at that time, steps taken to comply with the rules-all these are happenings and not an experiment under the control of a food inspector. These happenings cannot take place in the same manner in two cases and, therefore, if the panchas are made to sign upon a printed panchanama which contains the predetermined narration of what they are expected to see and to depose to, then that panchanama, in my opinion, will be absolutely valueless. When the food inspector says that all this was recorded in the panchanama, he is obviously making an incorrect statement.

[The rest of the judgment is not material to the report].


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