1. By these two criminal revision applications the State of Maharashtra challenges the orders of the learned Matropolitan Magistrate, 29th Court, Dadar, Bombay dated August 12, 1976, discharging the accused.
2. Briefly stated on January 1, 1975, the respondent's grocery shop was visited by the Food Inspector. He took samples of mustard oil and coconut oil. The samples were sent to the Public Analyst who reported that both the samples were adulterated. On these facts the two prosecutions were commenced.
3. After the Food Inspector was examined and stated in his evidence in chief itself before the charge that he has given the copies of the report of the Public Analyst by hand to the accused and had not sent them by registered post, the learned advocate for the accused submitted that that was a clear contravention of Rule 9(j) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, and that that rule was mandatory. The learned Magistrate accepted that view and discharged the accused in both the cases.
4. The correctness of that order is challenged by these two revision applications.
5. As common questions of fact and law are involved in these two revision applications they are being disposed of by this common judgment.
6. Now there is no dispute that Rule 9 deals with duties of Food Inspector. Rule 9(j) as amended with effect from February 13, 1974 reads as under:
9. It shall be the duty of the food inspector-(j) to send by registered post, a copy of the report received in Form III from the public analyst to the person from whom the sample was taken within ten days of the receipt of the said report. However, in case the sample conforms to the provision of the Act or Rules made thereunder, then the person may be informed of the same and report need not be sent.
7. Prior to this amendment which came into force with effect from February 13, 1974, Rule 9(j) read as under:
It shall be the duty of the food inspector-(j) to send by hand or registered post, a copy of the report received in Form III from the public analyst to the person from whom the sample was taken, in case it is found to be not conforming to the Act or rules made thereunder, as soon as the case is filed in the court.
8. It would therefore appear that with effect from February 13, 1974 the Rule as amended does not provide (1) for the report being sent by hand and (2) unlike the earlier Rule which required the Food Inspector to send the copy of the report of the Public Analyst to the person from whom the sample was taken, as soon as the case is filed in the Court, the amended Rule makes it obligatory on the Food inspector to send by registered post a copy of the report received from the Public Analyst to the person from whom the sample was taken within ten days of the receipt of the said report. It would therefore appear that substantial changes have been made in Rule 9(j) with effect from February 13, 1974. One of the changes as is pointed out is that it can be no more sent by hand as per the earlier Rule. Another change which is made is that the report must be sent by registered post only within ten days of the receipt of the report. After the amendment he cannot wait to send the report by registered post till the filing of case in Court as was the earlier provision. The report must be sent by registered post within ten days of the receipt of the same. It is evident therefore that the intention of the Legislature was that after the amendment of the Rule which came into force on February 13, 1974 the only mode of sending the report which was recognised was by registered post and that too within the stipulated period of ten days of the receipt of the same. That would clearly show that the Rule was intended to be mandatory. Since on the admission of the Food Inspector himself he has committed a breach of the same, no exception could be taken to the order passed by the learned Magistrate.
9. The rule in both the revision applications is therefore discharged.