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Sadanand Khanchand and anr. Vs. the State of Maharashtra and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1977CriLJ1341
AppellantSadanand Khanchand and anr.
RespondentThe State of Maharashtra and anr.
Excerpt:
.....- dying declaration not implicating one accused - evidence of eye witnesses however completely fixing his criminal liability ocular evidence found credible held, absence of his name in dying declaration would be of no help to accused. - pleader to contest the proposition that 'confectionery' will fall under the category of 'prepared food'.confectionery' is defined in 'random house dictionary' as 'confections, or sweetmeats collectively'.the word 'confect' is defined as 'to make up, compound, or prepare from ingredients or materials',and the word 'confection is defined as 'the process of compounding, preparing, or making something' and also 'a sweet preparation of fruit or the like as a preserve or candy......under section 16(1)(a)(i) of the act. appeal against the conviction was decided by the additional sessions judge, jalgaon. before the additional sessions judge also several contentions were raised challenging the conviction. it was contended that the charge was not properly framed, that there was a breach of rules 17 and 18 of the rules, that there was breach of section 13(2) of the act and that there was a breach of rule 22 of the rules. the prosecution, in the case against the petitioners, did not rely only on the report of the public analyst but they had also produced a report of the central food laboratory under section 13 of the act. the learned additional sessions judge negatived all the contentions and confirmed the conviction of the accused.2. the only material contention which.....
Judgment:

Chandurkar, J.

1. In the view which we have taken in Criminal Revision Application No. 295 of 1975, decided today, following the decision of the Supreme Court in Rajaldas G. Pamnani v. State of Maharashtra : 1975CriLJ254 , that Rule 22 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, 1955, hereinafter called 'the Rules', is mandatory in nature, facts in detail in this revision application are not required to be stated. It will suffice to say that both the petitioners who are father and son were prosecuted for the offence Under Section 16(1)(a)(i) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, because it was found that a sample of 'China balls', which admittedly is an article of confectionery, was found to be adulterated. Various contentions were raised by the two petitioners before the trying Magistrate, but all of them were negatived, and both were convicted of the offence punishable Under Section 16(1)(a)(i) of the Act. Appeal against the conviction was decided by the Additional Sessions judge, Jalgaon. Before the Additional Sessions Judge also several contentions were raised challenging the conviction. It was contended that the charge was not properly framed, that there was a breach of Rules 17 and 18 of the Rules, that there was breach of Section 13(2) of the Act and that there was a breach of Rule 22 of the Rules. The prosecution, in the case against the petitioners, did not rely only on the report of the Public Analyst but they had also produced a report of the Central Food Laboratory Under Section 13 of the Act. The learned Additional Sessions Judge negatived all the contentions and confirmed the conviction of the accused.

2. The only material contention which now survives in this revision application is whether there was a breach of Rule 22 of the Rules so as to vitiate the conviction. When this question was agitated before the learned Additional Sessions Judge, he found that the quantity of the sample supplied for analysis was 250 grams and the quantity of China balls' purchased from accused No. 1 was 750 grams. The learned Additional Sessions Judge, however, took the view that confectionary article would fall under residuary entry 'foods (not specified)' and not under the entry No. 14 which reads as 'prepared food'. Having found that the confectionary item fell under original entry No. 23 which required only 200 grains to be supplied for analysis, the contention of the accused that there was breach of Rule 22 was negatived. Having regard to our judgment earlier referred to, the only question really falls for consideration in the instant case is whether the learned Additional Sessions Judge was justified in taking the view that confectionary falls in the residuary item 'foods (not specified)'. The sample was taken by the Food Inspector on 2nd of September 1971, and, therefore, the list of articles of food in the original Rule No. 23 in its unamended form will have to be con-sidered. Entry No. 14 refers to 'prepared food' and the sample to be supplied is stated to be 500 grams as the approximate quantity. The residuary item No. 23 is 'foods (not specified)' and the quantity of the sample to be supplied for analysis was 200 grams. It cannot be seriously disputed that the residuary item No. 23 will exclude an article of food which will fall in Item No. 14 which is 'prepared food'. It was again difficult for the Asstt. Govt. Pleader to contest the proposition that 'confectionery' will fall under the category of 'prepared food'. 'Confectionery' is defined in 'Random House Dictionary' as 'confections, or sweetmeats collectively'. The word 'confect' is defined as 'to make up, compound, or prepare from ingredients or materials', and the word 'confection is defined as 'the process of compounding, preparing, or making something' and also 'a sweet preparation of fruit or the like as a preserve or candy.' It is obvious that an article of confectionery comes into being only as a result of a process of preparation in which several ingredients are used. It is obvious, therefore, that confectionery of the kind of a 'China ball' will be included in 'prepared food and will not fall into the residuary item No. 23. Once this finding is reached, there is obviously non-compliance of the Rule 22 of the Rules, because the quantity of the sample supplied was only 250 grams, while Rule 22 requires 500 grams to be sent for analysis. Since there is a breach of Rule 22, it must vitiate the conviction and the conviction and sentence passed against both the accused are, therefore liable to be set aside.

3. In the result, the Revision Application is allowed and the conviction and sentence passed against both the accused is set aside. Fine, if paid, to be refunded. Bail-bonds of the accused shall stand cancelled.


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