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State of Maharashtra Vs. Radheshyam Gopikishan Mantri - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal;Food Adulteration
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Appeal No. 501 of 1979 and Criminal Application No. 824 of 1979
Judge
Reported in1982(2)BomCR11
ActsPrevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 - Sections 7 and 16(1)
AppellantState of Maharashtra
RespondentRadheshyam Gopikishan Mantri
Appellant AdvocateB.B. Jadhav, A.P.P.
Respondent AdvocateSantosh Bora, Adv.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
- - it is against this order of acquittal, the state of maharashtra has failed this appeal to this court. in the absence of these details, in my opinion, the report of the public analyst, which is singed by the chief chemist cannot be regarded as a dependable one in evidence and on the basis of such report the accused cannot be held guilty and convicted......the report of the publish analyst is at exh. no. 19 which purports to have been signed by a chief chemist, in charge of the public health laboratory, aurangabad. if one looks at the report, it is clear that no qualifications of the chief chemist are mentioned in the said report. the chief chemist has also not given the data of the process which he followed before coming to the conclusion that the sample was adulterated. as decided by the supreme court in the matter reported in (1977 food adul. journal, 39), the public analyst should explain the process by which the conclusions are arrived at. the report (exh. no. 19) is very much silent in this behalf. the report also does not show as to on what date the sample was analysed. it only shows that date on which it was received and the.....
Judgment:

S.P. Kurdukar, J.

1. Criminal Appeal No. 501 of 1979 is filed by the appellant, the State of Maharashtra, challenging the order of acquittal dated December 18, 1978, passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Aurangabad. There was four days' delay in filing the said criminal appeal and, therefore, the State of Maharashtra preferred Criminal Application No. 824 of 1979 praying for condonation of delay. I heard both the sides on the question of limitation. There is no serious opposition and, therefore, I condone the delay. Rule is accordingly made absolute in Criminal Application No. 824 of 1979.

2. The respondent-accused (hereinafter referred to as 'the accused') was tried for offences punishable under section 16(1)(a)(i) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act'), before the Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Ambad on deputation at Jalna. It is alleged by the prosecution that the sample of mirchi powder taken from the shop of the accused was found adulterated and not in conformity with the rules framed under the Act. The accused denied the charge and claimed to be tried.

3. The prosecution in support of its case examined the Food Inspector, Narain Salwaji Narvane (P.W. No. 1) and the panch witness Radhakrishan Shivlal Dudhani (P.W. No. 2). In addition to this oral evidence, the prosecution also produced on record the panchanamas effected at the time of taking the sample to the Public Analyst and the report of the Public Analyst.

4. The learned trial Magistrate on appreciation of oral and documentary evidence found the accused guilty of offence punishable under section 7(1) read with section 16(1)(a)(i) of the Act and accordingly sentenced him to undergo R.I. for six months and to pay a fine of Rs. 100/-, in default of payment fine to undergo further R.I. for three months. The accused preferred appeal to the Sessions Court at Aurangabad and the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Aurangabad, by his judgment and order dated December 18, 1978, allowed the appeal, quashed and set aside the conviction and sentence inflicted upon the accused. It is against this order of acquittal, the State of Maharashtra has failed this appeal to this Court.

5. Several contentions were raised before me by Shri B.B. Jadhav, learned Public Prosecutor for the State. But, however, in my opinion, it is not necessary to deal with all these arguments except one, namely, that the report of the Public Analyst suffers from vagueness and infirmity. The report of the Publish Analyst is at Exh. No. 19 which purports to have been signed by a Chief Chemist, in charge of the Public Health Laboratory, Aurangabad. If one looks at the report, it is clear that no qualifications of the Chief Chemist are mentioned in the said report. The Chief Chemist has also not given the data of the process which he followed before coming to the conclusion that the sample was adulterated. As decided by the Supreme Court in the matter reported in (1977 Food Adul. Journal, 39), the Public Analyst should explain the process by which the conclusions are arrived at. The report (Exh. No. 19) is very much silent in this behalf. The report also does not show as to on what date the sample was analysed. It only shows that date on which it was received and the report of the date when it was made. The Chief Chemist was excepted to explain in his report as to what tests were applied or what test was followed in arriving at the conclusion. In the absence of these details, in my opinion, the report of the Public Analyst, which is singed by the Chief Chemist cannot be regarded as a dependable one in evidence and on the basis of such report the accused cannot be held guilty and convicted. The prosecution should have taken more care in conducting such offence. In addition to this, there are several other infirmities which are pointed out by the learned Additional Sessions Judge in his judgment and I do not think it necessary to refer to these infirmities in the evidence of the prosecution since I am convinced that the report of the Chief Chemist itself cannot form the basis of conviction of the accused.

6. In the result, the appeal fails and the same is dismissed.


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