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Y.R.S. Rao Vs. Deputy Director of Agriculture and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1980CriLJ1364
AppellantY.R.S. Rao
RespondentDeputy Director of Agriculture and ors.
Excerpt:
- - it is too late in the day to contend that one can import, manufacture, distribute or sell sub-stances like insecticides without any restriction whatsoever and by putting such labels as they think fit, and also to contend that the state has no power even to stop the misbranding of these goods, so as to save the users thereof from being misled into buying them. on being satisfied, the registration committee will allow the application and allot a registration number and issue a certificate of registraton to the applicant. (c) without prejudice to the institution of any prosecution, if the alleged contravention be such that the defect may be remedied by the possessor of the insecticide, he shall, on being satisfied that the defect has been so remedied, forthwith revoke his order and in.....madhava reddy, j.1. in this batch of writ petitions the validity of sections. 3 (k)(1), 29, 30, 31, 32 and 33 of the insecticides act, 1969 (central act 46 of 1968) (hereinafter referred to as the act or insecticides act) is challenged as unconstitutional, violating articles. 14, 19(1)(d)(f) and (g) and 21 of the constitution of india.2. writ petition no. 4024/78 and writ petition no. 4025/78 are by the branch manager and regional sales and technical manager of bayer (india) limited (hereinafter referred to as the company) and are filed in the following circumstances.3. the bayer (india) limited is a company registered under the companies act with its registered office at bombay. the company manufactures among other things insecticides, pesticides and other chemcals including metasystox.....
Judgment:

Madhava Reddy, J.

1. In this batch of Writ Petitions the validity of Sections. 3 (K)(1), 29, 30, 31, 32 and 33 of the Insecticides Act, 1969 (Central Act 46 of 1968) (hereinafter referred to as the Act or Insecticides Act) is challenged as unconstitutional, violating Articles. 14, 19(1)(d)(f) and (g) and 21 of the Constitution of India.

2. Writ Petition No. 4024/78 and Writ Petition No. 4025/78 are by the Branch Manager and Regional Sales and Technical Manager of Bayer (India) Limited (Hereinafter referred to as the company) and are filed in the following circumstances.

3. The Bayer (India) Limited is a company registered under the Companies Act with its registered Office at Bombay. The Company manufactures among other things insecticides, pesticides and other chemcals including metasystox 25%. Sri Y.R.S. Rao, the petitioner is the Branch Manager and Regional Sales and Technical Manager of that company. On 19th Feb. 1977 a complaint was filed by the Deputy Director of Agriculture, Karimnagar, 1st respondent against one Avunuri Satyanarayana, Proprietor of Avunuri Satyanarayana and Company in the court of the Judicial First Class Magistrate at Sultanabad for an offence nunishable under Section 29 of the Insecticides Act which was registered as C. C No. 35/77. It was alleged therein that insecticides known as metasystox 25 per cent manufactured by the company purchased by the insecticides Inspector from respondent No. 2 on analysis by the Insecticides Analyst as per his report dated 30th Sept. 1976 was found to contain 22.19 per cent active ingredient and that thus the product manufactured by the company was misbranded inasmuch as the lable contained a statement which was false or misleading in material particulars and deceptive in respect of its contents. The learned Magistrate after recording the evidence of the 1st respondent and the Insecticides Inspector as prosecution witnesses, issued notice to the company under Section 319 Cr.P.C. The Petitioner took an objection before the Magistrate that as no sanction or consent of the State Government was obtained under Section 31 of the Act the Magistrate had no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the complaint. In view of the fact that the Managing Director of the Company had left India on his request, the Magistrate permitted the petitioner to represent the company. It is contended that the entire; prosecution is based on the report of the analyst given under Section 24 of the Act and that Section 24 of the Act is violative of the principles of natural justice and the fundamental right guaranteed to a citizen under Artcle 14 of the Constitution of India. It is also contended that the petitioner's fundamental right to carry on business guaranteed to him under Artcle 19(1)(f) and (g) of the Constitution is infringed by making the report of the Analyst conclusive in a court of law. It is further asserted that inasmuch as a copy of the report and a sample is given to the person from whom the misbranded insecticide was purchased by the Insecticides Inspector but no such sample or copy is given to the company which manufactured the pesticides and which is also sought to be proceeded against the fundamental right guaranteed to a citizen under Artcle 14 of the Constitution of India is violated. It is also urged that inasmuch as a result of the prosecution based on such a report the petitioner is liable to be sentenced for imprisonment, that law offends Artcle 21 of the Constitution. The petitioner therefore prays for declaring Section 24 of the Insecticides Act as unconstitutional and void and tor quashing the report of the insecticides Analyst dated 30th Sept. 1976 and to issue a writ of mandamus against respondents 1, 3 and 4 i.e. the State of Andhra Pradesh and the Union of India restraining them from taking any proceedings against the petitioner and in particular to quash the proceedings in C. C. No. 35/77.

4. Writ Petition No. 4025/78 is based on almost identical facts. The prosecution is launched against the petitioner therein in Criminal case No. 4518/77 on the file of the Judicial First Class Magistrate. Nellore on the basis of a sample taken from Pokuri Seshaiah, Proprietor of Pokuri Seshaiah New Company, Nellore 2nd respondent therein and the report of the Analyst dated 13th July, 1977. Identical reliefs as in W. P. No. 4024/78 are claimed therein.

5. Writ Petition No. 5738/78 is by one Nagaraju who has established a. small scale unit for manufacture of insecticides. Two complaints were filed against him S. T. C. Nos. 1344/78 and 1345/78 on the file of the II Additional Judicial First Class Magistrate, Nellore on the basis of samples of insecticides taken by the Insecticides Inspector, Nellore on 18-14978 and 4-2-78 respectively from the shops of respondents 3 and 4 therein, dealers of insecticides at Nellore. The analysis of the said insecticides by the insecticides Analyst revealed that the strength of Gamma, Isomer was 1.08 per cent and 0.94 per cent instead of 1.3%. On the basis of the report of the Analyst communicated to respondents 3 and 4 on 5-4-1978 a notice was sent to the petitioner on 6-4-78 to show cause why he and respondents 3 and 4 should not be prosecuted. As the prosecution is based mainly on the Insecticides Analyst's report, the petitioner challenges the validity of Section 24 of the Act and also the report on the same grounds as in the previous writ petition.

6. Writ Petitions Nos. 753/79 and 6211/79 are by the partners of a firm Pardhasaradhi Agencies which has obtained a licence for dealing in insecticides. The partners of that firm are being prosecuted in C. C. No. 127/78 on the file of the Additional First Class Magistrate, Chirala for an offence punishable under Section 29 of the Insecticides Act on the basis of a sample of B. H, C. 50% W. D. P. manufactured by M/s. Khandesh Pesticides (Private) Limited (whose directors have filed a separate writ petition No. 5981/79) obtained by the Insecticides Inspector from Sri Venkateswara Agencies, Inkollu. It is their case that they have bought the said insecticides from A. P. State Trading Corporation, Guntur under consignment note dated 27-9-77. The manufacturer of the said goods M/s. Khandesh Pesticides (Private) Limited issued indemnity guarantee that the quality is in conformity with Indian Standard Institute Specification, The petitioner firm in turn sold the said insecticide to certain other dealers with seals intact. The alleged deficiency in the Gamma Isomer of 5,82% as per the Insecticides Analyst's report, in the circumstances cannot render the firm and its partners liable for prosecution. The Deputy Director of Agriculture by his proceedings dated 22-2-78 issued a notice to the manufacturer M/s. Khandesh Pesticides (Private) Limited, Bombay to show cause why they should not be prosecuted for having misbranded the said insecticides and viloated the provisions of the Insecticides Act. A, show cause notice was also issued to the petitioners as to why they should also not be held liable. The petitioners submitted their explanation on 5-12-1977. Notwithstanding their explanation, a complaint C. C. 127/78 is filed against them. Against the Directors of M/s. Khandesh Pesticides (Private) Limited manufacturers of B. H. S. (Benzene, Hexa, Chloride) 50% with Gamma Isomer as per I.S.I. clarification, a complaint C. C. 226/79 on the file of the II Additional Munsif-Magistrate, Guntur is filed on the basis of the said Anaylst's report as stated above.

7. Writ Petition No. 5512/79 is by several dealers in insecticides against whom C. C. No. 226/79 is filed. In these petitions the distributors and dealers in particular contend that so long as they are dealing in insecticides manufactured by a reputed concern with labels fixed by them and with seals intact they cannot be held liable. The provisions of the Act as mentioned above are challenged in all these Writ Petitions.

8. The material facts averred by the petitions are not in dispute in any of these cases. It is asserted that none of the provisions of the Act violate any of the fundamental rights guaranteed to a citizen of India under the Constitution. There is also no violation of principles of natural justice in launching the prosecution, Merely because no sample is given to a person other then the one from whom it is taken, any prosecution launched on the basis of the Analyst's report in respect of that sample, cannot be deemed to be a violation of a fundamental right of a citizen; nor can the report in respect of that sample be disregarded. In any event none of these grounds are sufficient to merit acceptance in writ petitions. These are matters which could be raised before the Magistrate.

9. There is no dispute that upon an analysis of a sample of metasystox 25% manufactured by Bayer (India) Limited with which the petitioners in Writ Petition Nos. 4024 and 4025/78 are concerned as per the report it was found to contain only 22.19% active ingredient. There is also no dispute that Benzene Hexa Chloride (B. H. C.) 50% as per the report was, on analysis found to contain only 44,79% and Gamma Isomer variation was 6.5 per cent while the permissible variation was only 5 per cent. As per the definition of 'Insecticide' under Section 3(e) any sub-stance specified in the schedule to the Act is an insecticide. The two sub-stances referred to above are included in the schedule. The sample of the insecticide taken by the Insecticides Inspector was analysed by the Insecticides Analyst appointed under Section 19 of the Act. As per the said analysis these sub-stances were said to contain less percentage of active ingredient and are therefore termed as 'misbranded'. Section 3(k) of the Act defines 'misbranded' as follows:'misbranded'-an insecticide shall be deemed to be misbranded:

(i) if its label contains any statement, design or graphic representation relating thereto which is false or misleading in any material particular or if its package is otherwise deceptive in respect of its contents; or

(ii) if it is an imitation of, or is sold under the name of, another insecticide; or

(iii) if its label does not contain a warning or caution which may be necessary and sufficient, if complied with, to prevent risk to human beings or animals; or

(iv) if any word, statement or other information required by or under this Act to appear on the label is not displayed thereon in such conspicuous manner as the other words, statements, designs or graphic matter have been displayed on the label and in such terms as to render it likely to be read and understood by any ordinary individual under customary conditions of purchase and use; or

(v) if it is not packed or labelled as required by or under this Act; or

(vi) if it is not registered in the manner required by or under this Act; or

(vii) if the label contains any reference to registration other then the registration number; or

(viii) if the insecticide has a toxicity which is higher then the level prescribed or is mixed or packed with any sub-stance so as to alter its nature or quality or contains any sub-stance which is not included in the registration;

The label of the above mentioned insecticides contains particulars which do not accord with the Insecticides Analyst's report. Therefore, prima facie the said insecticide is 'misbranded'. The Magistrate before whom the complaint was laid has, after examining two witnesses issued notice to the petitioners herein. Whether proper sanction is obtained or not and whether the material placed before the Magistrate warrants the issuance of a notice to the accused or not, is not for this Court, in exercise of its jurisdiction under Artcle 226 to consider. These are matters which could be properly raised before the Magistrate who is competent to consider and dispose of the same. We therefore do not propose to express any opinion thereon. Suffice to note that the proceedings before the Magistrate cannot be termed as wholly without jurisdiction so as to compel this Court to quash the said proceedings in exercise of its writ jurisdiction. We therefore propose to confine ourselves to the question as to how far any of the provisions of the Insecticides Act are violative of any fundamental right guaranteed to a citizen and are therefore void so as to render the prosecution of the petitioners for the alleged offences wholly unwarranted and without jurisdiction.

10. Although in a few of these writ petitions the validity of Section 3(k)(i) and Section 32 of the Insecticides Act was challenged at the hearing of the writ petitions that was not pressed. So far as Section 32 is concerned it was deleted by the Insecticides (Amendment) Act 24 of 1977. Section 3(k)(i) is merely definition of the term 'misbranded'. We are unable to visualise how this definition can be said to be violative of any fundamental right of a citizen. The definition says that an insecticide shall be deemed to be misbranded if its label contains any statement, design or graphic representation relating thereto which is false or misleading in any material particular or if its package is otherwise deceptive in respect of its contents.' No person has a fundamental right to practice deception or make misleading and false statements or representations for carrying on his business, more so in a country where a large number of its citizens, are illiterate agriculturists and form the bulk of the users of the insecticides are likely to be misled by such statements into buying and carrying on agriculture. The petitioners did not press attack on Section 3(k)(i) any further at the hearing. They confined their attack to Sections. 24, 29, 30, 31 and 33 of the Act.

11. Section 24 of the Act requires the Insecticides Analyst, to whom a sample of insecticide is submitted, to deliver to the Insecticides Inspector, report in duplicate in the prescribed form within sixty days of the delivery of the sample. A copy of that report is required to be given by the Insecticides Inspector to the person from whom the sample is taken and to retain the other copy for use in a prosecution in respect of the sample. Section 24 reads as follows:

Section 24. Report of Insecticide Analyst-(1) The Insecticide Analyst to whom a sample of any insecticide has been submitted for test or analysis under Sub-section (6) of Section 22, shall, within a period of sixty days, deliver to the insecticide Inspector submitting it a signed report in duplicate in the prescribed form.

(2) The Insecticide Inspector on receipt thereof shall deliver one copy of the report to the person from whom the sample was taken and shall retain the other copy for use in any prosecution in respect of the sample.

(3) Any document purporting to be a report signed by an Insecticide Analyst shall be evidence of the facts stated therein, and such evidence shall be conclusive unless the person from whom the sample was taken has within twenty-eight days of the receipt of a copy of the report notified in writing the Insecticide Inspector or the Court oefore which any proceedings in respect of the sample are pending that he intends to adduce evidence in controversion of the report.

(4) Unless the sample has already been tested or analysed in the Central Insecticides Laboratory, where a person has under Sub-section (3) notified his intention of adducing evidence in controversion of the Isseeticide Analyst's report, the court may, of its own motion or in its discretion at the request either of the complainant or of the accused, cause the sample of the insecticide produced before the magistrate under Sub-section (6) of Section 22 to be sent for test or analysis to the said laboratory, which shall make the test or analysis and report in writing signed by, or under the authority of, the Director of the Central Insecticides Laboratory the result thereof and such report shall be conclusive evidence of the facts stated therein. (5) The cost of a test or analysis made by the Central Insecticides Laboratory under Sub-section (4) shall be paid by the complainant or the accused as the Court shall direct.

Sub-section (3) of Section 24 declares that the report of the Insecticides Analyst shall be evidence of the facts stated therein, and such evidence shall be conclusive unless the person from whom the sample was taken has within twenty-eight days of the receipt of a copy of the report notified in writing the Insecticide Inspector of the Court before which any proceedings in respect of the sample are pending that he intends to adduce evidence in controversion of the report. If the prosecution is against the person from whom the sample is taken he has a right to require the Court to send the sample given to him for analysis and on such request or at the discretion of the court, the sample shall be sent to the Central Insecticides Laboratory for test. The report received on such test shall be conclusive of the facts stated therein. It is contended that while a person from whom the sample is drawn, has a right under Section 24 to be given one of the samples drawn and also a right to require the court to send that sample to disprove the Insecticide Analyst's report made under Sub-section (1) of Section 24, a manufacturer, distributor or a dealer from whom the sample may not have been but who may have dealt with the particular insecticide at some stage either as a manufacturer or a distributor or a dealer is exposed to prosecution on the strength of that report even though no sample is given to him. As a result, he has no means of defending himself and no means of establishing the innocence in the same manner as is allowed to the person from whom the sample is drawn by sending the sample given to him at the time of seizure. These persons are thus denied an opportunity equal to that of the other person from whom the sample is drawn. It is also contended that it is against all principles of natural justice that the evidence collected by the Insecticide Inspector behind the back of the petitioners and the Insecticide Analyst's report in regard to such sample should be deemed to be conclusive against others from whom the sample is not drawn.

12. In order to appreciate and determine the correctness of the respective contentions in regard to any of the provisions thereof being violative of the fundamental rights guaranteed to a citizen it is necessary to consider the object of The enactment, and the provisions of the Act The Insecticides Act is primarily intended to regulate the import, manufacture, sale, transport, distribution and use of insecticides with a view to prevent risk to human beings or animals, as stated in the preamble to the Act. With this primary object in view provision is made for matters connected therewith. With the progress of science and the introduction of chemicals and for the accelerated development of agricultural production, the use of insecticides and pesticides has become absolutely indispensable for farmers, the majority of whom have no means of their own to analyse and ascertain the percentage of active ingredients of the various insecticides. They are necessarily guided by the particulars exhibited on the labels, wrappers or other statements on or contained within the package of the particular insecticide Even for those that have the necessary facilities for testing to varify the correctness of the statements contained in such labels, wrappers or packages the process is not merely time consuming and expensive but wholly impracticable. No exception can therefore be taken to the regulation of the trade in insecticides by requiring the importers, manufacturers, sellers and distributors to brand the insecticides correctly. The definition of the 'misbranded' as contained in Section 3(k)(i) is intended to achieve that object. Article 19(1)(f) of the Constitution of India which assures to all citizens the findamental right to acquire, hold and dispose of property and Artcle 19(1)(g) which guarantees the fundamental right to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business is not an absolute right. Clause 5 of Artcle 19 not only saves the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes or prevents the State from making any law imposing reason able restrictions on the exercise of any of the rights conferred by the said subclauses in the interests of the general public but also permits the making of such law. So also Clause (6) of Artcle 19 declares that nothing in Artcle 19(1)(g) shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevents the State from making any law imposing, in the interests of the general public, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub-clause. It is too late in the day to contend that one can import, manufacture, distribute or sell sub-stances like insecticides without any restriction whatsoever and by putting such labels as they think fit, and also to contend that the State has no power even to stop the misbranding of these goods, so as to save the users thereof from being misled into buying them. The definition of misbranded' under the Act merely seeks to protect the buyers and users of insecticides from buying insecticides under a mistaken belief as to their ingredients and to require the importers, manufacturers, distributors and sellers to see what they profess to sell are in fact the sub-stances whose description is mentioned on the labels or packages and not something else or of an inferior quality. The contention that the definition of 'misbranded' contained in Section 3(k)(i) in any way affects any fundamental right of a citizen is wholly misconceived.

13. With a view to see that misbranded insecticides are not distributed or sold and the public interest does not suffer thereby, the Act proceeds to make various provisions as to the constitution of a Central Insecticides Board under Section 4 of the Act and the constitution of a Registration Committee under Section 5 of the Act. The Government is required to constitute a Central Insecticides Board to advise the Central Government and the State Government on technical matters arising out of the administration of this Act and to carry out the other functions assigned to the Board by or under the Act. The board is required to give its advise on matters relating to the risks to human beings or animals involved in the use of insecticides and the safety measures necessary to prevent such risks and the manufacture, sale, storage, transport and distribution of insecticides with a view to ensure safety to human beings or animals. The composition of the Board as stated in Section 4(3) ensures expert's advise being available in this regard. The Registration Committee as envisaged by Section 5 is to be composed of a Chairman and not more then five persons including the Drugs Controller, India and the Plant Protection Adviser to the Government of India. That committee is empowered to register insecticides after scrutinising their formula and verifying claims made by the importer or the manufacturer, as the case may be, as regards their efficacy and safety to human beings and animals. Section 9 provides for registration of insecticides in the following words:

Section 9(1) Any person desiring to import or manufacture any insecticide may apply to the Registration Committee for the registration of such insecticide and there shall be a separate application for each insecticide:

Provided that any person engaged in the business of import or manufacture of any insecticide immediately before the commencement of this section shall make an application to the Registration Committee within a period of six months from the date of such commencement for the registration of any insecticide which he has been importing or manufacturing before that date.

(2) Every application under Sub-section (1) shall be made in such form and contain such particulars as may be prescribed.

(3) On receipt of any such application for the registration of an insecticide, the committee may, after such enquiry as it deems fit and after satisfying itself that the insecticide to which the application relates conforms to the claims made by the importer or by the manufacturer, as the case may be, as regards the efficacy of the insecticide and its safety to human beings and animals, register, on such conditions as may be specified by it and on payment of such fee as may be prescribed, the insecticide, allot a registration number thereto and issue a certificate of registration in token thereof within a period of twelve months from the date of receipt of the application:

Provided that the Committee, may, if it is unable within the said period to arrive at a decision on the basis of the materials placed before it, extend the period by a further period not exceeding six months:

Provided further that if the Committee is of opinion that the precautions claimed by the applicant as being sufficient to ensure safety to human beings or animals are not such as can be easily observed of that notwithstanding the observance of such precautions the use of the insecticide involves serious risk to human beings or animals, it may refuse to register the insecticide.

(3A) In the case of applications received by it prior to the 31st Mar. 1975, notwithstanding the expiry of the period specified in Sub-section (3) for the disposal of such application, it shall be lawful and shall be deemed always to have been lawful for the Registration Committee to dispose of such application at any time after such expiry but within a period of one year from the commencement of the Insecticides (Amendment) Act 1977.

Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall be deemed to make any contravention before the commencement of the Insecticides (Amendment) Act, 1977, of a condition of a certificate of registration granted before such commencement, an offence punishable under this Act.

(3B) Where the Registration Committee is of the opinion that the insecticide is being introduced for the first time in India, it may, pending any enquiry, register it provisionally for a period of two years on such conditions as may be specified by it.

(3C) The Registration Committee may having regard to the efficacy of the insecticide and its safety to human beings and animals, vary the conditions subject to which a certificate of registration has been granted and may for that purpose require the certificate holder by notice in writing to deliver up the certificate to it within such time as may be specified in the notice.

(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, where an insecticide has been registered on the application of any person, any other person, desiring to import or manufacture the insecticide or engaged in the business of, import or manufacture thereof shall on application and on payment of prescribed fee be allotted a registration number and granted a certificate of registration in respect thereof on the same conditions on which the insecticide was originally registered.

It would be seen that the particulars required to be given in the application for registration include the formula for each insecticide. The particulars to be given in each application for registration are to be as indicated in the form prescribed under the Rules. On being satisfied, the Registration Committee will allow the application and allot a registration number and issue a certificate of registraton to the applicant. If the committee is of the opinion that the import or manufacture of any insecticide involves serious risk to human beings or animals or that the precautions taken are not sufficient to prevent such risk it may refuse to register the insecticide. Appeals and revisions against the orders of the Committee are provided under Sections. 10 and 11 of the Act. Any person desiring to manufacture, sell, stock, exhibit for sale or distribute any insecticide is required to obtain a licence by making an application to the Licensing Officer as laid down in Sections. 12, 13 and 14 of the Act. An appeal is provided against the orders of the Licensing Officer refusing, suspending or revoking licence. Section 17 prohibits import and manufacture of misbranded insecticides any insecticide prohibited under Section 17 and any insecticide except in accordance with the conditions of registration and any insecticide in contravention of any provision of the Act. Section 18 prohibits sale, stocking, exhibition for sale, distribution, transport or use of certain insecticides in contravenetion of the provisions of the Act. Power is given to the Central Government and the State Government to prohibit the sale of certain insecticides for reasons of public safety or any specific batch of insecticides wholly or in any particular area, The registration of any insecticide may also be cancelled and notified in the official gazette as laid down in Section 28. Having thus ensured that only such insecticide, the formula of which has been declared and approved by the competent authority not involing any risk for human beings or animals is imported, manufactured, stored, distributed or sold, the Parliament has proceeded to ensure that only registered insecticide is imported manufactured and sold in accordance with the registration certificates from time to time. To keep an effective check upon any misbranded insecticides being imported, manufactured, stored, distributed or sold, further machinery is set up and measures are taken. A Central Insecticides Laboratory under the control of a Director was required to be set up by the Central Government under Section 16 of the Act to carry out the functions entrusted to it by or under the Act. The Central Insecticides Laboratory, among others, is required to conduct tests when a sample is sent to it under Section 24(4) of the Act and submit its report. The Act requires Insecticide Analyst to be appointed for the purposes, among others, to analyse the composition of any insecticide or the sample of insecticide. Section 20 of the Act empowers the Central Government and the State Government to appoint persons possessing the necessary technical and other qualifications, as may be prescribed under the Rules as Insecticide Inspectors.

14. The Insecticide Inspectors are vested with the power to enter premises, examine records and take samples from any premises or persons in the following words:

Section 21. Powers of Insecticide Inspectors.-

(1) An Insecticide Inspector shall have power-

(a) to enter and search, at all reasonable times and with such assistance, if any, as he considers necessary, any premises in which he has reason to believe that an offence under this Act or the rules made thereunder has been or is being or is about to be committed, or for the purpose of satisfying himself that the provisions of this Act or the rules made thereunder or the conditions of any certificate of registration or licence issued thereunder are being complied with;

(b) to require the production of, and to inspect, examine and make copies of, or take extracts from, registers, records or other documents kept by a manufacturer, distributor, carrier, dealer or any other person in pursuance of the provisions of this Act or the rules made thereunder and seize the same, if he has reason to believe that all or any of them, may furnish evidence of the commission of an offence punishable under this Act or the rules made thereunder;

(c) to make such examination and inquiry as he thinks fit in order to ascertain whether the provisions of this Act or the rules made thereunder are being complied with and for that purpose stop any vehicle;

(d) to stop the distribution, sale or use of an insecticide which he has reason to believe is being distributed, sold or used in contravention of the provisions of this Act or the rules made thereunder, for a specified period not exceeding twenty days, or unless the alleged contravention is such that the defect may be removed by the possessor of the insecticide, seize the stock of such insecticide;

(e) to take samples of any insecticide and send such samples for analysis to the Insecticide Analyst for test in the prescribed manner; and

(f) to exercise such other powers as may be necessary for carrying out the purposes of this Act or the rules made thereunder.

(2) The Provisions of the Cr.P.C. 1973, shall, as far as may be, apply to any search or seizure under this Act as they apply to any search or seizure made under the authority of a warrant issued under Section 94 of the said Code.

(3) An Insecticide Inspector may exercise the powers of a police officer under Section 42 of the Cr.P.C. 1973, for the purpose of ascertaining the true name and residence of the person from whom a sample is taken or an insecticide is seized.

Procedure to be followed by Insecticide Inspectors:(1) Where an Insecticide Inspector seizes any record, register or document under Clause (b) of Sub-section (1) of Section 21, he shall, as soon as may be inform a Magistrate and take his orders as to the custody thereof.(2) Where an Insecticide Inspector takes any action under Clause (d) of Sub-section (1) of Section 21,-(a) he shall use all despatch in ascertaining whether or not the insecticide or its sale, distribution or use contravenes any of the provisions of Section 18 and if it is ascertained that the insecticide or its sale, distribution or use does not so contravene, forthwith revoke the order passed under the said clause or, as the case may be, take such action as may be necessary for the return of the stock seized;(b) if he seizes the stock of the insecticide, he shall, as soon as may be, inform a Magistrate and take his orders as to the custody thereof.(c) without prejudice to the institution of any prosecution, if the alleged contravention be such that the defect may be remedied by the possessor of the insecticide, he shall, on being satisfied that the defect has been so remedied, forthwith revoke his order and in case where the Insecticide Inspector has seized the stock of insecticide, he shall, as soon as may be, inform a Magistrate and obtain his orders as to the release thereof;(3) Where an Insecticide Inspector takes any sample of an insecticide, he shall tender the fair price thereof and may require a written acknowledgement thereof.(4) Where the price tendered under Sub-section (3) is refused, or where the Insecticide Inspector seizes the stock of any insecticide under Clause (d) of Sub-section (1) of Section 21, he shall tender a receipt thereof in the prescribed form,(5) Where an Insecticide Inspector takes a sample of an insecticide for the purpose of test or analysis, he shall intimate such purpose in writing in the prescribed form to the person from whom he takes it and, in the presence of such person, unless he wilfully absents himself, shall divide the sample into three portions and effectively seal and suitably mark the same and permit such person to add his own seal and mark to all or any of the portions so sealed and marked:Provided that where the insecticide is made up in containers of small volume, instead of dividing a sample as aforesaid, the Insecticide Inspector may, and if the insecticide be such that it is likely to deteriorate or be otherwise damaged by exposure shall, take three of the said containers after suitably marking the same and, where necessary, sealing them.(6) The Insecticide Inspector shall restore one portion of a sample so divided of one container as the case may be, to the person from whom he takes it and shall retain the remainder and dispose of the same as follows:(i) one portion or container, he shall forthwith send to the Insecticide Analyst for test or analysis; and(ii) the second, he shall produce to the court before which proceedings, if any, are instituted in respect of the insecticide,

Persons in charge of the premises where any insecticide is being manufactured or kept for sale or distribution, as required under Section 23 should disclose the place on being required by the Insecticide Inspector. Section 29 of the Act declares the offences and punishment for offences under the Act. The punishments are for acts done in contravention of the Act or omitted to be done in compliance of the Act. However the Act does not envisage prosecution for every contravention. To ensure the same Section 31 of the Act declares that no prosecution shall be launched without the consent of the State Government. From the various provisions of the Act referred to above, it would be clear that the main object of the enactment is to ensure that insecticides conform to the formula given by the importer or manufacturer at the time of registration and that the users of the insecticides are ensured supply of insecticides of standard quality approved under the registration certificate and persons engaged in the said business of import, manufacture, storage, distribution and sale conform to the provisions of the Act on pain of being prosecuted and punished. The sample of insecticides whether taken from the importer, manufacturer, stockist, distributor or dealer must conform to the formula which is registered when granting the registration certificate. The person from whom the sample is taken, in offering the particular insecticide for sale, is holding out that it contains the ingredients mentioned on the label or package as the case may be.

15. The Analyst's report in respect of that sample is prima facie conclusive as laid down in Section 24(2). Even while declaring such a report to be conclusive a statutory right is given to question its correctness by sending the sample given to him for being tested at the Central Insecticides Laboratory. Unless it is shown to be wrong upon an analysis by the Central Insecticides Laboratory the Analyst's Report shall be conclusive, against the person from whom the sample is taken. What Section 24(3) declares is that the report of the Insecticide Analyst 'shall be evidence of the facts stated therein, and such evidence shall be conclusive...'. In other words what is conclusive is that the sample taken from a particular individual contains a particular percentage of active ingredient, that it conforms or does not conform to the registered formula and that the variation is within or beyond the permissible limits. It is not by itself conclusive of the fact that the person from whom the sample is taken is guilty of contravention. May be, a person may contend, as now contended by Mr. S. Ramachandrarao, the learned Counsel for the petitioners in W. P. Nos. 753/79, 5512/79, 5981/79 and 6211/79 that in view of the warranty and indemnity given to them by the manufacturers, they have sold in good faith the insecticides with the seals of the packages intact and they are not liable. There may be other defences open. But so far as the Analyst's report goes that the ingredients of a particular sample are as stated in the report cannot be disputed. Section 24(3) and (4) do not lay down that the other ingredients that may be necessary to establish the contravention of the provisions of the Act by any individual against whom the prosecution is launched under Section 29 read with the other provisions of the Act, are also conclusively established by the Analyst's report. In fact the defences which may or may not be allowed in prosecutions under this Act are laid down under Section 30 in the following words;-

Section 30. Defences which may or may not be allowed in prosecutions under this Act.-

(1) Save as hereinafter provided in this section it shall be no defence in a prosecution under this Act to prove merely that the accused was ignorant of the nature or quality of the insecticide in respect of which the offence was committed or of the risk involved in the manufacture, sale or use of such insecticide or of the circumstances of its manufacture or import.

(2) For the purposes of Section 17, an insecticide shall not be deemed to be misbranded only by reason of the fact that-

(a) there has been added thereto some innocuous sub-stance or ingredient because the same is required for the manufacture or the preparation of the insecticide as an article of commerce in a state fit for carriage or consumption, and not to increase the bulk, weight or measure of the insecticide or to conceal its inferior quality or other defect; or

(b) in the process of manufacture, preparation or conveyance some extraneous sub-stance has unavoidably become intermixed with it.

(3) A person not being an importer or a manufacturer of an insecticide or his agent for the distribution thereof, shall not be liable for a contravention of any provisions of this Act, if he proves-

(a) that he acquired the insecticide from an importer or a duly licensed manufacturer, distributor or dealer thereof;

(b) that he did not know and could not, with reasonable diligence, have ascertained that the insecticide in any way contravened any provision of this Act; and

(c) that the insecticide, while in his possession, was properly stored and remained in the same state as and when he acquired it.

May be a sample of insecticide is drawn from a dealer but on the basis of the Analyst's report in respect of that sample the distributor or manufacturer also may be prosecuted. But then the distributor or manufacturer may establish that was not the product distributed or manufactured by them or that the composition of that particular insecticide was not the same as was manufactured or distributed by them or that its composition changed! after it was manufactured or distributed. Such defences are not shut out under Section 24. We do not see how the failure to give a sample to the manufacturer or distributor from whom the sample of insecticide may not have been drawn is prejudiced thereby, and how the principles of natural justice could be said to have been violated if any inference is drawn on the basis of such a report. So far as Sub-section (3) of Section 24 is concerned it merely states that the report of the Analyst 'shall be evidence of the facts stated therein and the facts stated therein relate to the particular sample of insecticide.' Further from the provisions referred to above it is clear that when a sample of insecticide is taken by the Insecticide Inspector the sample is divided into three portions, each such portion is effectively sealed and suitably marked as laid down in Section 25 with the seal and mark of the person from whom the sample is taken. One such sealed container is given to the person from whom it is taken, one sent to the Insecticide Analyst forthwith for test or analysis and another sent to the court before which proceedings, if any, are instituted in respect of the insecticide. Under Sub-section (4) of Section 24, the Court may in its discretion and shall at the request of the accused, send the sample produced before the Magistrate for test or analysis by the Central Insecticides Laboratory. In such a case the report of the said test or analysis shall be conclusive evidence of the facts therein. In other words the report of the test or analysis of the Central Insecticides laboratory made under Sub-section (4) of Section 24 displaces the report referred to in Sub-section (3) of Section 24. This opportunity to rebut the report is provided under the Act to all persons who are sought to be prosecuted on the basis of the report of the Insecticide Analyst's report with regard to the sample of insecticide taken by the Insecticide Inspector under Section 22 of the Act. While the report may be conclusive of the facts stated therein, both against the person from whom the sample is drawn as well as the persons who are sought to be prosecuted on the basis of that report both have an opportunity to rebut the report of the Insecticide Analyst in the case of the former by sending the sample in the possession of the person from whom the sample is drawn and in other cases by sending the sample deposited with the Magistrate, for analysis by and report of the Central Insecticides Laboratory. Thus defence is open to all those that are likely to be prosecuted on the strength of an Analyst's report in respect of a sample not taken from them, to question its correctness by requiring the Court to send the sample deposited with it for analysis by the Central Laboratory. In our opinion no principle of natural justice is violated in making the Analyst's Report conclusive, where the accused does not choose to avail of this statutory right. The preliminary facts which prima facie disclose a contravention of the provisions of the Act, must necessarily be gathered before launching a prosecution and must be established before any inference conclusive or otherwise is drawn by the court. In our opinion there is no discrimination between the person from whom the sample is drawn and the other persons who are sought to be proceeded against on the basis of the same report as both are given an opportunity of rebutting the correctness of the Analyst's Report. The inference against the person from whom the sample is drawn may be stronger and the defences open to him may be different or fewer then the defences that may be open to person other then those from whom the samples are drawn but are sought to be made liable. that apart these persons fall into two different categories. In our opinion any contention that the procedure laid down in Sections. 22 and 24 of the Act makes an invidious discrimination violative of the fundamental right guaranteed to every citizen to be treated equally before law, is wholly unsustainable and misconceived. These other persons from whom the sample is not taken cannot insist upon being given a sample and cannot complain of any discrimination vis-a-vis the person from whom the sample is drawn. This contention of the petitioners therefore fails and is accordingly rejected.

16. It was next contended that the provisions of the Act in making the report of the Insecticide Analyst conclusive, vest an arbitrary power in the State and deprive the accused of his right to prove his innocence. It was further contended that Section 30 not merely excluded mens rea but holds the accused guilty and practically shuts out all other defences to establish his innocence. Mr. S. Ramachandrarao, the learned Counsel for the petitioners contended that it was virtually a Bill of pains and Pleasures, and a Bill of Attainder. This contention is based on an assumption not warranted on the terms of Section 30 or under the terms of any other provision of the Act.

17. Section 24 of the Insecticides Act declares that the report of the Insecticide Analyst shall be evidence of the facts stated therein and such evidence shall be conclusive. It should be noticed that provision does not declare that the evidence is conclusive of the guilt of the accused, it merely declares that it is conclusive evidence of the facts stated therein. In other words it is a rule of evidence. If the sample is taken from 'A' and the report is obtained in respect of such sample in view of Section 24(3) what all can be held proved unless rebutted in the manner mentioned in Sub-section (3) or Sub-section (4) of the report is that that particular sample contained ingredients as stated in the Analyst's report and any assertion that it contained the percentage of ingredients as stated in the lable or package cannot be accepted. As against a person from whom the sample is drawn this report itself may go a long way to establish the guilt of that person. In the case of persons from whom the sample is not drawn but against whom the offence is sought to be proved in a court of law, that other person may yet plead that that sample was not drawn from the insecticide manufactured, imported or distributed or sold by him, as the case may be, While if the person from whom the sample is drawn is an importer, manufacturer, distributor or dealer he would not be in a position to assert that it was not drawn from him. Other persons may be in a position to dispute the fact that they are in any way concerned with that sample. that is not barred by Section 24 or Section 30 of the Insecticides Act which declares what defences may or may not be allowed in prosecutions under the Act. To declare that certain evidence with regard to a particular fact shall be conclusive in certain circumstances and may be rebutted only in a particular manner, even though that may form an essential ingredient of an offence cannot be equated with declaring a person guilty or declaring that the evidence itself is sufficient to hold him guilty. Section 24 of the Act merely declares certain preliminary facts as prima facie established and sufficient for launching a prosecution or for calling upon the person prosecuted to prove his innocence. It only raises presumption as to one of the ingredients of the offence which presumption is rebuttable; it does not enact finding of guilt. Black's Law Dictionary describes 'Bill of Attainder' thus:

A legislative act, directed against a designated person pronouncing him guilty of an alleged crime, (usually treason), without trial or conviction according to the recognized rules of procedure, and passing sentence of death and attainder upon. him.

'Bills of attainder', as they are technically called, are such special acts of the legislature as inflict capital punishment upon persons supposed to be guilty of high offences, such as treason and felony, without any conviction in the ordinary course of judicial proceedings. If an act inflicts a milder degree of punishment then death, it is called a Bill of Pains and Penalties.

Bill of Pains and Penalties' is described as a special act of the legislature which inflicts a punishment, less then death, upon persons supposed to be guilty of treason or felony, without any conviction in the ordinary course of judicial proceedings.

It differs from a bill of attainder in this: that the punishment inflicted by the latter is death.

18. Section 24 of the Act does not declare any individual; nor does the report received under Section 24 of the Act declare the person from whom the sample is drawn, guilty. This provision does not amount to declaring a person guilty by legislation itself. The contention of Mr. S. Ramachandrarao learned Counsel for the petitioner that such a provision constitutes 'Bill of Attainder' or a Bill of Pains and Penalties' is not merely as gross exaggeration, but a misnomer.

19. A similar provision contained in Section 4(2) of the Madras Prohibition Act came up for consideration before the Supreme Court in the decision reported in A.S. Krishna v. Madras State : 1957CriLJ409 . Section 4(2) of the Madras Prohibition Act declares that a presumption shall be drawn until the contrary is shown that a person accused of any offence under Section 4(1) of the Act has committed such an offence if he is in possession of the premises where liquor or intoxicating drug or any material ordinarily used in tapping of toddy or the manufacture of liquor or intoxicating drug is found. The Supreme Court dismissing the appeals held that such a provision does not offend the requirements as to equality before law or the equal protection of laws, The presumptions enacted therein have to be raised against all persons against whom the facts mentioned therein are established. The Supreme Court also pointed out that the law in America is that the power of Legislature to prescribe rules of evidence is limited by the due process clause and that the Legislature may establish rebuttable presumptions only if there is a rational connection between what is proved and what is permitted to be inferred from them. The Supreme Court expressed a doubt whether 'the American Law which would thus appear to be based on due process-clause can have application under the Indian Constitution'. Even so, it held that on the application of the due process clause the presumptions laid down in Section 4(2) cannot be struck down as denying equal protection and therefore unconstitutional and a reference to American authorities clearly shows that the presumptions of the kind enacted in Section 4(2) have been upheld as reasonable and not hit by the due process or equal protection clause. The Supreme Court also repelled the contention that there is not reasonable relation between the presumption under Section 4(2) and the offence and observed that it is based on a misreading of the Section.

20. If that be the position with respect to intoxicating liquors and drugs, any presumption as to the report of the Analyst as is mentioned in Section 24 with respect to insecticides, the use of which is found to be risky to human beings and animals, it cannot be termed as so unreasonable as to be violative of Artcle 14 or any fundamental right to carry on business or the fundamental right guaranteed under Artcle 20 of the Constitution.

21. In the decision reported in A.P. Grain and Seed Merchants Association v. Union of India : 1971CriLJ1556 the Supreme Court while dealing with the provisions of Section 16(1)(a) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act held that 'a statute enacted in the interest of public health and which imposes liability for an offence without proof of a guilty mind does not by itself impose unreasonable restrictions on the right to carry on trade. Imposition of such absolute restrictions cannot be deemed as unreasonable where the severity of penalties is not disproportionate to the object of the statute of ensuring protection of the public health.' The Supreme Court also declared that 'the Act deals with the regulation of a class of traders, and in view of the widespread malpractices and the practical difficulties of controlling those malpractices, stringent provisions have been made by the Act. The classification is founded on an intelligible differentia and the differentia has a rational relation to the object sought to be achieved. The provisions of the Act again do not invest arbitrary authority upon those who are to administer the Act, nor can it be said that the standards prescribed are arbitrary.' Dealing with the question that Section 13(5) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act which attributes conclusiveness to the certificate of the Director of Central Food Laboratory as being violative of Artcle 20(3) of the Constitution, the Supreme Court declared that 'by enacting that a plea by the vendor in a prosecution for an offence pertaining to sale of adulterated or misbrunded article of food, that he was ignorant of the nature, sub-stance or quality will not be a defence, the guarantee under Artcle 20(3) is not infringed. The vendor when charged with an offence is not thereby compelled to be a witness against himself. Nor can it be said that by making the report of the Director of Central Food Laboratory conclusive evidence of the facts stated therein, any such infringement is intended. The provision has been made with a view to secure formal evidence of facts without requiring the Director to remain present and in the interest of effective administration of the Act, the certificate signed by the Director of the Central Food Laboratory is made final and conclusive evidence of the facts stated therein. The Director is a highly placed official, an expert in determining the nature, sub-stance and quality of food, and is wholly disinterested in the result of any case coming before the Courts, It is difficult to appreciate how conclusiveness attributed to the certificate of the Director compels the vendor charged with an offence under the Act to be a witness against himself.

22. It is also incorrect to contend that| drawing of such an inference or declaring what is contained in the report of the Analyst to be conclusive offends the principles of natural justice. The person from whom it is drawn can rebut the report by requesting the court to send the sample given to him by the Insecticides Inspector while drawing the sample. The person against whom the prosecution is launched on the basis of the Insecticide Analyst as discussed above, has also an opportunity to request the court before whom the prosecution is pending to send the sample deposited with the court for the report of the Central Insecticides Laboratory, no principles of natural justice is violated by the rule of evidence enunciated in Section 24(3) or Section 24(4) of the Act. What is provided to all accused under Section 24(4) of the Act is the same as provided to a person from whom the sample is drawn under Section 24(3) of that Act. The Gujarat High Court in Mohanlal v. Vipanchandra : AIR1962Guj44 while dealing with. Section 13(5) of the Prevention of Food! Adulteration Act held that 'the finality. attaches to what is contained in the report, but whether the person against whom the prosecution is launched is guilty or not is yet to be found by the Court.' We are, therefore, unable to uphold the contention of the petitioners, that Section 24(3) is in any way violative of any principles of natural justice or any of the fundamental rights guaranteed to the petitioners.

23. It was next contended that Section 30(1) of the Insecticides Act which declares what defences may or may not be allowed in prosecutions under the Act is also-violative of the fundamental rights, Section 30(1) of the Insecticides Act reads as follows:

Section 30(1): Save as hereinafter provided in this section it shall be no defence in a prosecution under this Act to prove merely that the accused was, ignorant of the nature or quality of the insecticide in respect of which the offence was committed or of the risk involved in the manufacture, sale or use of such insecticide or of the circumstances of its manufacture or import.

It must be home in mind that before any insecticides mentioned in the Schedule-appended to the Act is imported of manufactured, it has to be registered and a certificate obtained from the competent authority, For obtaining a certificate of registration, the necessary for mula employed in the preparation of the particular insecticide has to be lodged with the authority concerned. Thus a person dealing with insecticides either as an importer, manufacturer, distributor or seller is fully aware or has means to know what the ingredients of a particular insecticide ought to be. A person dealing in insecticides which involve a grave risk to human beings and animals, is expected to ascertain if the insecticides are misbranded. It is no defence that an accused was ignorant of the nature or quality of the insecticide or of the risk involved in the manufacture, sale or use of such insecticide or of the circumstances of its manufacture or import. Sub-section (3) of Section 30 of the Insecticides Act, however, declares that persons other then an importer or a manufacturer of an insecticide or his agent for the distribution thereof, shall not be liable for a contravention of any provision of this Act, if he proves any of the facts mentioned in sub-cls. (a), (b) and (c) thereof. If in these circumstances absolute liability is imposed on such persons it cannot be termed as unreasonable. In not requiring mens rea to be proved in respect of contravention under the Act by declaring what defences may or may not be open to an accused, the Legislature is only taking necessary precautions to strictly enforce compliance of the Act and ensure safety to human beings and animals. Mens rea is excluded only with regard to those who are already aware of the composition of the insecticides as a consequence of the registration. Provision enacting imposition of strict liability without proof of mens rea have been upheld by the Supreme Court in the decision reported in A.P. Grain and Seed Merchants Association v. Union of India (cited as No. 2) 1971 Cri LJ 1556 in the following terms:

It is true that for the protection of the liberty of the citizen, in the definition of offences blameworthy mental condition is ordinarily an ingredient either by express enactment or clear implication; but in Acts enacted to deal with a grave social evil, or for ensuring public welfare, especially in offences against public health, e. g. statutes regulating storage or sale of articles of food and drinks, sale of drugs, sale of controlled or scarce commodities, it is often found necessary in the larger public interest to provide for imposition of liability without proof of a guilty mind. If from the scheme of the Act it appears that compliance with the regulatory provisions will be promoted by imposing an absolute liability, and that it cannot otherwise be reasonably ensured, the Court will be justified in holding that the restriction on the right of the trader is in the interest of the general public. Adulteration and misbranding of foodstuffs is a rampant evil and a statute calculated to control that evil is indisputably in the interest of the general public. The Statute imposing restrictions upon traders will not be deemed unreasonable merely because it makes a departure from the normal structure of statutes enunciating offences and prescribing punishments. By Sub-section (2) of Section 19, even in respect of the absolute offence, the Parliament has enacted that on proof of certain facts, criminal liability will be excluded. The same is the position here under Sub-section (3) of Section 30 of the Insecticides Act. Dealing with Section 19(2) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, the Supreme Court observed therein that 'the Act does not dispense with proof that the article of food is adulterated, misbranded or that its sale is prohibited. It enacts that a vendor selling articles of food adulterated or misbranded cannot plead merely that he was ignorant of the nature, sub-stance or quality of the goods. A statute enacted by the Parliament in the interest of public health (which is generally made in similar statutes elsewhere) imposing liability for an offence without proof of a guilty mind does not per se impose restrictions on the freedom to carrv on trade which are unreasonable.' Similar is the provision in Section 30 of the Insecticides Act.

24. We have, therefore, no hesitation in rejecting the petitioners contention that Section 30 of the Insecticides Act infringes, the fundamental rights guaranteed to a citizen under Articles 14, 19(1)(f) and 21 of the Constitution.

25. Lastly it was contended that Section 33 of the Insecticides Act declares that every person responsible to the company, ' for the conduct of the business of the Company, shall be liable to be proceeded against in respect of any offence under the Act. Section 33(1) of the Insecticides Act reads as follows:

Section 33(1): Whenever an offence under this Act has been committed by a company, every person who at the time the offence was committed was in charge of, or was responsible to the company for the conduct of the business of, the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

It is argued that the persons in charge of the conduct of the business of the company when the sample of allegedly misbranded insecticide is taken cannot be held liable for they may not be the same persons who were in charge of the company when the offending insecticide was manufactured and hence the provision in so far as it makes them liable is unreasonable and violative of the fundamental right guaranteed to a citizen under Article 19(1)(f) and Article 14 of the Constitution. This contention is again based upon a misapprehension. Invariable insecticides are manufactured by firms or companies and distributed by large concerns and not necessarily by individuals. Section Section 3 of the Insecticides Act merely specifies the persons who would be liable to be proceeded against for the contravention under the Act if the offence is committed by the Company. It is not one and all connected with the company but only those that are 'responsible to the company for the conduct of the business of the company that shall be liable.' Even there, the proviso declares that if that person proves 'that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence, that would be an effective defence.' As discussed above, this provision also does not hold the person guilty but only specifies the person who is to be proceeded against for the offence. It has yet to be established that the insecticide in question is misbranded that the person proceeded against was responsible for conduct of the business of the company and further that the offence was committed without his knowledge or in spite of his exercising all due diligence to prevent the commission of offence. That would be sufficient to exonerate him.

26. In Ramanlal Chimanlal v. State : (1967)ILLJ447Guj the Gujarat High Court while dealing with Section 92 of the Factories Act which renders the occupier or the manager of the factory liable for the contravention of the provisions of the Factories Act by the Company held that 'Section 92 is a perfectly valid piece of legislation in so far as it makes the occupier and manager of a factory guilty of an offence for contravention of any of the provisions of the Act or the rules, even though the actual contravention may not be by the occupier or the manager and the contravention may have occurred without the know ledge, consent or connivance of the occupier or manager and this must be so. for otherwise the object and purpose of the regulatory provisions contained in the Act and the rules would be defeated. There is nothing unreasonable in the occupier and the manager of the factory being made responsible for the observance of the provisions of the Act and the rules and providing that they shall be guilty of an offence if there is contravention of any of those provisions. Only by such provision it would be possible to effectively enforce the provisions of the Act and the rules.' Section 33 of the Insecticides Act imposes no more additional liability on the persons in charge of the business of the company then it imposed on any person who conducts his own business. As the persons responsible for the conduct of the business of the company they must bear the responsibility for any act or omission which constitutes a contravention of the provisions of the Insecticides Act. A person in charge of the conduct of the business of a company engaged in import manufacture, distribution or sale of insecticides which involves risk to human beings and animals must take the additional responsibility of seeing that there is no contravention of the provisions of the Act on pain of being prosecuted and convicted for the offence. These provisions also in our view, for the reasons already discussed, do not infringe any of the fundamental rights guaranteed to a citizen. that provision merely holds the persons responsible for conduct of the business of the company liable in the case of the offences committed by the company, for a company is a juristic person whose affairs have to be conducted by a natural person.

27. In the result we do not see any merit in these writ petitions. They are accordingly dismissed with costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 150/-. in each.


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