Madhusudan Rao, J.
1. This appeal by the State is directed against the order of acquittal recorded by the learned Additional Munsif Magistrate, Tenali in C.C.No. 108/75 on the file of his court. The respondent-accused was tried for an offence punishable Under Section 16(1)(b) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act and was acquitted.
2. The brief and undisputed facts of the case are : On 22-5-1975 at about 8. a. m. the Food Inspector Tenali (P. W. 1) found the accused in Anjaneyapantulu Street carrying milk in Bindi (M. O. 1) tied to a cycle (M. O. 2). The Food Inspector (P. W. 1) stopped the accused and asked him to give a sample of the milk for analysis suspecting that the milk was adulterated. Saying that he was taking the milk not as a seller but only as a carrier employed for the purpose of carrying milk, the accused refused to give a sample of the milk. The accused stated that he was employed by the proprietor of the Ganesh Meals Hotel for bringing the milk daily from a different village and that he was being paid a monthly salary of Rs. 90/-for the purpose of bringing the milk from the nearby village. The Food Inspector (P. W. 1) thereupon seized the brass Bindi M. O. 1 containing milk of 12 litres and the cycle (M. O. 2) in the presence of P. Ws. 2 and 3. He filed a complaint against the accused for an offence punishable Under Section 16(1)(b) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (which will hereinafter be referred to as the Act.)
3. The simple question for consideration in this appeal is whether, under the circumstances stated by the prosecution, the accused can be deemed to have prevented the Food Inspector from taking a sample of the suspected milk. Relying on the observations of this Court in Public Prosecutor v. Doredla Ramayya (1972) 2 A-P. LJ 64 : 1973 Cri LJ 506 the learned Additional Public Prosecutor, contends that the word 'prevents' in Section 16(1)(b) of the Act should not be construed so as to imply the use of any physical force. It is argued that by refusing to give the sample, the accused has prevented the Food Inspector from taking the sample.
4. No doubt, 'prevention' does not necessarily mean obstruction by the use of force. A positive action in the form of physical obstruction, threat or assault may not be necessary to constitute an act of prevention. The Concise Oxford Dictionary gives the meaning of 'prevent' as 'hinder ; stop.' It is stated in the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary that 'prevent' means 'to act in anticipation of or in preparation for a future event ; to forestall ; balk, or baffle by previous measures ; to stop, keep, or hinder from doing something ; to frustrate, defeat, bring to nought an expectation, plan etc.' Preventing a Food Inspector from taking a sample means, the doing of some act by which it becomes impossible for the Food Inspector to take a sample, A mere verbal refusal to give the sample without anything more but leaving the Food Inspector to act as he liked and not thereby forestalling the Food Inspector from taking the sample if he chose to, does not tantamount to preventing the Food Inspector from taking a sample. The word 'prevent' connotes some positive or negative volitious act or omission on the part of the accused so as to effectively stop or hinder the Food Inspector from taking the sample. In Public Prosecutor v. Doredla Ramayya 1973 Cri LJ 506 (Andh Pra) the accused 1 and 2 not only verbally refused to give the sample but the second accused at the instance of the first accused locked the shop and both the accused left the place thereby effectively preventing the Food Inspector from taking a sample of the Food which was in the shop. In the instant case, the Food Inspector actually seized the Bindi containing the milk. He has also seized the cycle to which the Bindi was tied. The oral expression of the accused's unwillingness to give a sample of the milk could not and in fact did not in any way deter the Food Inspector from taking a sample of the milk in accordance with the Rules. There is nothing to show from the evidence available on record that the Food Inspector made any attempt to take a sample and the accused thwarted that attempt. The order of acquittal recorded by the lower Court is eminently justified and this appeal is therefore dismissed.