1. The State has preferred this appeal against the acquittal of the accused who was charged under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act for having adulterated the Chilly Powder.
2. It is not necessary to state the facts in this case. The trial court acquitted the accused on the ground that P.W. 1 who is stated to be the Food Inspector did not have the necessary qualifications as envisaged in Rule 8 of the Rules framed under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act. The learned Additional Public Prosecutor contends that the trial Court fell into error in acquitting the accused simply because P.W. 1 did not have the necessary qualification to be a Food Inspector, because when once the court has taken cognizance of the offence under Section 20 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, the qualifications of the Food Inspector are not material because the prosecution was launched on the basis of the Public Analyst's report which states that the sample that was sent to him was adulterated, I regret, I cannot accede to this contention of the learned Additional Public Prosecutor for the simple reason that Section 20 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act postulates the filing of a complaint by a person who is duly authorised by the Central Government or State Government or a local authority. Simply because the court took cognizance of the case on the basis of the complaint filed by the person authorised under Section 20 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, it does not mean that the accused has to be convicted on the basis of the report of the Public Analyst, which would be an irregular one.
The probative value that has to be given to the report of the Public Analyst under subsection (5) of Section 18 of the said Act, which provides that 'any document purporting to be a report signed by a Public Analyst unless it has been superseded under Subsection (3) may be used as evidence of the facts stated therein in any proceeding under this Act', will lose its force when that report is obtained on the basis of samples which were taken by a person not coming within the ambit of the expression 'Food Inspector'. In order that the probative value given to the report of the Public Analyst is to be maintained the Food Inspector should possess the necessary qualifications under the rules and the samples will have to be taken in conformity with the provisions of the Act, and rules, and when the person taking the samples is not a Food Inspector, then the report given by the public analyst cannot have any evidentiary value. Therefore, to my mind, the lower court was correct in acquitting the accused. Hence there is no substance in this appeal It is therefore dismissed.