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Gyanendra Nath Mittal Vs. Damodhar Bhatt - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Revision No. 647 of 1955
Judge
Reported inAIR1958All163; 1958CriLJ312
ActsDrugs Act, 1940 - Sections 33(1); Uttar Pradesh Drugs Rules - Rules 49 and 51(7); Indian Penal Code (IPC) - Sections 456; Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1898 - Sections 197
AppellantGyanendra Nath Mittal
RespondentDamodhar Bhatt
Appellant AdvocateS.C. Khare, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateS.C. Asthana, Adv.
DispositionRevision allowed
Excerpt:
.....of drugs act, 1940 and rule 49 proviso 3 of u.p. drug rules - whether search can be conducted by inspector - rule making power of government is inconsistent with purpose - appointment of inspector made under said rules - search not conducted in accordance with law - prosecution can be done without any necessary sanction. - - the first is that the notification appointing the district medical officers of health ex officio inspectors under the drugs act (act xxiii of 1940), is bad as it makes no reference to those persons satisfying the requirements laid down in rule 49 framed by the provincial government. 1148 of 1950 (all) (a). that case does not apply to the present case as there the inspector appointed was for the inspection of both wholesale and retail shops as well, and rule 49..........of which by that particular inspector, there was no evidence on the record. the appointment of dr. bhatt for the purposes of inspection of retail shops comes under the 3rd proviso to rule 49, which has provided further that for the purposes of inspection of retail shops in any specified area any officer of the medical or pubjic health department who is a registered medical practitioner or a graduate in science may be appointed an ex officio inspector. dr. bhatt is an officer of the public health department and is also a registered medical practitioner. his appointment as ex officio inspector for the purposes of inspecting retail shops is justified by rule 49. 4. the second point urged for the applicant is that as an inspector for the purposes of inspecting retail shops dr. bhatt could.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Raghubar Dayal, J.

1. This is a revision by Gyanendra Nath Mittal against the dismissal of his complaint under Sections 456 and 504, I. P. C., against Sri Damodar Bhatt, District Medical Officer of Health, Pauri, on the ground that it was not maintainable for want of sanction under Section 197, Cr. P. C.

2. The opposite party was the District Medical Officer of Health at Pauri. Under a notification of the local Government all Medical Officers of Health were appointed ex officio Inspectors for the purpose of inspection of retail shops in their respective jurisdiction. The applicant held a licence for the sale of drugs other than poisonous upto 7-8-1953 when it was cancelled by the opposite party.

It is alleged that on 21-8-1953, Dr. Bhatt entered the house of the applicant for the purpose of searching it in spite of the protest of the applicant and abused him during the course of the search. The applicant filed the complaint against Dr. Bhatt with respect to committing the offences under Sections 456 and 504, I. P. C.

3. Three points have been raised for the applicant. The first is that the notification appointing the District Medical Officers of Health ex officio Inspectors under the Drugs Act (Act XXIII of 1940), is bad as it makes no reference to those persons satisfying the requirements laid down in Rule 49 framed by the Provincial Government.

Reliance is placed on the judgment in Govt. Appeal No. 1148 of 1950 (All) (A). That case does not apply to the present case as there the Inspector appointed was for the inspection of both wholesale and retail shops as well, and Rule 49 contemplates a set of qualifications about the possession of which by that particular Inspector, there was no evidence on the record.

The appointment of Dr. Bhatt for the purposes of inspection of retail shops comes under the 3rd proviso to Rule 49, which has provided further that for the purposes of inspection of retail shops in any specified area any officer of the medical or pubjic health department who is a registered medical practitioner or a graduate in science may be appointed an ex officio Inspector. Dr. Bhatt is an officer of the public health department and is also a registered medical practitioner. His appointment as ex officio Inspector for the purposes of inspecting retail shops is justified by Rule 49.

4. The second point urged for the applicant is that as an Inspector for the purposes of inspecting retail shops Dr. Bhatt could not have taken search of his house. It is urged that he could have simply inspected his retail shop. The contention would appear to be correct if attention be paid to the expression 'for the purposes of inspecting retail shops' used in the notification appointing Medical Officers of Health ex officio Inspectors.

This expression means that he could just carry out inspections of retail shops. There is, however, Rule 51 which lays down the duties of the Inspectors authorised for inspection of premises licensed for sale. Sub-rule (7) is that subject to the instructions of the controlling authority, it shall be the duly of an Inspector authorised to inspect premises licensed for the sale of drugs to make such enquiries and inspections as may be necessary to detect the sale of drugs in contravention of the Act.

Thus it appears that the duties entrusted to the Inspectors conveniently called 'Inspectors lor the purpose of inspection of retail shops' cover a wider range than mere inspection of retail shops. Dr. Bhatt could, therefore, search any premises in order to detect any sale of drugs in contravention of the Act. Ostensibly he conducted the search of the applicant's house for such a purpose.

5. The third contention raised is that the alleged abusing by Dr. Bhatt could not have been in the discharge of his duties. This contention is sound and is not disputed for the State. The case against Dr. Bhatt for an offence under Section 504, I. P. C., could proceed without the sanction of the proper authority under Section 197, Cr. P. C.

6. However, it appears to me from the consideration of the various provisions of the Drugs Act that that part of Rule 49 which provides for the qualifications of Inspectors for the purpose of inspection of retail shops is ultra vires of the rule-making power of the Government. The Act does not contemplate Inspectors for different purposes. It contemplates Inspectors for the purposes of Ch. IV of the Act. Subsection (1) of Section 21 of the Drugs Act is:

'The Provincial Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, appoint such persons as it thinks fit, having the prescribed qualifications, to be Inspectors for the purposes of this Chapter within such local limits as it may assign to them respectively.'

It can assign local limits within which the Inspectors are to exercise powers but cannot appoint Inspectors for some of the purposes of this Chapter. It cannot appoint several Inspectors for the same area, each for some specific purpose. It can appoint an Inspector for the purposes of the Ch. IV of the Act. An Inspector so appointed can exercise all the powers given and perform all the duties entrusted by that Chapter.

7. It may be noted that the language of Section 20 which empowers the Government to appoint several Public Analysts for the same area, each for analysing different drugs is different from that of Section 21(1). The relevant portion of Section 20 is :--

'The Provincial Government may. by no-tification in the official Gazette, appoint such persons as it thinks fit, having the prescribedqualifications, to be Government Analysts for such areas and in respect of such drugs or classes of drugs as may be specified in the notification.'

8. Section 22 of, the Act lays down the powers of the Inspectors. No distinction is made between one Inspector and the other. All Inspectors appointed under the Act will have those powers. Of course, those powers are subject to the provisions of Section 23 and of any rules made by the Provincial Government in this behalf. Section 23 deals with the procedure of Inspectors when they take samples of a certain drug.

The expression 'in this behalf' means, to my mind, in connection with the various powers mentioned in the different clauses of Section 22 and does not refer to any curtailment of the powers given to an Inspector by the statute. Section 24 lays down' the duty of a person to disclose to the Inspector the places where the drug is being manufactured or is kept. Section 32(1) provides that no prosecution under this Chapter shall be instituted except by an Inspector. Section 33(1) empowers the Government to make rules for the purposes of giving effect to the provisions of the Chapter.

Rules which do not give effect to the provisions of the Chapter but go beyond it must be held to be beyond the rule-making power of the Government. When the provisions of the Chapter do not allow the appointment of different types of Inspectors, I am of opinion that the rule-making power does not cover the power to make rules with respect to the appointment of Inspectors for different purposes.

9. I am, therefore, of opinion as mentioned above that the last proviso to Rule 49 is ultra vires and therefore it cannot be held that the appointment of Dr. Bhatt was within the powers of the Government under Section 21 of the Drugs Act when there is nothing on the record to indicate that he possesses any of the qualifications laid down by Rule 49 for the appointment of the Inspectors as such. It follows that Dr. Damodar Bhatt cannot then be said to have conducted the search of the applicant's house in the discharge of his duties. No sanction of the Government was necessary for prosecuting him for an offence under Section 456. I. P. C.

10. I, therefore, allow this revision, set aside the order of the Court below and send back the case to the Court of the Magistrate for taking further proceedings in the case according to law. The record be sent to the Court concerned at an early date.


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