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Medical Officer of Health, Municipal Corporation Vs. Gulzari - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal;Food Adulteration
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Appeal No. 1896 of 1962
Judge
Reported inAIR1965All170; 1965CriLJ418
ActsPrevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 - Sections 8 and 13(5); Constitution of India - Articles 210 and 348(3)
AppellantMedical Officer of Health, Municipal Corporation
RespondentGulzari
Advocates:B.C. Saxena, Adv.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
.....circumstances, appellant cannot take advantage of the corrigendum for investing legality in the report of the public analyst, which, on the face of the original notification is clearly..........for sample, that the sample was sent to the public analyst for his report; that the report of the public analyst dated 30-7-1959 shows that the sample contained about 27% of water and as such was adulterated, and that the opposite party thereby had committed an offence punishable under section 7/16 of the prevention of food adulteration act.3. in support of the allegations in the complaint. sri r. kumar, food inspector, agra municipal 'board was examined as p. w. 1. he stated mat he had obtained the sample of milk from the accused and after dividing it into 3 portions, he gave one to the accused, kept one with him, and sent the other to the public analyst, lucknow for his report. he also stated that on enquiry, the opposite-party had informed him that it was goals milk which he was.....
Judgment:

H.C.P. Tripathi, J.

1. This is an appeal under Section 417(3) Cr. P. C. against an order of acquittal dated 12-2-1962, recorded by a Magistrate 1st Class, Agra, in a case under Section 7/16 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act.

2. The Medical Officer of Health, Agra Municipality, filed a complaint against the opposite party on the allegations mat on 19-6-59 he was found carrying goat's milk in his can for sale; that Sri R. Kumar, Food Inspector, (P. W. 1) purchased three-fourth seer of milk from the opposite-party for sample, that the sample was sent to the Public Analyst for his report; that the report of the Public Analyst dated 30-7-1959 shows that the sample contained about 27% of water and as such was adulterated, and that the opposite party thereby had committed an offence punishable under Section 7/16 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act.

3. In support of the allegations in the complaint. Sri R. Kumar, Food Inspector, Agra Municipal 'Board was examined as P. W. 1. He stated mat he had obtained the sample of milk from the accused and after dividing it into 3 portions, he gave one to the accused, kept one with him, and sent the other to the public Analyst, Lucknow for his report. He also stated that on enquiry, the opposite-party had informed him that it was goals milk which he was carrying for sale and he also gave it in writing, which was Ex. Ka-7.

4. The opposite-party pleaded not guilty and urged that he was not selling the milk but was carrying it to his village and it was not for sale. He admitted that sample of the milk was taken by the Food Inspector and a portion of the sample in another phial was given to him but he denied having received its price. He also stated that he had not mixed water in the milk but had purchased it in the market and was taking it to his home for his own consumption. He admitted to have signed the receipt paper No. A and the report paper No. B under duress.

5. From the perusal of the order-sheet of the trial court, it appears that the opposite-party took various dates for producing evidence in defence, but ultimately he led no defence evidence and the case was argued on his behalf on 12-2-1962. The order-sheet of that date appears to have been signed by the respondent.

6. The report of Sri R. S. Srivastava, Public Analyst, Government of Uttar Pradesh, (Ex. Ka-5) is dated 30th July 1959. It was pointed out to the trial court that Sri Srivastava had been appointed Public Analyst to the Government by Gazette Notification No. 2718/XVI-(II)-722-55, dated July 27, 1959, with effect from August 3, 1959 and, therefore, his report in the case was valueless. This contention was accepted by the learned Magistrate who relied on a decision of Hon'ble Uniyal, J. in Vishwanath Ahir v. State of U. P., Criminal Revn. No. 1189 of 1960 (All) and acquitted the accused, holding that as Dr. Srivastava was not a Public Analyst on 30-7-1959, his report could not bring the charge home to the accused.

7. I have heard the learned counsel for the appellant. None has appeared on behalf of the opposite-party, though the office report shows that the notice has been duly served on him.

8. Learned counsel contends that the Notification No. 2718/XVI (II)-722-55, dated 27th July 1959, as published in the Hindi Gazette shows that Sri Srivastava was appointed as Public Analyst with affect from 3rd of April, 1959 and not from 3rd of August, 1959 as printed in the English version of the same Notification. Learned counsel contends that the date August 3, 1959 mentioned in the English version of the Gazette Notification was a clerical error which had crept in place of 3rd April, 1959, which was the correct date of appointment of Sri Srivastava as Public Analyst

9. Notification No. 2718/XVI-(II)-722-55, of July, 27, 1959, which mentions the date of appointment of Public Analyst as 3rd August 1959 is published in U. P. Gazette Part I dated August 1, 1959. Hindi version of the same Notification giving 3rd April 1959 as the date of appointment of the Public Analyst, is published in Hindi Gazette. Part I, dated 8th August 1959.

10. In Uttar Pradesh Gazette of January 16, 1960 Part I, a Notification No. 4846(i)XVI-II(PH)-722-55, dated January 11, 1960 has been published under the heading corrigendum. This notification reads as follows:

CORRIGENDUM.

January 11, 1960.

No. 4846(i) XVI-II(PH)-722-55--In Public Health Department Notification No. 2718/XVI-II-722-55, dated July 27, 1959, published at page 925 of Part I of the English version of the Uttar Pradesh Gazette, dated August 1, 1959, for the word 'August' read the word 'April'.

By order,

B. S. Seth, Sachiv.

11. Learned counsel contends that when the Government noticed that a mistake had crept in the English version of the Notification in regard to the date of appointment of the Public Analyst, it issued this corrigendum.

12. There is some force in the contentions raised by the learned counsel. But in a criminal case, law cannot be interpreted in a manner as to turn an innocent act into an offence. The Notification giving August 3, 1959 as the date of appointment was published in the Gazette dated August 1, 1959 while the Corrigendum was published several months after on January 11, 1960. In the circumstances, appellant cannot take advantage of the Corrigendum for investing legality in the report of the Public Analyst, which, on the face of the original Notification is clearly illegal. Section 18(5) of the Act cannot be harnessed for reading in evidence the report of a person who was not a Public Analyst within the meaning of Section 8 of the Act. I agree with the observations of Uniyal, J. in the above noted criminal revision, that the second Notification cannot be read retrospectively to validate an act which was wholly void.

13. Learned counsel further contended that as the same notification of 27th July, 1959 published in Hindi, version of the gazette gives the 3rd of April, 1959 as the date of appointment of the Public Analyst, it should be preferred to the notification published in the English gazette because Hindi in Deonagri characters being the official language of the State, Hindi version of the gazette is more authoritative than the English version. I do not find any substance in this argument.

14. In the case of Jaswant Sugar Mills Ltd. Meerut v. Presiding Officer Industrial Tribunal (III), U. P. Allahabad, AIR 1962 All 240 a Full Bench of this Court has held that:

'In case of conflict or divergence between the two versions of the official gazette the English version may reign supreme and supersede the Hindi one.'

I am bound by that decision.

15. Learned counsel for the appellant invited my attention to three Gazette notifications. Government Notification No. 10656/XVI(PH)-9722-55-published in U. P. Gazette of February 18, 1956, to show that two persons, viz., Dr. A. C. Chatterji and Sri S. C. Roy were appointed as Public Analysts for the whole of Uttar Pradesh within the meaning of Section 8 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act. Sri S. C. Roy, Public Analyst to Government (II) was granted leave on average pay for 4 months preparatory to retirement from April 3, 1957 under Government Notification No. 4177/XVI-(PH)-908-57-dated 24th May, 1957, and Dr. R. S. Srivastava, Assistant Public Analyst, was appointed under Government Notification No. 4177(i)/XVI(PH)-908-57 of the same date to officiate as Public Analyst to Government (II) vice Sri Roy granted leave. On the basis of these Government notifications Sri B. C. Saxena, learned counsel, contended that Sri R. S. Srivastava was a Public Analyst to Government on 30-7-1959 when he gave the report in this case. I do not find myself able to agree with this contention. Sri S. C. Roy was granted leave for 4 months only and Dr. Srivastava was appointed to officiate as Public Analyst only for that period. It cannot be assumed, therefore, that he continued to act as Public Analyst even after the expiry of the four months from April, 3, 1957. This becomes clear from the fact that the Government issued a notification dated July 27, 1959, appointing Sri Srivastava as Public Analyst, which would not have been necessary if Sri Srivastava had continued as Public Analyst by virtue of the notification dated May 24, 1957, referred to above.

16. In this view of the matter, I do not find any force in this appeal. The appeal is dismissed.


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