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Municipal Board, Kanpur Vs. Behari Lal - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal;Food Adulteration
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Appeal No. 927 of 1958
Judge
Reported inAIR1960All546; 1960CriLJ198
ActsPrevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 - Sections 8 and 13; Uttar Pradesh Pure Food Act, 1950
AppellantMunicipal Board, Kanpur
RespondentBehari Lal
Appellant AdvocateS.N. Verma, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateR.S. Pathak, Adv.
DispositionAppeal allowed
Excerpt:
civil - public analyst - sections 8 and 13 of prevention of food adulteration act, 1954 - public analyst appointed under u. p. pure food act, 1950 - act repealed - not deemed public analyst under prevention of food adulteration act. - - this was the view which found favour in air 1960 all 117; but with great respect we do not think it to be well founded......dated 23-11-1957, acquitting the respondent of offences under section 7 of the prevention of food adulteration act, 1954. the appeal has been referred to this bench as the bench by which it was originally beard found difficulty in agreeing with the view taken in municipal board, lucknow v. shyam behari, air 1960 all 117 with regard to the effect of section 6 of the general clauses act.2. the respondent was a seller of ghee in kanpur, and on 31-10-1955. two persons, azizuddin siddiqi and thakur prasad, purporting to act as food inspectors purchased a sample of ghee from the respondent which was found on analysis to be adulterated. two complaints thereafter were filed against the respondent by the medical officer of health, kanpur. the first of these complaints was filed on.....
Judgment:

Mootham, C.J.

1. This is an appeal by the Municipal Board of Kanpur against the judgment of the Additional Sessions Judge of Kanpur dated 23-11-1957, acquitting the respondent of offences under Section 7 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954. The appeal has been referred to this Bench as the Bench by which it was originally beard found difficulty in agreeing with the view taken in Municipal Board, Lucknow v. Shyam Behari, AIR 1960 All 117 with regard to the effect of Section 6 of the General Clauses Act.

2. The respondent was a seller of ghee in Kanpur, and on 31-10-1955. two persons, Azizuddin Siddiqi and Thakur Prasad, purporting to act as Food Inspectors purchased a sample of ghee from the respondent which was found on analysis to be adulterated. Two complaints thereafter were filed against the respondent by the Medical Officer of Health, Kanpur. The first of these complaints was filed on 2-12-1955, and alleged a contravention by the respondent of the provisions of Clause (iii) of Section 7 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act in that the respondent, on 31-10-1955, had sold ghee without a licence as required by that Act

The second complaint was filed on 29-2-1956 and alleged a contravention by the respondent of Clause (i) of Section 7 of the same Act in that he had on the same date exposed for sale, and sold, adulterated ghee. The two cases were subsequently consolidated and the learned Magistrate by a judgment dated 1-10-1956, found both the charges to be established. He accordingly convicted the respondent and sentenced him to six months' imprisonment and to pay a substantial fine. On appeal the respondent was acquitted of both charges by the learned Sessions Judge on the ground mat the Medical Officer of Health had no authority to file the complaints. It is against that order that this appeal has been filed.

3. Sub-section (1) of Section 20 of the Prevention ofFood Adulteration Act, 1954, which came into forceon 1-6-1955, provides that no prosecution for anoffence under the Act shall be instituted except by, or with the written consent of, the State Government or a local authority or a person authorised in that behalf by the State Government or local authority. The Medical Officer of Health, Kanpur, was so authorised by a Notification dated 16-12-1955, and published in the Official Gazette on the 24th December following. It is clear therefore; and is not disputed before us. that he had no authority on 3-12-1955 to institute the prosecution of the respondent for a contravention of Clause (iii) of Section 7 of the Act, and that the respondent was rightly acquitted by the learned Sessions Judge of that offence.

4. It appears that the attention of the learned Sessions Judge was not drawn to the notification published on 24-12-1955, and he was accordingly in error in holding that the Medical Officer of Health had no authority to file the second complaint on 29-2-1956. The correctness of his order acquitting the respondent of the charge for contravening Clause (i) of Section 7 is however supported On the ground that there was no admissible evidence adduced before the learned Magistrate to prove that the ghee which had been sold by the respondent on 31-10-1955, was adulterated.

5. The sample of ghee which had been seized on that date was analysed by Dr. A. C. Chatterji. At the trial Dr. Chatterji did not appear but a report signed by him with regard to the result of his analysis was tendered in evidence by the prosecution and admitted by the learned Magistrate under Section 13(5) of the Act. It is contended that that report was not admissible in evidence.

6. Section 8 of the Act makes provision for the appointment of Public Analysts by the State Government, and Sub-section (5) of Section 13 provides that any document purporting to be a report signed by a Public Analyst (unless it has been superseded by a certificate, or by a document purporting to be a certificate, by the Director of the Central Food Laboratory) may be used as evidence of the facts stated therein in any proceeding under the Act. The report of Dr. A. C. Chatterji which was accepted by the learned Magistrate was dated 5-2-1956. Dr. Chatterji was not however appointed a Public Analyst until the 9th February, and his appointment was not published in the gazette until 18-2-1960, The question is whether he was on the date of his report a Public Analyst within the meaning of Section 13 of the Act.

7. Dr. Chatterji had been appointed a Public Analyst under the U. P. Pure Food Act, 1950, in September 1953. It is not in dispute that that Ac6 was repealed by Section 25 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, but it is contended by the prosecution that notwithstanding the repeal of the Pure Food Act the appointment of Dr. Chatterji as a Public Analyst remained effective by virtue of the provisions of Section 6 of the General Clauses Act and that he must be deemed to be a Public Analyst within the meaning of Section 13 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act. This was the view which found favour in AIR 1960 All 117; but with great respect we do not think it to be well founded.

8. The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act must be read as a whole, and when so read we have no doubt that the Public Analyst whose report is admissible in evidence under Section 13 of the Act is a Public Analyst for whose appointment. provision is made in Section 8. The repeal of the U. P. Pure Food Act had the necessary consequence of terminating the appointments of Public Analysts appointed under that Act unless their appointments are specifically saved; and our attention has not been invited to any provision of the new Act which would have that effect. A Public Analyst is defined in the Pure Food Act as 'any person appointed by the State Government to perform the duties of a Public Analyst under this Act'; and even if it be the case that the appointment is saved by virtue of the provisions of Section 6 of the General Clauses Act the only result, in our opinion, will be that Dr. A. C. Chatterji will continue to be a Public Analyst under the Pure Food Act. It could not make him a Public Analyst within the meaning of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act. With great respect we are of opinion that the decision in AIR 1960 All 117 that a person who has been appointed a Public Analyst under the U. P. Pure Food Act must be deemed a Public Analyst for the purposes of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act is erroneous.

9. No other question having been raised thisappeal fails and is dismissed.


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