1. This is a reference by the Sessions Judge of Farrukhabad. The accused persons were convicted in a summary trial and, therefore, the record is very meagre. All that appears from the notes of evidence made by the trying Magistrate is that the accused persons were taking out pig's fat and mixing it with ghi which they ordinarily sell. There was no direct evidence that the accused intended to sell the mixture although this might be inferred from the circumstance that they do sell ghi. They have been convicted under Section 272 of the Indian Penal Code for adulterating an article of food so as to make such article noxious as food intending to sell it as food or knowing it to be likely that it will be sold as such. It is true that the mixing of pig's fat with ghi and selling the mixture would be noxious to the religious and social feelings of both Hindus and Muhammadans; but I am of opinion that such an act would not come within the meaning of the expression 'noxious as food' which occurs in Section 272 of the Indian Penal Code. That expression obviously means unwholesome as food or injurious to health and not repugnant to one's feelings. The word 'noxious,' had it stood by itself, might have had a wider meaning, but what I have to consider is the expression 'noxious as food' and not merely 'noxious.'
2. I, therefore, think that the conviction under Section 272 of the Indian Penal Code was not justified. Of course if the accused had sold the mixture or attempted to sell it on the pretence that it was pure ghi, they would have been guilty of quite a different offence, that is to say, of cheating or attempt to cheat. I accordingly accept this reference and set aside the conviction of the accused, acquit them of the offence charged and direct that they be released.