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Sarjoo Prasad Vs. the State of Uttar Pradesh - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1973CriLJ1411
AppellantSarjoo Prasad
RespondentThe State of Uttar Pradesh
Cases Referred and Girwar v. State
Excerpt:
.....the question of adulteration depended upon deficient percentage of non-fatty solids and the petitioner cannot be said to have been prejudiced by alleged failure to understand the evidence, when such failure is not apparent on the..........is made is equivalent to a statement that every legal condition required by law constituting the offence charged was fulfilled in the particular case. section 224 says that in every charge words used in describing an offence shall be deemed to have been used in the sense attached to them respectively by the law under which such offence is punishable. section 225 states that no error in stating either the offence or the particulars required to be stated in the charge, and no omission to state the offence or those particulars shall be regarded at any stage of the case as material, unless the accused was in fact, misled by such error or omission, and it has occasioned a failure of justice. section 537(b) lays down that no finding, sentence or order passed by a court of competent.....
Judgment:
ORDER

K.B. Strivastava, J.

1. The petitioner Sarju Prasad was convicted under Section 16, Prevention of Food Adulteration Act for contravention of Section 7 of that Act, for sale of adulterated milk and was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for six months and to pay a fine of Rs. 1000/-. His appeal against that conviction was dismissed; and it is in these circumstances, that he has come up in revision to this Court.

2. The only point argued by the learned Counsel for the petitioner is that it is mandatory under the law to give sufficient details in the charge with regard to the manner in which an article of food is deficient or adulterated and if those particulars are omitted from the charge, the trial becomes invalid and conviction cannot follow on the basis oi such an invalid charge. In support of this contention of his, he has placed reliance upon two decisions of this Court. These are Ramesh Chandra v. State. (1970 All Cri Rule 144) and Girwar v. State, (1971 All Crl.. Rule 219). In both these cases. K. B. Asthana J, held that it is incumbent upon the prosecution to describe in 'the charge the ingredient of the offence to enable the accused to know the case against him. He further observed thus:

According to the definition of the word 'adulterated' in Section 2(1) of the Act a large number of conditions have been laid down differing from each other which would render an article of food adulterated- The accused must be told in the charge itself under which Clause the food stuff exposed for sale by him was found to be adulterated. Merely using the words that the milk was found adulterated would not convey at all the substance of ingredient of the charge. In the instant case at least it should havg been mentioned in the charge that the mixture of the cow and buffalo milk exposed for sale was deficient in non-fatty solids by 15% The prejudice to the accused is inherent in not framing a charge as required by law. This material defect vitiates the conviction.

Section 221, Code of Criminal Procedure says that every charge shall state the offence with which the accused is charged. If the law which creates the offence gives it any specific name, the offence may be described in the charge by that name only. If the law whieh creates the offence does not give it any specific name, so much of the definition of the offence must be stated as to give the accused notice of the matter with which he is charged. The fact that the charge is made is equivalent to a statement that every legal condition required by law constituting the offence charged was fulfilled in the particular case. Section 224 says that in every charge words used in describing an offence shall be deemed to have been used in the sense attached to them respectively by the law under which such offence is punishable. Section 225 states that no error in stating either the offence or the particulars required to be stated in the charge, and no omission to state the offence or those particulars shall be regarded at any stage of the case as material, unless the accused was in fact, misled by such error or omission, and it has occasioned a failure of justice. Section 537(b) lays down that no finding, sentence or order passed by a Court of competent jurisdiction shall be reversed or altered on appeal or revision on account of any error, omission or irregularity in the charge., unless such error, omission, or irregularity has. in fact, occasioned a failure of justice. There is an explanation added to this section which provides that in determining whether any error, omission or irregularity in any proceeding has occasioned a failure of justice, the Court shall have regard to the fact whether the objection could and should have been Taised at an earlier stage in the proceeding. K. B. Asthana, J. has not held that any error of the type pressed by the learned Counsel in the instant case will render the trial illegal. His judgment turned on the question of material prejudice which, if I may say so with respect, is in consonance with the law referred to above. In the instant case, there is a statutory mandate that a conviction cannot be set aside by the_ Court on the mere irregularity or error of a charge, unless that irregularity or error has, in fact caused manifest or material prejudice; and in deciding that question the Court cannot lose sight of the fact that no such objection was raised at the appropriate stage at which it should have been raised. That being so, the conviction cannot be set aside on lack of proof of material prejudice or miscarriage of justice. The learned Counsel has been unable to point to me that the petitioner was prejudiced. The case was a very simple one. that is to say, whether the milk was adulterated or not. The question of adulteration depended upon deficient percentage of non-fatty solids and the petitioner cannot be said to have been prejudiced by alleged failure to understand the evidence, when such failure is not apparent on the record.

3. In the circumstances, this revision has no substance and is dismissed. The petitioner is on bail and shall surrender to the same. The learned Additional District Magistrate (Judicial), Lucknow shall issue non-bailable warrant of arrest against the applicant, and in the event of his surrender or arrest, as the case may be. he shall be remanded to jail custody to serve out the sentence.


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