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Mohanlal Ramsingh Thakur Vs. Chief Executive Officer, Corporation - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution;Food Adulteration
CourtMadhya Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Revn. No. 172 of 1958
Judge
Reported inAIR1962MP17
ActsConstitution of India - Article 20(3); Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 - Sections 16 and 20(1)
AppellantMohanlal Ramsingh Thakur
RespondentChief Executive Officer, Corporation
Appellant AdvocateV.D. Bhargava, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateS.C. Dubey, Adv.
DispositionRevision dismissed
Cases ReferredCollector of Customs v. Calcutta M. and Cycle Co.
Excerpt:
- - it is now a well settled law......public analyst along with the complaint.'there is no doubt and it has not been challenged that the chief executive officer is authorised by the local authority, but the point that has been raised is that the sanction that has been obtained is not at all a valid sanction. for discussion of this point, i shall have to discuss the third point also, viz., whether the complaint was properly filed. in order to comply with the sanction quoted above, the corporation has relied on ex. p-3, which is the permission given by the chief executive officer, shri r. d. beohar.6. the difficulty has arisen on the ground that the signature of the chief executive officer, shri r.d. btohar, has not been proved. the sanction has also been challenged on the ground that it is not clear from the record whether.....
Judgment:
ORDER

S.B. Sen, J.

1. This is an application by the applicant against his conviction under Section 16 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, and the sentence of fine of Rs. 50.

2. The facts of the case are that on 27-12-1956, the Sanitary Inspector, Shri Gujrathi, purchased milk from the applicant. On test, the milk was found to be adulterated. The applicant was, therefore, prosecuted and convicted as stated above. The points that have been raised in this case are:

1. that the taking of the sample from the applicant-accused was against Article 20(3) of the Constitution;

2. that no sanction has been obtained as required by Section 20 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act; and

3. that a proper complaint was not filed.

3. The facts found by both the Courts below are that the milk that was tested was the milk belonging to the applicant and that it was found to be adulterated.

4. Regarding the point about Article 20(3) of the Constitution, the matter is absolutely clear. Article 20(3) reads as follows:

'20 (3). No person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.'

Article 20 (3) of the Constitution prohibits testimonial compulsion that the accused cannot be made a witness against himself. When the milk was purchased from the applicant, he was not an accused at all. In the usual round the Sanitary Inspector went and took some milk from the applicant. There was so compulsion and the applicant was not an accused when the milk was taken. Therefore, Article 20(3) of the Constitution does not apply to this case. Counsel for the applicant brought to my notice a case reported in Collector of Customs v. Calcutta M. and Cycle Co., AIR 1958 Cal 682, wherein a broader meaning has been given to the word 'accused'. According to their Lordships :

'If the principle underlying Article 20(3) be that any forcible and compulsory extortion of a man's own testimony or his private papers, to be used as evidence to convict him of crime, must be forbidden, there is no reason for holding that the protection of the Article will be available only to a person who has been formally accused or charged. Even if a man has been named as a person who has committed the offence, particularly by officials who are competent to launch a prosecution against him, he has been accused of an offence within the meaning of Article 20(3) and a situation has arisen in which he can claim protection against being compelled by a coercive process to furnish evidence against himself.'

A close scrutiny of this ruling will show that the man must be named at least to have committed any offence. There need not be formal prosecution. But in the instant case, the applicant was accused of no offence. Surprise checks are made by the Sanitary Inspectors, accusing no-body in particular. Therefore, Article 20(3) of the Constitution will have no application in this case.

5. The next point is about the sanction under Section 20(1) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act. Section 20(1) reads as follows:

'20 (1) No prosecution for an offence under this Act shall be instituted except by, or with the written consent of, the State Government or a local authority or a person authorised in this behalf by the State Government or a local authority:Provided that a prosecution for an offence under this Act may be instituted by a purchaser referred to in Section 12, if he produces in Court a copy of the report of the Public Analyst along with the complaint.'

There is no doubt and it has not been challenged that the Chief Executive Officer is authorised by the local authority, but the point that has been raised is that the sanction that has been obtained is not at all a valid sanction. For discussion of this point, I shall have to discuss the third point also, viz., whether the complaint was properly filed. In order to comply with the sanction quoted above, the Corporation has relied on Ex. P-3, which is the permission given by the Chief Executive Officer, Shri R. D. Beohar.

6. The difficulty has arisen on the ground that the signature of the Chief Executive Officer, Shri R.D. Btohar, has not been proved. The sanction has also been challenged on the ground that it is not clear from the record whether Shri Beohar had taken into consideration the facts of the case and given the sanction. The principle is that the sanctioning authority should take into consideration the facts of the case and give sanction only after considering all the facts. Simply signing will not do. However, I need not discuss the cases in this connection. It is now a well settled law.

7. Here, in this case, the complaint has been filed by the Chief Executive Officer, which has been signed by him (K.L. Verma). Under Section 200 (aa), Criminal Procedure Code, when ever a complaint is signed or purported to be signed by a public officer, he need not be examined in Court. This being a complaint signed by the Chief Executive Officer is a valid complaint. So far as the question of sanction is concerned, it is clear that the Chief Executive Officer, Shri K.L. Verma, who is successor of Shri R.D. Beohar, has signed the complaint. The sanctioning authority himself is the complainant and, therefore, the question of separate sanction does not arise. The complaint itself shows that all the facts of the case are within his knowledge and he himself has considered them and when he was convinced of the offence, he has filed the complaint.

Section 20(1) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act speaks about the written consent. When the complaint has been filed in writing, it can certainly be held that he has given his consent. When the Chief Executive Officer himself has signed the complaint, it is ludicrous to contend that it requires a separate sanction, the sanctioning authority and the complaining authority being the same. Sanction is nothing but a permission that the complaint be filed. The Chief Executive Officer need not give permission separately to himself when he himself becomes the complainant before the Court. This point too has, therefore, no substance.

8. The result is that the revision is dismissed.


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