P.R. Sharma, J.
1. This case comes up before me on a report made by the learned Addl. Sessions Judge Jubbulpore recommending that the order dated 9.3.1959 passed by the Magistrate First Class Jubbulpore, in Criminal Case No. 2917 of 1958 be set aside and that the proceedings in connection therewith be quashed.
2. The only point involved in the present case is whether betel leaves are 'articles of food' for human consumption within the meaning of Section 210(1)(i) of the Cantonments Act, which runs as under:
Vendors of any medicines, drugs or articles of food or drink for human consumption (other than the flesh of pigs, milk, butter, bread, biscuits, cake, fruit, vegetables, aerated or other portable waters or ice or ice-cream) which are of a perishable nature.
3. By the word 'food' is meant what one takes into the system to maintain, life and growth and to supply (wastes ailment nourishment, viotuals, or what one eats as opposed to drink. (Vide Shorter Oxford Dictionary, Vol. II at page 728). Meredith J. observed in the case of Kokil Ram v. Province of Bihar : AIR1951Pat367 as follows:
Pan is certainly not a food-stuff. It is a masticatory (see the article on 'betel'' in the Encyclopaedia Britannica). Some hold that it is also a digestive. But, even so, it is not a food. It is not eaten for its food value, but at the highest as an aid to digestion. It is not served as a part of a meal, but as a supplement to it. As a digestive agent, it might perhaps be considered a medicinal reparation.
4. Vegetables have been expressly excluded from the purview of Clause (i) of Section 210(1) of the Act. and it is, therefore, unnecessary to determine whether betel leaves are a vegetable or not. Suffice it to say, however, that the term 'vegetables' must be understood as denoting those classes of vegetable matter which are used far the table. I am clearly of the opinion that betel leaves are not articles of food within the meaning of Clause (i) of Section 210(1) of the Cantonments Act.
5. The accused, would, therefore, not be liable to prosecution under Section 213 of the Cantonments Act.
6. The recommendation made by the learned Addl. Sessions Judge Jubbulpore is here by accepted and the proceedings in Criminal Case No. 2917 of 1958 are hereby quashed.