S. Barman, J.
1. This case arises out of a complaint contained in a report made by the Inspector of Supplies under Section 13(1) of the Rice Milling Industry (Regulation) Act, 1958 (Central), Act 21 of 1958 for not taking either a permit or a licence as required by the Act The case ended in an order of acquittal passed by the learned Magistrate, Nawapara, District Kalahandi.
2. A preliminary point was taken that the report about the offence by the Inspector of Supplies is not valid in law as it was not made by a person duly authorised in this behalf.
Section 15 of the Act is this :
'No Court shall take cognizance of any offence punishable under this Act except on a report in writing of the facts constituting such offence made by the licensing officer or any person duly authorised by the Central Government or the Licensing Officer in this behalf.'
3. What are the facts here? The Inspector of Supplies made the report. There is nothing to show that he was authorised to do so in respect of the particular offence. By Government of Orissa (Supply Department) Notification No, 26160-FC-IM-13/59 dated the 22nd October, 1959 the State Government authorised among others an Inspector of Supplies to report to the Courts within the area noted against them in writing in respect of the offences punishable under the said Act. This authority however does not comply with the requirement of authority 'in this behalf as laid down in Section 15. What this section specifically requires is that the person making the report must be so authorised in respect of the particular offence. The phrase 'in this behalf' in the section is not without significance.
4. What is the argument on behalf of the accused respondent? The Inspector of Supplies can report as the Government Notification directs. But the question here is. Can cognizance be taken on such a report made by the Inspector of Supplies? The answer is: No. There is nothing to show that the Inspector of Supplies was authorised to make the report in respect of the particular offence. In fact in the last paragraph of the Inspector's report he requests the sub-divisional Magistrate that the sanction of the District Magistrate Provincial Government may be obtained for the prosecution. No sanction appears to have been obtained from the District Magistrate. The Inspector who was examined as P.W. 2 does not say that he had the authority to report in respect of the particular offence as required by Section 15.
5. I agree with this contention urged on behalf of the accused respondent. This view is supported by a decision of this Court on an interpretation of Section 20 of the Prevention of Food Alliteration Act (Central Act 37 of 1954) which, in pari materia, is similar to Section 15 of the Rice Milling Industry (Regulation) Act, 1962. In that case a complaint was filed by the Chairman of Puri Municipality for the prosecution of the accused for an offence under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act. The Chairman had endorsed on the back of the reports of the Public Analyst.
Neither in his order nor in the complaint petition signed by the Chairman clearly stated that he was duly authorised to initiate the prosecution of the accused for an offence under the said Act. There was a general resolution authorising the Municipal Chairman to initiate prosecution and conduct proceedings on behalf of the Municipality. On these facts it was held that the criminal case against the accused was launched by a person who was not duly authorised in the manner required by Section 20(1) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act. This defect was fatal to the entire proceeding K.G. Anjanayalu v. Chairman, Puri Municipality, ILR (1963) Cut 583 : (AIR 1963 Orissa 158).
6. In the view that I have taken on the preliminary question of law in favour of the accused respondent it is unnecessary to express any opinion on the merits. That apart, it is said that the accused respondent has since taken a licence in compliance with the Act. The order of acquittal passed by the learned Magistrate is otherwise upheld. The Government appeal is dismissed.