1. The petitioner has been convicted under Section 13 of the Punjab Pure Food Act and has been sentenced to a fine of Rs. 25/- and has also been ordered to pay Rs. 10/- as analysis fee. The learned Sessions Judge has referred the case for setting aside the conviction and sen-tence.
2. The case against the accused was that he had sold black pepper of a standard which was lower than that allowed by the rules. The sample taken from the accused was divided into three parts, one was kept by the accused the other was sent to the Public Analyst Punjab and the third was kept by the Inspector. The Public Analyst, Punjab, found that it contained about 9 per cent. of deteriorated seeds. The Director of Central Pood Laboratory, Calcutta, found one sample to be genuine pepper (free from adulteration) and the other to contain 20 per cent, deteriorated fruit.
3. The learned Assistant Advocate-General submits that according to the law in the Punjab the report of the Public Analyst is prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein and that the report of the Director of Central Food Laboratory is neither admissible nor is it allowable under the law. The contention as to Public Analyst in my opinion, is well-founded. But the question still remains whether the accused is guilty. The Public Analyst has found that the sample contained about 9 per cent, of deteriorated seeds.
A Division Bench bf this Court of which I was a member had the occasion to remark that in giving analysis of articles sent to the Public. Analyst he must giva exact degree of deterioration or adulteration: approximations cannot be allowed in cases of this kind. If the only evidence on which the accused can be convicted is that of the Public Analyst, then it is, in my opinion, not sufficient to sustain the conviction. There is no exactitude in the report of the Public Analyst and it cannot be said that quantitative analysis in the science of chemistry is approximate.
4. I would, therefore, allow this petition,set aside the conviction and acquit the accused.The fine, if paid, shall be refunded.