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Mewa Singh Vs. Union Territory - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1982CriLJ2134
AppellantMewa Singh
RespondentUnion Territory
Cases ReferredGopal Dutt v. State of Har. Cr. R.
Excerpt:
.....because the authority making the order had made a default in formally communicating the order to him. allowing a party to do so would amount to placing a premium on the lack of diligence of a party, who is remiss in seeking a remedy that was available to it. therefore, knowledge whether actual or construction of the order passed by the state or regional transport authority should result in commencement of the period of limitation. thus,. in cases where the state or regional transport authority has not communicated the order of refusal passed to the persons concerned, the period of limitation for filing an appeal would commence from the date when the parties concerned acquire knowledge of passing of the said order......the revision petition has been directed to be heard by a division bench.4. mr. harbans singh, the learned counsel for the petitioner had attempted to argue that there is no evidence on the record whether the sample of milk was thoroughly shaken and the same made homogeneous before its analysis by the public analyst. it was argued that the report of the public analyst was silent on the point and consequently the result arrived at could not be implicitly accepted and the benefit thereof must, necessarily go to the petitioner. basic reliance in this context was placed on sultan v. state of haryana (1981) 2 fac 116.5. it is unnecessary to examine the aforesaid argument in any detail because it is concluded against the petitioner by the division bench judgment to state of haryana. v. harpat.....
Judgment:

S.S. Sandhawalia, C.J.

1. An apparent conflict of precedent in the context of the antisocial offences under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act has necessitated the hearing of this revision petition by the Division Bench.

2. It is unnecessary to delineate the facts in any great detail, The petitioner was found in possession of 20 kg. of Cow's milk for sale in a drum where from a sample was duly taken by the Food Inspector which on subsequent analysis was found to be below the standard prescribed under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, hereinafter called the Act. Thereafter the petitioner was brought to trial before the Judicial Magistrate, 1st Class, Chandigarh, and having been convicted under Section 16(1)(a)(i) of the Act was sentenced to two years' rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 2,000/-.

3. On appeal the learned Sessions Judge, Chandigarh, in a judgment remarkable both for its exhaustiveness and lucidity noticed an apparent conflict in Hans Raj v. State of Punjab (1980) 2 FAC 396 and Jagat Ram v. State of Haryana 1981 Chand LR (Cri) 684 as against the one in State of Punjab v. Teja Singh (1976) 78 Pun LR 133 : 1976 Cri LJ 1648 (FB). Preferring to follow the rule laid down in Teja Singh's case the conviction and sentence were upheld and the revision petition dismissed. In view of the divergence of judicial opinion, the revision petition has been directed to be heard by a Division Bench.

4. Mr. Harbans Singh, the learned Counsel for the petitioner had attempted to argue that there is no evidence on the record whether the sample of milk was thoroughly shaken and the same made homogeneous before its analysis by the Public Analyst. It was argued that the report of the Public Analyst was silent on the point and consequently the result arrived at could not be implicitly accepted and the benefit thereof must, necessarily go to the petitioner. Basic reliance in this context was placed on Sultan v. State of Haryana (1981) 2 FAC 116.

5. It is unnecessary to examine the aforesaid argument in any detail because it is concluded against the petitioner by the Division Bench judgment to State of Haryana. v. Harpat Cr. A. 571 of 1980 decided on the 3rd of March, 1982. Therein on this aspect the identical contention raised has been repelled and Sultan's case 1981-2 FAC 116 (Punj & Har) (supra) has been overruled. Learned counsel for the petitioner had again canvassed for the acceptance of the view in Sultan's case and sought a reconsideration of the ratio in Harpat's case (supra). However, we find not the least reason for doing so and would unhesitatingly affirm the ratio in Harpat's case.

6. Learned counsel had then placed firm reliance on Jagat Ram's case 1981 Chand LR (Cri) 684 and Hans Raj's case (1980) 2 FAC 396 (Puni & Har) (supra) to contend that because the analysis of the sample indicated that the fat contents therein were much higher than the minimum prescribed standard and it was only the milk solids not fat that were below the standard, it could not be inferred that the milk was adulterated. It is again unnecessary to examine this contention on principle because both the aforesaid judgments now stand overruled by Gopal Dutt v. State of Har. Cr. R. 1294/1981 decided on the 27th of July, 1982. The second contention of the learned Counsel for the petitioner must, therefore, necessarily tail.

7. Lastly, learned Counsel for the petitioner had contended that the, sentence of two years' rigorous imprisonment imposed was excessive. In the peculiar facts of this case and in view of a number of considerations pointed out by the learned Counsel for the petitioner, to which detailed reference seems to be unnecessary, we are inclined to the view that a sentence of one year's rigorous imprisonment would meet the ends of justice in this case and is reduced accordingly. The sentence of fine is, however, maintained.

8. With the aforesaid modification in the sentence, this revision petition is dismissed.


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