Skip to content


Laxmi Starch Ltd. and anr. Vs. State and Municipal Corporation of Delhi - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal;Food Adulteration
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Miscellaneous (Main) Appeal No. 436 of 1977
Judge
Reported inILR1979Delhi332
ActsPrevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 - Sections 20A; Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1973 - Sections 482
AppellantLaxmi Starch Ltd. and anr.
RespondentState and Municipal Corporation of Delhi
Advocates: D.C. Mathur,; K.K. Sharma and; P.P. Malhotra, Advs
Excerpt:
prevention of food adulteration act (1954) - section 20a--tapioca starch--adulterated--bakery starch--whether to be in pure form or edible starch--criminal procedure code (1972), section 482.; that it is not the requirement of the standards prescribed that the bakery products should contain only the purest quality of tapioca starch. what the standards require is only edible starches, and certainly millet starches or a mixture of tapioca and millet starches are edible starches.; further, that the britannia biscuit company did store he said starches in question for manufacture of biscuits which were ultimately meant for sale, but since the standards do not prescribed that any mixture of edible starches cannot be used, it cannot be said that they stored an adulterated article for the..........check their premises and found a bag of tapioca starches which was sent to them by the petitioner laxmi starch ltd., coimbatore. the food inspector, however, purchased a sample out of the said starch, though the salesman had endorsed the receipt to say that price was not acceptable as they did not sell tapioca starch. the food inspector forwarded one portion of the sample to the public analyst, who on october 22, 1975, reported that the sample on microscopic examination was found to contain 20 per cent foreign starches of millet. a complaint was lodged on september 9, 1976, against m/s. britannia biscuit co., its director and a salesman on april 27, 1977, one witness narasimhan, manager of the laxmi starch ltd. was examined. the learned magistrate then acting under sec. 20a of the.....
Judgment:

M.L. Jain, J.

(1) The facts of this petition under section 482 Cr. P. C. are that M/s. Britannia Biscuit Co. Ltd. manufacture bread and biscuits in which, according to the standards prescribed in items Nos. A. 18.07 and A. 18.14 in App. B to the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, 1955, they are permitted to mix edible starches. On October 9, 1975, at 6.45 P.M.. a Food Inspector of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi went to check their premises and found a bag of tapioca starches which was sent to them by the petitioner Laxmi Starch Ltd., Coimbatore. The Food Inspector, however, purchased a sample out of the said starch, though the salesman had endorsed the receipt to say that price was not acceptable as they did not sell tapioca starch. The Food inspector forwarded one portion of the sample to the Public Analyst, who on October 22, 1975, reported that the sample on microscopic examination was found to contain 20 per cent foreign starches of millet. A complaint was lodged on September 9, 1976, against M/s. Britannia Biscuit Co., its Director and a salesman On April 27, 1977, one witness Narasimhan, Manager of the Laxmi Starch Ltd. was examined. The learned Magistrate then acting under sec. 20A of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act. 1954, proceeded against Laxmi Starch Ltd., and its Director, Pran Lal Bhogi Lal. It is against this order that the present petition has been filed for the quashing of the proceedings against them.

(2) I have heard arguments. Now, upon the admitted facts of the ease it is clear that no offence can be said to have been committed by M/s, Britannia Biscuit Co. because it is not the requirement of the standards prescribed that the bakery products should contain only the purest quality of tapioca starch. As stated above, what the standards require is only edible starches, and certainly millet starches or a mixture of tapioca and millet starches are edible starches. It is also settled in Municipal Corporation of Delhi v, Laxmi Narain Tandon, : 1976CriLJ547 that the Food Inspector can purchase a sample only from' a person who is selling that article or stores it for the manufacture of any other article meant for sale. The Britannia Biscuit Co. did store the said starches in question for manufacture of biscuits which were ultimately meant for sale, but since the standards do not prescribe that any mixture of edible starches cannot be used, it cannot be said that they stored an adulterated article for the manufacture by them of their bakery products and consequently the petitioners cannot be held to be concerned in the offence alleged to have been committed by the Britannia Biscuit Co, as envisaged by sec. 20A of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954. It was urged by the learned counsel for the Corporation that Laxmi Starch Ltd. sold an adulterated starch in the name of tapioca starch. Since no standard for tapioca starch is prescribed, the case is covered by clause (ix) of sec. 2 of the Act in as much as the Laxmi Starch Ltd. sold a misbranded article. The Laxmi Starch Ltd. were guilty of misbranding. But, this argument is not tenable because the Laxmi Starch Ltd. have not sold any article to the Food Inspector as tapioca starch. Nor has the article been recovered from their premises. They even contended that the article was a part of the material sent by them. The purchasers, namely, the Britannia Biscuit Co., have no complaint obviously because what they require was only edible starch for their purposes. If the Food Inspector has no power to collect a sample, then, as held in the aforesaid Supreme Court case, subsequent proceedings are vitiated,

(3) 1. thereforee, find that no case is made out against the petitioners and action against them under section 20A of the aforesaid Act is not justified. I accept this petition, and direct that the impugned order and the consequential proceedings in so far as they relate to the present petitioners shall be and are hereby quashed.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //