Vyas Dev Misra, J.
(1) This revision is directed against the judgment of Mr. G.R. Luthra, Additional Sessions Judge, -upholding the conviction of the respondent under section 7/16 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, but releasing him on probation.
(2) The respondent was found selling cow's milk. A sample of the same was taken by Food Inspector J.P. Tyagi for analysis. The Public Analyst found the sample to be adulterated because of the deficiency 'in milk solids not fat per cent which is equivalent to 17.8 percentage deficiency in milk solids not fat (%added water)'. As far as milk fat was concerned, it was found to be 3.8%. In other words, it was more than the standard laid down. The standard required only 3.5%.
(3) The respondent was prosecuted by the Delhi Municipal Corporation and he was duly convicted. He was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for nine months and a fine of Rs. 2000.00 by the trial Magistrate. In appeal the respondent did not challenge the conviction but asked to be released on probation since he was below 21 years of age and the case felt under section 16 of the Probation of Offenders Act.
(4) The learned Additional Sessions Judge found that the respondent was about 19 years old at the time the sample was lifted from him. He thus gave the benefit of Section 6 of the Probation of Offenders Act and directed him to be released on probation for a period of one year.
(5) Now section 6 of the Probation of Offenders Act enjoins upon a court not to send any person under twenty-one years of age to imprisonment unless the court is satisfied that it would not be desirable to deal with him under section 3 or section 4. The section further enjoins upon the court to record its reasons. Mr. B.T. Singh contends that there is nothing on record to show that the respondent was below 21 years of age at the time he gave the sample. According to Mr. B.T. Singh, the statement of the respondent under section 342 Criminal Procedure Code, describing himself as below 21 years of age, is not evidence. He further contends that it was the duty of the respondent to prove his age by producing unrebuttable evidence.
(6) SUB-SECTION (3) of section 342 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, lays down that the answers given by the accused may be taken into consideration in such inquiry or trial in which the answers have been given. The statement given by the accused under section 342 has to be taken into consideration. It is true that it does not amount to a proof of a particular fact. But then no accused is required to prove in the sense the prosecution is required to prove its case. An accused can rest content by giving a reasonable Explanationn and if that is accepted the respondent is entitled to the benefit.
(7) In the instance case when the respondent gave out his age the trial court was apparently satisfied since it did not record its own observation which is usually done if the Court is not satisfied about the age given by an accused. In these circumstances; there was nothing wrong in the learned Additional Sessions Judge accepting the age of the respondent as given by him in his statement. I would not, thereforee, like to interfere in this case because I feel that substantial justice has been done. The revision is, thereforee, dismissed.