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R.N. Gujral and ors. Vs. Shyam Sunder and Sons and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal;Food Adulteration
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Revision Appeal No. 5 of 1982
Judge
Reported in1982CriLJ2012; 1982(3)DRJ374
ActsPrevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 - Sections 7
AppellantR.N. Gujral and ors.
RespondentShyam Sunder and Sons and ors.
Advocates: R.M. Mittal and; R.S. Butalia, Advs
Cases Referred(R. N. Gujral v. Mahabir
Excerpt:
.....down the standard of purity of soyabean oil are purely administrative. the standard provided by the rules can be modified only in accordance with the provisions of the act and not by an executive fiat. - - it was held that 'the prosecutions miserably failed to satisfy the court as to how some instructions contained in some letter of govt. it was clarified by the central food committee that, chillies sauce' be not treated as sauce as it was neither derived from fruit nor from vegetables and hence could not be treated as sauce the committee, however, recommended that the standard of 'chillies sauce' as suggested by them be laid down by amending the pfa rules, (6) it is clear that in the said case although no standard for 'chillies sauce' had been laid down, the prosecution had..........the learned magistrate however found that the sample in question confirmed to the prescribed standard laid down in the rules. it was held that 'the prosecutions miserably failed to satisfy the court as to how some instructions contained in some letter of govt. of india can take the force law and bind the public at large without their being p.f.a. rules on the point or public notification.' accordingly, the accused were discharged. (4) mr. r.n. mittal, learned counsel for the petitioner while concending that sample in question did conform to the standard as per item no. a 17.13 and a-17.15 in appendix-b of the pfa rules, 1954, contended that the standard laid down by the govt. of india vide letter no. p-15016/14/77- ph (p & h) pfa dated 29th august, 1977 was statutorily to be.....
Judgment:

Charanjit Talwar, J.

(1) In this revision petition, the petioner who had filed a. complaint under section 7/11 of the prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 (hereinafter called the 'Act') against M/s Shyam Sunder & Sons and others has challenged the order passed on September 8, 1980 by Shri J.P. Sharma, Metropolitan Magistrate discharging the accused respondent herein

(2) Briefly the fads of the prosecution case were that M/s Shyam Sunder & Sons were dealing in the sale of edible oil at their shop D-6 Shardhanand Market, Delhi. On November 8, 1979, at about 4.40 P.M., Shri Gian Chand Food Inspector, purchased a sample of Imported Soyabean Oil from one of the partners of M/s. Shyam Sunder & Sons under the provision of the Act and the Rules made there under. This sample of Soyabean oil was sent for analysis. According to the public Analyst, it was adulterated. The report declaring it to be such is as follows :

'THEsame is adulterated due to 30.2 excess in proxide value expressed as milli-equivalents of 0.2 per Kg. according to the specifications of imported refined Soyabean oil. Read with Govt. of India letter No. P-15016/14/77 Ph (P & N) Pfa dated 29th August, 1977:

Accordingly, the complaint against M/s Shyam Sunder & Sons and its two partners was filed by Shri R.N. Gujral, Assistant Mpl. Prosecutor, Delhi Administration for an offence under Section 7/16 of the Act. The public Anaylst, Shri S.N.hargava, PW2, proved his report quoted above as Ex. PW2/A. In his cross-examination, this witness admitted that no standard of Imported Soyabean oil has been given in the prevention of Food Adulteration Rules. He had found the sample of Imported Soyabean oil to be adulterated because of the standard of purity laid down in letter No. P. 15016/14/77-PH (P&N;) Pfa dated 29th August, 1977, issued by the Central Government on 29th August, 1977.

(3) From the record, it appears that the said letter which according to the prosecution was issued under Section 22-A and has a statutory force was not produced. The learned Magistrate however found that the sample in question confirmed to the prescribed standard laid down in the Rules. It was held that 'the prosecutions miserably failed to satisfy the Court as to how some instructions contained in some letter of Govt. of India can take the force law and bind the public at large without their being P.F.A. Rules on the point or public notification.' Accordingly, the accused were discharged.

(4) Mr. R.N. Mittal, learned counsel for the petitioner while concending that sample in question did conform to the standard as per item No. A 17.13 and A-17.15 in Appendix-B of the Pfa Rules, 1954, contended that the standard laid down by the Govt. of India vide letter No. P-15016/14/77- Ph (P & H) Pfa dated 29th August, 1977 was statutorily to be enforced in view of section 22A of the Act and thus standard prescribed in the Rules stood modified. He further submitted that in any case, no standard for Imported Soyabean oil having been prescribed in the Rules, the standard contained in the directions issued by the Central Government, under Section 22A was binding on all concerns. Hence, any one storing or selling Imported Soyabean, which did not conform to the standard laid down in the said letter, was liable to be punished for an offence under section 7/16 of the Act. In support of his submission that the Central Government's directions under Section 22A of the Act supersedes the standard laid down in the Rules he cited a decision of this Court in Rallis India Ltd. and others v. Municipal Corporation of Delhi and others, 1979 (2) Fag 311. According to him, in the said case, the recommendations of the Central Committee,for Food standards were held to be binding on all the State Health Authorities. The argument proceed on the basis that those recommendations which were issued prior to coming into force of Section 22A having been held to be binding, by this Court, the directions contained in the said letter under the new section which empowers the Central Government to give directions have necessarily to be held as a having statutory force and thereforee, binding on all concerns, Mr. Mittal urged that a latter decision of this Court in Criminal Revision No. 10 of 1981, (R.N. Gujral v. Mahabir Trading and Co) passed on 23rd July 1981, holding that the directions laying down the standard of Imported Soyabean oil vide letter No. P-15016/14/77-PH (P & N) dated 29th.August, 1977 are in nature of administrative instruction and, thereforee, of no effect, does not lay down the correct law. According to him, there is a conflict in these two decisions.

(5) In my view, the contention raised by Mr. Mittal is entirely misconceived. His reliance in the case of Rallis India Ltd and others (supra) is entirely misplaced. In the said case, samples of 'Chillies sauce' was found to be adulterated by the Public Analyst, on the ground that it was adulterated due to 4.6 deficiency in total sold by weight percent. Admittedly, no standard had been prescribed in the Rules for 'chillies sauce'. The standard prescribed by item No. A-1612 of the Rules was for sauces only. It was clarified by the Central Food Committee that, 'chillies sauce' be not treated as sauce as it was neither derived from fruit nor from vegetables and hence could not be treated as sauce The Committee, however, recommended that the standard of 'chillies sauce' as suggested by them be laid down by amending the Pfa Rules,

(6) It is clear that in the said case although no standard for 'chillies sauce' had been laid down, the prosecution had proceeded on the basis that standard of 'chillies sauce' was to conform to the standard prescribed for sauce. Accordingly, the prosecution was quashed. The recommendations of the Committee were referred to show that even according to it 'chillies sauce' could not be covered under the definition of nance. Prosecution's case case was not that sample of 'chillies sauce' in question did not conform to the suggested standard by the Committee and hence adulterated. The complainant had considered 'chillies sauce' to be sauce and had proceeded against the accused. The question whether recommendations of the Committee regarding the standard of the 'chillies sauce' proposed to be laid down in the Rules was to be adhered to was not before the Court ?

(7) The observations of the Court to the effect 'it will be noticed that the said Committee constituted by the Central Government is really the appex body under the Act', and though section 3 of the Act does not contemplate any directives being issued by this apex body to the local health authorities yet, in any case, the recommendations made by it to the local health authorities are binding on them', are being read out of context by Mr. Mittal. The reconamendations were 'Chillies sauce' is not a sauce and its standard to be brought into force by an amendment in the Rules. It was suggested that the position as explained by it be brought to the notice of 'All State Health Authorities'. It is the subsequent decision (R. N. Gujral v. Mahabir) which applies on all fours to the facts of the case. I entirely agree that the directions contained letter are purely to administrative nature. The standard prescribed by the Rules can be modified by the Central Government only in accordance with the provisions of the Act and not by an executive fiat.

(8) The petition is entirely misconceived and is dismissed.


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