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The Food Inspector, Calicut Corporation, Calicut Vs. Karuvattavil Appu - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal;Food Adulteration
CourtKerala High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Appeal 83 of 1965
Judge
Reported inAIR1966Ker238; 1966CriLJ1012
ActsPrevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 - Sections 16(1); Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, 1955 - Rule 50
AppellantThe Food Inspector, Calicut Corporation, Calicut
RespondentKaruvattavil Appu
Appellant Advocate V. Balakrishna Eradi and; K.P.G. Menon, Advs.
Respondent Advocate K.P. Radhakrishna Menon, Adv. for Respondent (Accused) Heard the State Prosecutor also
Excerpt:
- - learned district magistrate accept-ed the plea and acquitted the accused on theground that it appears that the licence was refused not on proper grounds, the order ofacquittal is clearly wrong and unsustainable inlaw. it was for the licensing authority prescribed in rule 50 to decide whether the requisite conditions are satisfied and whether itis a fit case for the grant of licence......order is wrongon the merits the criminal court cannot holdthat it is wrong. it is not the function of thecourt to substitute its judgment as an appellateauthority for that of the statutory body. incases where the parly pleads that no liecnceis necessary it is one of jurisdiction. butwhere the plea is that even though licence isnecessary it has been wrongly refused on themerits the plea cannot be considered as oneinvolving jurisdiction. the order of the learned district magistrate has, therefore, to be.vacated. i set aside the order of acquittal andfind the accused guilty of the offence chargedand convict and sentence him to pay a flue ofrs. 50/-, in default to undergo simple imprisonment for two weeks. time for pavmentof fine one month from this dale.
Judgment:

P. Govinda Menon, J.

1. This appeal is by the Calicut Corporation against the judgment of theDistrict Magistrate, Kozhikode acquitting theaccused who was prosecuted for contraventionof Rule 60 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, an offence punishable under Section 16(1) (a) of Act 37/54. That the accused isactually conducting a trade without a licenceis amply proved and is in fact not disputed,The only contention was that he had appliedfor a licence and remitted the licence fee, butfor no valid reason it was refused by the corporation. Learned District Magistrate accept-ed the plea and acquitted the accused on theground that it appears that the licence was refused not on proper grounds, The order ofacquittal is clearly wrong and unsustainable inlaw. It was for the licensing authority prescribed in Rule 50 to decide whether the requisite conditions are satisfied and whether itis a fit case for the grant of licence. If therefusal to grant licence is in the legitimateexercise of jurisdiction vested in the statutorybody and passed bona fide after considering theevidence before it even if the order is wrongon the merits the criminal court cannot holdthat it is wrong. It is not the function of thecourt to substitute its judgment as an appellateauthority for that of the statutory body. Incases where the parly pleads that no liecnceis necessary it is one of jurisdiction. Butwhere the plea is that even though licence isnecessary it has been wrongly refused on themerits the plea cannot be considered as oneinvolving jurisdiction. The order of the learned District Magistrate has, therefore, to be.vacated. I set aside the order of acquittal andfind the accused guilty of the offence chargedand convict and sentence him to pay a flue ofRs. 50/-, in default to undergo simple imprisonment for two weeks. Time for pavmentof fine one month from this dale.


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