1. These two appeals--one by the State and the other by the private complainant--are against the acquittal of respondent Ranchhod Bhula Rabari, who was prosecuted under Section 16(1)(a) read with Section 7 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act. The two grounds given for acquittal by the learned Magistrate are (1) that the sanction is improper, and (2) that the Public Analyst, who sent his report, has not himself analysed the sample sent to him. On other points, he finds in favour of the prosecution. Regarding the first point, Section 20 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act provides as follows:
'20. (1) No prosecution for an offence under this Act shall be instituted except by, or with the written consent of, the State Government or a local authority or a person authorised in this behalf by the State Government or a local authority:
Provided that a prosecution for an offence under this Act may be instituted by a purchaser referred to in Section 12, if he produces in Court a copy of the report of the public analyst along with the complaint.'
Now, in this particular case, the Municipality has authorised the Chief Officer under Section 20 of the said Act. The Chief Officer has asked the Food Inspector to file a complaint against respondent Ranchhod Bhula Rahari, and the Chief Officer is a person who can give his written consent under Section 20 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, because he is authorised by the local authority. The prosecution was, therefore, perfectly valid, as it was with the consent of the chief officer.
2. The second argument is that the Public Analyst has not himself analysed the sample sent to him for analysis, which is the subject-matter of the report. Section 13(5) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act reads as follows:
'Any document purporting to be a report signed by a public analyst, unless it has been superseded under Sub-section (3) or any document purporting to be a certificate signed by the Director of the Central Food Laboratory, may be used as evidence of the facts stated therein in any proceeding under this Act or under Sections 272 to 276 of the Indian Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860):
Provided that any document purporting to be a certificate signed by the Director of the Central Food Laboratory, shall be final and conclusive evidence of the facts stated therein. It is, therefore, sufficient if any document purporting to be a report is signed by the public analyst. The section does not state that the Public analyst should himself analyse the sample. There is nothing in the Act which requires the public analyst himself to analyse the sample sent to him. The learned counsel for the respondent has not been able to point out anything in the Act requiring the public analyst to analyse the sample himself. But Subsection (5) of Section 13 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act is clear that the report is relevant if the public analyst does not analyse the sample himself. But any document purporting to be a report signed by a public analyst may be used as evidence of the facts stated therein under Section 13(5) of the said Act, whether or not the sample has been analysed by him.
3. Both the reasons given by the learnedMagistrate are, therefore, wrong. The appealis allowed and the acquittal of respondentRanchhod Bhula Rabari is set aside. He issentenced to a fine of Rs. 100 (one hundred)in default one month's simple imprisonment.